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Making Schools Work: A Revolutionary Plan to Get Your Children the Education They Need

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Introducing a bold, persuasive new argument into the national debate over education, Dr. William Ouchi describes a revolutionary approach to creating successful public schools.This program has produced significant, lasting improvements in the school districts where it has already been implemented. Drawing on the results of a landmark study of 223 schools in six cities, a p Introducing a bold, persuasive new argument into the national debate over education, Dr. William Ouchi describes a revolutionary approach to creating successful public schools.This program has produced significant, lasting improvements in the school districts where it has already been implemented. Drawing on the results of a landmark study of 223 schools in six cities, a project that Ouchi supervised and that was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, "Making Schools Work" shows that a school's educational performance may be most directly affected by how the school is managed. Ouchi's 2001-2002 study examined innovative school systems in Edmonton (Canada), Seattle, and Houston, and compared them with the three largest traditional school systems: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Researchers discovered that the schools that consistently performed best also had the most decentralized management systems, in which autonomous principals -- not administrators in a central office -- controlled school budgets and personnel hiring policies. They were fully responsible and fully accountable for the performance of their schools. With greater freedom and flexibility to shape their educational programs, hire specialists as needed, and generally determine the direction of their school, the best principals will act as entrepreneurs, says Ouchi. Those who do poorly are placed under the supervision of successful principals, who assume responsibility for the failing schools. An essential component of this management approach is the Weighted Student Formula, a budgetary tool whereby every student is evaluated and assessed a certain dollar value in educational services (anon-English-speaking or autistic student, or one from a low-income family, for example, would receive a higher dollar value than a middle-class student with no special needs). Families have the freedom to choose among public schools, and when schools must compete for students, good schools flourish while those that do poorly literally go out of business. Such accountability has long worked for religious and independent schools, where parents pay a premium for educational performance. "Making Schools Work" shows how the same approach can be adapted to public schools. The book also provides guidelines for parents on how to evaluate a school and make sure their child is getting the best education possible. Revolutionary yet practical, "Making Schools Work" shows that positive educational reform is within reach and, indeed, already happening in schools across the country.


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Introducing a bold, persuasive new argument into the national debate over education, Dr. William Ouchi describes a revolutionary approach to creating successful public schools.This program has produced significant, lasting improvements in the school districts where it has already been implemented. Drawing on the results of a landmark study of 223 schools in six cities, a p Introducing a bold, persuasive new argument into the national debate over education, Dr. William Ouchi describes a revolutionary approach to creating successful public schools.This program has produced significant, lasting improvements in the school districts where it has already been implemented. Drawing on the results of a landmark study of 223 schools in six cities, a project that Ouchi supervised and that was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, "Making Schools Work" shows that a school's educational performance may be most directly affected by how the school is managed. Ouchi's 2001-2002 study examined innovative school systems in Edmonton (Canada), Seattle, and Houston, and compared them with the three largest traditional school systems: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Researchers discovered that the schools that consistently performed best also had the most decentralized management systems, in which autonomous principals -- not administrators in a central office -- controlled school budgets and personnel hiring policies. They were fully responsible and fully accountable for the performance of their schools. With greater freedom and flexibility to shape their educational programs, hire specialists as needed, and generally determine the direction of their school, the best principals will act as entrepreneurs, says Ouchi. Those who do poorly are placed under the supervision of successful principals, who assume responsibility for the failing schools. An essential component of this management approach is the Weighted Student Formula, a budgetary tool whereby every student is evaluated and assessed a certain dollar value in educational services (anon-English-speaking or autistic student, or one from a low-income family, for example, would receive a higher dollar value than a middle-class student with no special needs). Families have the freedom to choose among public schools, and when schools must compete for students, good schools flourish while those that do poorly literally go out of business. Such accountability has long worked for religious and independent schools, where parents pay a premium for educational performance. "Making Schools Work" shows how the same approach can be adapted to public schools. The book also provides guidelines for parents on how to evaluate a school and make sure their child is getting the best education possible. Revolutionary yet practical, "Making Schools Work" shows that positive educational reform is within reach and, indeed, already happening in schools across the country.

32 review for Making Schools Work: A Revolutionary Plan to Get Your Children the Education They Need

  1. 5 out of 5

    Simone

    Review originally posted on my blog, Writing by Numbers, here. I’ve read Making Schools Work before, but as I began applying to graduate school, it became relevant for me to re-read. I’m interested in how to more effectively design and operate successful schools, and this book offers a very readable, well-researched, and passionate introduction to these questions. Dr. Ouchi, an organizational studies and business professor at UCLA, studied over 200 schools in six large districts and identified wh Review originally posted on my blog, Writing by Numbers, here. I’ve read Making Schools Work before, but as I began applying to graduate school, it became relevant for me to re-read. I’m interested in how to more effectively design and operate successful schools, and this book offers a very readable, well-researched, and passionate introduction to these questions. Dr. Ouchi, an organizational studies and business professor at UCLA, studied over 200 schools in six large districts and identified what he calls his “Seven Keys to Success” for managing effective schools. Chief among them is a focus on decentralizing the district, allowing principals considerable autonomy to manage their schools according to local needs. He advocates for principal staffing and budgetary control, coupled with increased accountability for performance to make sure the principals deliver. He also emphasizes the importance of prioritizing student achievement above all other goals, and of making the school a community of learners. The final element of Ouchi’s plan is real school choice options, to ensure that no student is trapped in an unsuccessful neighborhood school. He concludes with a guide for parents on how to evaluate their child’s school, and suggestions for both parents and educators to incorporate elements of success. Though you may disagree with some of Ouchi’s assertions, he raises important ideas, and I highly recommend taking a look.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tawnee

    Mayor Applegarth recommended I read this book. It talks about improving education in America. It talks about schools needing to control their own budget, have a burning focus on student achievement and that families have choice.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Greendot Public Schools

    2 copies in GDL

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marie

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Scott

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kary Burns

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kia

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lori Blankenship

  11. 4 out of 5

    ExCEL Community In

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eric Kalenze

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rem Chandara

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  16. 4 out of 5

    Philissa

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael L

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sendhil

  19. 4 out of 5

    Denise

  20. 5 out of 5

    TMA Library

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  22. 5 out of 5

    Wikimedia Italia

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sonia Shams

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

  27. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ginny Blankenship

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kendall

  30. 4 out of 5

    Faye T.

  31. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

  32. 5 out of 5

    Felipe

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