Brain drain in the rust belt: Can educational reform help to build civic capacity in struggling communities?

City leaders increasingly have hoped that school reform can spark a renaissance in struggling communities. Using the lens of building civic capacity, this article examines efforts to revitalize "Milltown"-a small urban community that has been devastated by the loss of manufacturing jobs. Analysis of interview and written documents identifies several paradoxes that highlight the ways in which the conceptions of individuals and the nature of this former manufacturing community contrasted dramatically with the realities of the emerging global economy. Findings detail these paradoxes and describe the role of the town's school district in driving the reform efforts intended to address these dilemmas.

Dana L. Mitra et al, Brain Drain in the Rust Belt, Educational Policy (22, 5) pp. . Copyright © 2007. DOI: 10.1177/0895904807310038. Users who receive access to an article through a repository are reminded that the article is protected by copyright and reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses. Users may also download and save a local copy of an article accessed in an institutional repository for the user's personal reference. For permission to reuse an article, please follow our Process for Requesting Permission.



Work Title Brain drain in the rust belt: Can educational reform help to build civic capacity in struggling communities?
Open Access
  1. Dana L. Mitra
  2. Marcela Movit
  3. William Frick
  1. Bottom-up reform
  2. Education reform
  3. High schools
  4. Leadership
  5. Policy formation
  6. Politics
  7. School district
  8. School–community partnership
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Educational Policy
Publication Date December 14, 2007
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited March 01, 2024




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Milltown_final_3_27_07.doc
  • Added Creator Dana L. Mitra
  • Added Creator Marcela Movit
  • Added Creator William Frick
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publication Date Show Changes
    • Bottom-up reform, Education reform, High schools, Leadership, Policy formation, Politics, School district, School–community partnership
    Publication Date
    • 2008-09-01
    • 2007-12-14
  • Updated