Robert Maranto, 21st Century Chair in Leadership in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, has an interesting article in The Philadelphia Inquirer on what goes wrong with education reform:
Typically, a new superintendent arrives, announces flashy initiatives to pad his or her resume, and then leaves for greener pastures before the reforms have time to work. Teachers and principals pay lip service to the new ways while maintaining a mediocre status quo. Soon a new superintendent comes to town, announces new initiatives, and the cycle repeats.
Maranto's article is about K12 reform, but everyone interested in higher education knows that you can substitute "college president" for "superintendent" and "dean" for "principal," and see much the same dynamic at play. Maranto's prescriptions for how to get education reform actually done ought to be read by everyone interested in higher education--it's brisk, sensible advice.
You can read the entire article in The Philadelphia Inquirer.