Defending “Something Special”: A Portrait of One School’s Response to Instability
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CitationTheisen-Homer, Victoria. (Forthcoming). Defending “something special”: A portrait of one school’s response to instability. Schools: Studies in Education.
AbstractDrawing primarily on interviews with a variety of teachers and other staff at a large urban Title-1 public school in California, Victoria Theisen-Homer paints an ethnographic portrait of how school personnel respond to undesirable changes. Although the school in this study, Skyline High School, had begun to thrive and most of the staff felt their school was “special,” the changes - including increased accountability in preparation for the school’s accreditation audit, turnover and conflicts among school leaders, and crippling budget cuts that removed staff and resources – threatened to compromise the school’s nascent success. While most of the participants in this study complained of the school’s declining culture and attributed this to similar issues, their responses to these factors differed significantly; their differing attempts to improve the situation ultimately served to further divide teachers and leaders in consequential ways. The author concludes with recommendations for educational leaders, policymakers, and teachers who intend to shepherd schools through similar times of change.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:13357185
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