Dismantled: The Breakup of an Urban School System: Detroit, 1980-2016
Dismantled is an accessible, critical look at the devolution of local power in the Detroit public school system. The author examines the rise of charter schools and other private enterprises, the eclipse of control from local actors to new players and influences, and the invaluable lessons the experience holds for urban school systems nationwide. Kang provides a compelling narrative of this shift in power beginning in the 1980s and leading to the breakup of Detroit Public Schools in 2016, and concludes with a discussion on the implications and dilemmas of regime change. The text looks at such questions as: What happens when local actors no longer have a voice in what happens to their schools? What are the consequences when teachers and administrators cede control to private interests and cease to participate in decisionmaking? What are some ways to redirect public schooling toward democracy in the aftermath of dismantling the Progressive Era system?
- Examines how a series of policies dismantled the Detroit Public Schools, resulting in new educational characteristics such as the marketization and privatization of schooling.
- Offers an historical perspective on market-based reform, including why and how race and politics serve as barriers to reform.
- Explains the role and influence of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in the Detroit events.
- Provides a framework from which to envision the next steps for public education in the 21st century.
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About the Author
Leanne Kang is an assistant professor of educational foundations at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.