Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Public Administration


Political Science

Major Professor

Whelan, Robert

Second Advisor

Kiefer, John

Third Advisor

Farris, Monica


There is an almost universal belief that our school system is failing to educate its students. At the same time there is little agreement regarding what the problems are and how to correct them. Many urban school districts are turning to drastic reform measures, oftentimes attempting one major reform after another. This paper will address the question of whether cities which have opted to significantly change their educational system share any common characteristics related to this decision. In particular this paper will focus on four cities: Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, and Philadelphia. Given the current problems with education, and the difficulty of sustaining reforms, this question is highly relevant at the present moment.


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