Community and Curriculum: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Urban School Reform

  • Barry M. Franklin
Part of the Secondary Education in a Changing World book series (SECW)


The starting place for this volume is Timberton Central High School. A comprehensive high school of around 1,500 students with a growing Latino/a enrollment, the school is located in the economically distressed, high poverty, and racially diverse Intermountain West city that I am calling Timberton.1 My research assistant and I spent several hours a week for about a year beginning in August of 2006 in this school as it underwent a reorganization into a number of smaller learning communities. Under this new arrangement the overall population of the school would remain about the same with each largely self-contained learning community enrolling from 200 to 400 students. The change would not alter the school’s comprehensiveness but would replace the departmental organization that typifies such high schools with a Ninth Grade Center and four career oriented units—Applied Science and Technology, Arts and Humanities, Business and Computers, and Health Science and Human Service. Midway through our time in the school, it was decided to merge the Business and Computers Community with that of the Arts and Humanities Community to create three career oriented communities for the tenth thru twelfth grade enrolling an approximately equal number of students.2


Social Capital Urban School Charter School School Reform Civic Virtue 
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© Barry M. Franklin 2010

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