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The National Landscape: School Reform in Context

The Challenge of Improving our Schools

Chicago is not the only big city attempting to improve its school system. Across the United States, large urban school districts have been under pressure to improve outcomes and expand school choice.

Education reform strategies across the country vary widely and include accountability-based strategies that emphasize standardized tests and teacher performance; a move to expand charter, magnet, and other alternative schools; and, more recently, a growing list of strategies that emphasize collaboration, rather than conflict, between administrators and teachers.

Results of reform efforts across the nation have been mixed, and no single approach has emerged as a silver bullet. The cities highlighted here provide just a snapshot of the nationwide education reform landscape. Click on a city for a brief summary of its reform story.