DECENTRALIZATION: Achieving Reform by Mario & Marilyn Gittell Fantini


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Inaccessibility, irresponsibility and unresponsiveness of the institutions of urban government in the 1970's"" has encouraged the middle classes and white ethnic groups to join ghetto groups in fighting for community control. The villains are professionals, politicians, and labor. ""The union has been a consistent opponent of any transfer of power to the local communities"" -- for example, Fantini and Gittell blame the New York teachers for striking in 1968 when their members were arbitrarily transferred in Ocean Hill-Brownsville. The argument is weakly stated, perhaps reflecting a decline of interest in community control, or even the authors' own lack of conviction. (Both Fantini and Gittell are prominent foundation- or government-funded community control advocates, beginning with Gittell's draft of the Bundy Report in 1967 in New York City.) They ignore the 1972 East Harlem school boycott against the local school board's acceptance of budget cuts that meant fewer teachers, and though themselves professionals, they seem aware that their proposals for community involvement reflect sentiments emanating more from the media and foundations than the ""community."" Indeed the book produces scant evidence of any popular groundswell in favor of decentralization.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1973
Publisher: Praeger