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Improbable ScholarsThe Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America’s Schools$
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David L. Kirp

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199987498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199987498.001.0001

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What Union City Can Teach America

What Union City Can Teach America

Nationwide, Slow and Steady Wins the Race

(p.196) 9 What Union City Can Teach America
Improbable Scholars

David L. Kirp

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses some of the lessons that can be learned from the Union City school district. Skeptics will dismiss the narrative of Union City's accomplishments as a one-off—a rare and remarkable story that is irrelevant anyplace else. However, three change-minded school systems in Montgomery County, Maryland; Sanger, California; and Aldine, Texas, show otherwise. All three are steadily rewriting the script for poor and minority kids, boosting achievement and closing gaps, relying on strategies as research-tested and securing results as impressive as Union City's. Yet each of the three is missing one or more of the elements that skeptics might claim are the impossible-to-duplicate preconditions of Union City's success—its small size and homogeneity, its money, its political support, and its students raised in a culture of respeto.

Keywords:   Union City, school districts, public schools, education policy, school systems

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