Left Behind: Urban High Schools and the Failure of Market Reform

Left Behind: Urban High Schools and the Failure of Market Reform


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In Left Behind, a team of education scholars led by Edward P. St. John argues that American cities have been engaged for the past three decades in a radical—but failing—effort to transform general and vocational high schools into college preparatory institutions. By examining the educational reforms in four urban charter schools across the United States and four public high schools in New York City, Left Behind reveals how educators contend with the challenge of developing new courses while providing social support for students to build college-going cultures.

The research shows that district schools struggle to comply with standards that leave little room to develop advanced thematic curricula and that charter schools have not succeeded in substantially raising student test scores. Many students who start in rigorous charter schools transfer back to public schools while both public and charter schools struggle to prepare their students for college-level work.

Left Behind provides crucial insights into the troubling trajectory of public policy while offering teachers and administrators effective strategies for overcoming barriers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421417875
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 11/30/2015
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Edward P. St. John is the Algo D. Henderson Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Victoria J. Milazzo Bigelow is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Kim Callahan Lijana received her PhD from the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. Johanna C. Massé is a doctoral candidate in higher education and sociology at the University of Michigan.

Table of Contents

List of Figure and Tables
About the Authors
1. Market Niches
2. Math Problems
3. Advanced Literacies
4. College Knowledge
5. Toward Equitable Transformation

What People are Saying About This

Luis Mirón

"Left Behind represents a compelling narrative examining the social relations among politics, policy systems, and on-the-ground educational practice.The work is a culminating testament to the career of internationally recognized analyst of higher education Edward St. John."

Scott Thomas

"St. John is one of this generation’s leading critical voices on equity in schooling and one of the few who has trained such authoritative energy on the linkages between secondary schooling and college opportunities. In this book, St. John and his colleagues offer a very important and insightful analysis of how market ideologies and standards based reform have collided to confound efforts to improve urban high schools. This is a must read for anyone interested in urban education."

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