Putting School Reform in Its Place- Social Geography, Organizational Social Capital, and School Perf

Putting School Reform in Its Place- Social Geography, Organizational Social Capital, and School Perf
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Unformatted text preview: http://aerj.aera.net Journal American Educational Research http://aer.sagepub.com/content/49/2/257 The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.3102/0002831211423316 2012 49: 257 originally published online 3 October 2011 Am Educ Res J Jennifer Jellison Holme and Virginia Snodgrass Rangel Social Capital, and School Performance Putting School Reform in Its Place : Social Geography, Organizational Published on behalf of American Educational Research Association and http://www.sagepublications.com can be found at: American Educational Research Journal Additional services and information for http://aerj.aera.net/alerts Email Alerts: http://aerj.aera.net/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.aera.net/reprints Reprints: http://www.aera.net/permissions Permissions: What is This?- Oct 3, 2011 OnlineFirst Version of Record- Mar 29, 2012 Version of Record >> at SAINT CLOUD STATE UNIV on January 24, 2013 http://aerj.aera.net Downloaded from Putting School Reform in Its Place: Social Geography, Organizational Social Capital, and School Performance Jennifer Jellison Holme Virginia Snodgrass Rangel The University of Texas at Austin For decades, policymakers and researchers have struggled to understand the reasons that schools in disadvantaged contexts have relatively more trouble responding successfully to reform demands. This analysis extends theory regarding the challenges of school change in disadvantaged contexts by illustrating how the internal resources that schools rely on to respond to external policy demands can be affected by the social contexts in which they are embedded. The article draws on data from a study of five high pov- erty high schools' responses to the pressures of Texas' high stakes accountabil- ity system. The case study data illustrate how a school's social context can precipitate instability in some schools and relative stability in others, how organizational stability in turn can affect schools' organizational social capital, and how organizational social capital can influence schools' ability to respond to external policy demands. K EYWORDS : social capital, social context, school reform O ver the past several decades, state and federal policymakers have sought to produce changes in the behavior of schools by holding them accountable for student outcomes (O'Day, 2002). Research has shown that while some schools identified as low performing under accountability J ENNIFER J ELLISON H OLME , PhD, is an assistant professor in the Educational Policy and Planning Program, Department of Educational Administration, at The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, D5400, Austin, Texas 78712; e-mail: jholme @mail.utexas.edu . Her research focuses on the politics and implementation of edu- cational policy, with a particular interest in the relationship between school reform, equity, and diversity in schools....
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