Urban schools in 2007

The Monitor asked five educators and school-reform observers what they think will be happening in urban schools five years down the road.

"Most kids will be ... in smaller schools. More teachers are going to exercise their right to work in schools where they fully support the mission. Parents are going to recognize their increased role in ensuring their children get the best education possible.

All of that will be the case if ... political leaders recognize [the need for] educational partnerships among schools, students, and families."

- Peter Thorp, principal of San Francisco's Gateway High School

"Unless we make some dramatic financial and time commitments, we're going to continue to see a sea of inequity. You're going to get pockets ... doing great things in education, and then you're just going to continue to see status quo."

- Hae-Sin Kim, principal of ASCEND elementary school in Oakland, Calif.

"I think what we will discover in five years is that unless we radically improve the situation with [lower-income] families, in their ability to help educate their own children, we're not going to get big gains."

- Henry Levin, director of Columbia University's National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education

"What's happening in Philadelphia [a state takeover and reliance on a private manage-ment company] is an extremely messy portent of what is to come. Increasingly, states and community leaders will conclude that they can't close the achievement gap without new funding and independent school operators."

- Paul Hill, professor of public policy at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs in Seattle

"[Schools are] going to be even more diverse. The thing I'm not sure of is whether they'll be more integrated."

- Julie Landsman, longtime teacher in the Minneapolis public schools

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.