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mcsweeney's picture

Not the most pressing issue, but one of the key issues in Urban Education that I have noticed so far is leadership in schools, on both a local and on a national level. I have noticed that, when people talk about successful urban schools, they nearly always mention the dedication of that school's principal. I've heard stories of school principals acting as school nurses on top of all of their other duties when the school district administration could not afford full time, or even part time, school nurses. The stories that I have heard about effective school principals, who support their students and teachers alike, lead me to believe that positive leadership can really make a difference to an urban school, even when the school lacks resources. When I read about urban schools that are severely underresourced and understaffed, I first think that reflects badly on the leadership of the school district as a whole, but then I also think it is more closely related to the issue of funding and budgeting. I would say that inequitable funding is the most pressing issue in urban schools, but I'm not sure if I understand the issue enough to write about for this post. Another pressing issue regarding leadership and schools that we've been talking about in class for the past few weeks is Trump's nomination of Betsy DeVos for the position of Secretary of Education, even though she has no experience with American public school as a teacher, administrator, student or parent. To elect a person for this position who has no experience with public education could have devastating consequences for public school students across the country because they would not be able to be an effective leader. 


jccohen's picture


I appreciate your naming leadership as an issue in schools in general, and I do think this plays out in particular ways in urban schools where resources are so often short and challenges often considerable.  This of course ties into the issue of inequitable funding, which you also mention here.  Are you interested in pursuing either of these directions for your issue paper?  We haven't yet read much about leadership, though you could do additional research on this.  And the funding issue is multifaceted, of course, so you might consider what aspect you'd like to better understand--?