Detroit's public school system, lauded as a model for the nation in the 1920s and 1930s, has become one of the city's most conspicuous failures. Jeffrey Mirel draws on Detroit's experience to offer a new interpretation of urban educational decline in the twentieth century, suggesting specific answers to what ails America's public schools and how public education can be improved.
Jeffrey Mirel has won two prestigious book awards for The Rise and Fall of an Urban School System. Stanford University and the American Educational Research Association awarded the book the 1994-95 "Outstanding Book Award" stating, "Mirel's documentation and interpretations serve as valuable and refreshing commentary on the current status of urban education, and by extension, all American education and society. . . . The book is admirably written with touches of drama, pathos, and hope." The American Educational Studies Association awarded Mirel the 1994 "Critics' Choice Award" for his outstanding contribution to Educational Studies.
This new paperback edition includes a comprehensive epilogue focusing on recent events in Detroit educational reform. Detailing the formation and rapid collapse of a campaign in the late 1980s and early 1990s to radically restructure the Detroit public schools, Mirel's new analysis of this experiment illuminates both the persistence of historical trends in the school district and the possibilities for change.
Jeffrey Mirel is David L Angus Collegiate Professor of Education, University of Michigan.