Why the Opportunity School District Failed? An Examination of Coalitions and the Politics of School Improvement

Richard O. Welsh, Jerome Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, we examine coalition building and coordination using a qualitative case study of the coalition opposing a ballot initiative to create a state-run turnaround district in Georgia. The findings highlight three important strategies in coalition building: (a) incorporating new actors, especially noneducation advocacy groups and noneducator groups in education; (b) incorporating noneducation and African American advocacy groups in the leadership of the coalition; and (c) identifying and coalescing around core beliefs early to unite a diverse coalition. Time to organize, prior relationships, and interest group autonomy were key factors in navigating tensions between coalition breadth and coalition cohesion. Salient coalition coordination strategies included the following: (a) “keep it local and grassroots,” and (b) diverse messaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • case studies
  • educational policy
  • educational reform
  • equity
  • in-depth interviewing
  • politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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