Improving inner-city schools : current directions in urban district reform

by Jeannie Oakes

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The most promising strategies for urban districts attempting to help inner city students break the cycle of school failure, unemployment, and social disintegration will (1) build capacity at local school sites; (2) provide school autonomy and flexibility in designing and implementing improvement plans; (3) take a broad view of curriculum and instruction; (4) reorganize classroom teaching and learning to promote urban children's positive self-perceptions, effort, and school performance; (5) provide real-life incentives for urban children to achieve at school; (6) and coordinate efforts with the self-interests of other institutions and agencies to provide social and economic opportunities beyond the reach of the school. These strategies diverge from traditional urban school practice and their implementation will require urban educators to assume new roles and responsibilities and to restructure schools and learning.

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