Journal article Open Access

Social capital in urban public school leadership

Chase Nordengren

Urban schools in the United States struggle amidst poverty, despair and an overall attitude of disenfranchisement. Poor performance on standardized tests, endemic violence and significant staffing issues have left urban schools the education center of last resort in the eyes of many parents, reserved only for those students too poor to afford private tuition. The breakdown in urban schools is related more fundamentally to a breakdown in the basic stabilizers in any social system: trust, transparency, and collaboration. As part of a leadership strategy, social capital can reinforce these stabilizers and thereby create fertile ground for substantive reform.

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