Educating Urban Children
For a variety of reasons described in the paper, improving the performance of urban school districts is more difficult today than it was several decades ago. Yet economic and social changes make performance improvement especially important today. Two quite different bodies of research provide ideas for improving the performance of urban school districts. One group of studies, conducted primarily by scholars of organizational design, examines the effectiveness of particular district management strategies. The second, conducted primarily by economists, focuses on the need to improve incentives. Each body of research offers important insights. Each is somewhat insensitive to the importance of the insights offered by the other literature. A theme of this paper is that insights from both literatures are critical to improving urban school systems.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.