Common and Diverging Themes in the Gender Politics of
Reflecting upon the gender politics of reform at Central High School, the school’s restructuring coach remarked: ‘This situation is not unlike most high schools I know. It just happens to be more intense’. This chapter uses data from two other schools in the larger detracking study, Explorer Middle School and Grant High School, to describe how gender politics play out in reform efforts within vastly different school contexts. The data from these schools are compared to the findings of the Central High School case. Briefly, like the Good Old Boys at Central, male teachers at Explorer and Grant led the traditional camps of teachers. In this regard, gender was a salient feature of the politics of representing what ‘school’ means at Explorer and Grant. However, at neither of the two comparison schools did the gender politics escalate to such a degree as to overthrow the reform efforts altogether, which occurred at Central.