Battling Corruption in America's Public Schools

Battling Corruption in America's Public Schools

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One of the nation's highest priorities is public school reform. Failing test scores, dilapidated buildings, depleted libraries, and inadequate teaching supplies are just some of the problems that politicians and educators are trying to fix. The debate about how to improve schools has centered largely on areas such as standards, testing, vouchers, and classroom technology. Notably absent from the debate is any discussion of how decades of fraud, waste, and abuse have crippled schools and impeded learning. Yet the most academically beleaguered school systems tend to be the ones with the most serious investigative records. In this eye-opening account, Lydia G. Segal exposes the magnitude and consequences of systemic corruption and waste in America's three largest school districts; New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Drawing on extensive interviews, investigative research, and unsettling case studies, she describes how structures that were established to curb abuses have actually provided incentives and opportunities for theft, extortion, bribery, political patronage, and kickback schemes. Segal finds that most abuses occur in central management, not schools. She shows how embedded waste and corruption deplete much-needed resources and block principals and administrators from devising creative strategies to deliver quality education. After examining the successes and failures of innovative efforts in districts such as Houston and Edmonton, Canada, as well as pilot programs in Chicago and New York City, the author offers a detailed blueprint for reform that calls for decentralizing power from school bureaucracies, giving more decision-making authority to principals, and establishing new and less stifling forms of accountability.The credit card technology allows each site to view its staffa#39;s charges but not the charges of other sitesa#39; staff. ... The software allows it to consolidate information by vendor, school, or employee to see every purchase, the store at which it was made, ... Ironically the EPS can afford to take a hard line THE MODEL OF EDMONTON.

Title:Battling Corruption in America's Public Schools
Author: Lydia G. Segal
Publisher:Harvard University Press - 2005

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