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This book exposes how embedded waste and fraud deplete classroom resources, block initiative, and distort educational priorities and explains how to remedy the problem. Drawing on extensive interviews and investigative research in America's three largest districts. New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, Segal argues that the problem is not usually bad people, but a bad system that focuses on process at the expense of results. She shows how regulations that were established to curb waste and fraud provide perverse incentives. Districts following rules designed to save every penny spend thousands of dollars to hunt down checks for amounts as small as twenty-five dollars. To fix leaky toilets, caring principals may have to pay workers under the table because submitting a works order through the central office, with its many fraud checks, could take years, Meanwhile, those who pilfer from classrooms may get away because the pyramidal structure of large districts makes schools inherently difficult to oversee.
Drawing on initiatives in successful districts, Segal offers pragmatic solutions and a detailed blueprint for reform. She calls for radically restructuring districts, empowering principles, and establishing new, less stifling forms of accountability that put a premium on performance.
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Lydia G. Segal is a Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Public Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.Review:
"...splendid... Few people are as well situated as Ms. Segal to tell the story... richly documented." -- Sol Stern, Wall Street Journal
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Book Description Northeastern Press, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1555535844
Book Description Northeastern, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1555535844