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Growing a Journal

Most scholarly journals can't trace their roots to a food co-op where cherries, strawberries, and lettuce were sold. But an upcoming new quarterly on school leadership does.

Leadership and Policy in Schools is slated for release in March 2002. Thirty years earlier, co-editor David H. Monk, who is also the dean of the college of education at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., was a teacher. One of the places where Mr. Monk taught was Public School 22 in Jersey City, N.J., a poor school not able to pay for field trips and other academic enrichment. Wanting to right that situation, he and some colleagues opened a weekly food co-op at the school.

The idea bore fruit, literally and figuratively, Mr. Monk recalled. Neighbors got fresh produce and a greater sense of community, and the school got some welcome extra money.

Decades and a graduate education later, Mr. Monk says the lesson he learned at PS 22—that educators at a school can wield as much influence as district or state officials—deserves greater scrutiny. That's where the new journal comes in.

"What became clear, when I was a teacher and later when I was a graduate student, was how much of what happens at a school is because of the principal," he said. In creating the food co-op, "we found that we had to take matters into our own hands."

In an era of charter schools, Mr. Monk's idea may no longer be novel, but it has yet to be embraced by the academy, he said. None of the handful of top scholarly publications on education policy views the world through the lens of the school, Mr. Monk said. For example, the Journal of Educational Policy and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis focus on the district and the state as policy leaders.

Jane Hannaway, the editor of the latter journal from 1997 to 2000, said the new journal touches on "a number of important issues," such as how a principal runs a school and the extent to which teachers collaborate. Ms. Hannaway cautioned, though, that "I have a hard time distinguishing what happens at the state and district level and that of the school."

Gene V. Glass, an associate dean for research at Arizona State University's college of education, applauds the journal's focus on the school. "Most academic journals have too much in the way of theory," he said.

The Netherlands-based publisher, Swets & Zeitlinger, aims to have 200 subscribers within three years. Institutions will be charged $212 and individuals $99.

—Mark Stricherz

Vol. 20, Issue 40, Page 9

Published in Print: June 13, 2001, as Leadership

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