Learning from L.A.

Learning from L.A. Institutional Change in American Public Education

Charles Taylor Kerchner, David J. Menefee-Libey, Laura Steen Mulfinger, and Stephanie E. Clayton
cloth, 304 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-03-7
Price: $54.95

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paper, 304 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-02-0
Price: $29.95

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Drawing on a four-year study of the last 40 years of education reform in Los Angeles, Learning from L.A. captures the sweeping change in American education. It puts forth a provocative argument: while school reformers and education historians have tended to focus on the success or failure of individual initiatives, they have overlooked the fact that, over the past several decades, the institution of public education itself has been transformed.

Outstanding Academic Title, Choice

“Districts in Research and Reform” Publication Award, American Educational Research Association


Praise

This is an important book by seasoned analysts of education reform. Their grounded, long-term perspective provides insights that gets our thinking out of the weeds and provides clarity about where urban education reform has been and where it is going. — Jane Hannaway, Director, Education Policy Center, Urban Institute

Learning from L.A. provides a detailed analysis of a system in transition. The authors make a fine distinction between reform ‘projects’ and systemic, institutionalized reform movements—both of which are necessary to propel deep-rooted, dynamic education reform. They identify initiatives that can be the springboard for widespread institutional transformation. This account of a changing school system, with its focus on grassroots politics and processes, will prove particularly useful to both educators and policy-makers. It is a refreshing reminder of the challenges of urban education reform. — Peter McWalters, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

Learning from L.A. is both an outstanding political history of educational reform and a first-class, theoretically sophisticated analysis of how institutions change. — Mark Blyth, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University

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About the Authors

Charles Taylor Kerchner is a research professor at Claremont Graduate University.

David J. Menefee-Libey is professor of politics and coordinator of the Program in Public Policy Analysis at Pomona College.

Laura Steen Mulfinger is a doctoral candidate at Claremont Graduate University.

Stephanie E. Clayton is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California.


Table of Contents (PDF)

"Reinventing Public Education? Surprise! It’s Happening Already" by Charles Taylor Kerchner

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