Bringing change to our public school system is hard, and the current system of education governance creates barriers that can make that reform even harder. Here six authorities in public education discuss how local philanthropies can overcome them even if school districts cannot. Making School Reform Work identifies new institutions that can be created by foundations and civic groups to remedy deficiencies in local school governance, formulate bold reforms, and guarantee implementation. These institutions include incubators for starting new schools, independent data analysis centers, public-private partnerships for recruitment and training of school leaders, and new ways of funding and managing school facilities. The contributors are Sarah Brooks (Carleton College), Michael DeArmond (University of Washington), Marguerite Roza (University of Washington), and Abigail Winger (Milwaukee consultant).
Paul T. Hill is coauthor (with Mary Beth Celio) of Fixing Urban Schools (Brookings, 1998) and (with Christing Campbell and James Harvey) of It Takes a City (Brookings, 2000). He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a research professor at the University of Washington's Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. James Harvey is a senior fellow at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington. He is also a Seattle-based consultant. A former appointee in the Carter administration, he helped develop the landmark report A Nation at Risk for the National Commission on Excellence in Education.