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America’s Urban Schools Are Full of Promise!

We frequently read about urban schools that are improving achievement and accomplishing remarkable results.

Often urban schools are besieged and befuddled by the same problems that have been solved in other schools with similar challenges. Too often, improvement efforts are random, shallow, and based more on individual inclinations than systemic structures that can sustain and replicate reform.

Frequently, university researchers have neither the incentives nor the opportunity to engage in the complex work of understanding the real problems of urban schools or understanding the nuances behind the successes of other urban systems. As well, university efforts to improve preparation programs for the educators and leaders who work in urban schools are generally handicapped by a lack of understanding of the problems of urban schools and the potential solutions to those problems.

The transformation of our nation’s urban schools is too important and too complex to depend upon fads, quick-fix policies, or one-size-fits-all programs that cannot address the widely varying contexts of our cities.

Transformation requires sustained, dedicated engagement focused upon the real problems of practice that plague urban districts. It requires support grounded in high quality research that illuminates the context-sensitive variables that influence success. It requires unwavering focus on real results that signal real changes in the academic lives of children.

The National Center for Urban School Transformation is designed to meet this challenge and provide such support.