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Messages for Educational Leadership

The Constance E. Clayton Lectures 1998-2007

Diana Slaughter-Defoe

Urban education is an interdisciplinary field, characterized by introducing many perspectives to research pertaining to educational policy and to the practice of educating youth whose lives unfold in densely populated urban metropolitan areas. This book celebrates Constance Clayton’s eleven-year tenure as superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, ending in 1993, following which an endowed chair was established in Dr. Clayton’s honor at the University of Pennsylvania, and later, the Clayton lecture series was inaugurated. The chair was the first named for an African American woman at a predominantly White, Ivy League U.S. university. The lecture series, upon which this book is based, provides a forum for teachers, researchers, and scholars to evaluate and discuss key concepts and issues in urban education. Collectively, the lectures summarize important developments in a post- Brown vs. Board of Education era of educational thought (1998-2010) about what is in the best interests of urban youth.