Reshaping urban education: A school-community-university collaborative initiative

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of School Leadership







First Page


Last Page


Publication Date



This article describes the planning phase and first year implementation of a doctoral cohort program for urban principals that is a collaborative effort of the Department of Educational Administration at Texas A&M University and the Austin Independent School District. The guiding vision, organization, and curriculum of the program are discussed, as well as the involvement of multiple other contributing groups and individuals. Recommendations are offered for other universities and/or school districts considering similar collaborative doctoral programs focused on the improvement of urban schooling.

Two of the most perplexing problems in American education have been the continuing failure of schools to serve fully the needs of all students regardless of their race or socioeconomic status and the frustration of attempts to bring together separate stakeholders to collaboratively address educational issues in which they have a mutual interest (Bliss, 1993; Cibulka, 1992; Forsyth, 1993; Lomotey, 1997; Trueba, 1991; Valencia, 1991). These two problems are closely related in urban environments. The complexity of large cities often brings the agendas of schools, universities, government, and social agencies into conflict over matters in which they ought to be partners (Shirley, 1997). Interest in addressing and resolving the problems of U.S. urban schools and the communities they serve is increasing as “urban education issues re-emerge as a central concern of researchers and policy makers. High rates of school failure and under-achievement, particularly for poor children and those of color, have focused attention on how to improve urban schools” (Cibulka, 1992, p. 27).

This document is currently not available here.