A comparison of local empowerment in education: Porto Alegre, Brazil and Chicago, USA

Jr Brent Edwards*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Democratization of decision-making processes and increased local involvement are mentioned regularly as desirable ways to proceed in education policy reform. Nevertheless, the limited publications examining reforms for more democratic organization of school districts have tended to focus on isolated examples and very specific aspects of that reform; and while, more recently, scholars have argued for the democratization of education generally in response to global trends, what is missing from the debate is a comparison of specific reforms in education designed to allow for system-wide democratization and authentic participation. This article reviews the existing literature investigating democratic school system reform in Porto Alegre, Brazil and Chicago, USA - both chosen because they were uniquely able to achieve system-wide reform for more democratic involvement. The article discusses the reforms in terms of their context, specific policy mechanisms, successes, and limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-184
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Comparative and International Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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