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Citation:Ashby, S., Garza, C., & Rivas, M. (1998). Public deliberation: A tool for connecting school reform and diversity. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. ED428149.

The purpose of this guide is to provide a description of public deliberation and how it can be used to bring schools and communities with linguistic and cultural diversity together to focus on school reform. Its premise is that many different people have pieces of the answers for school reform and that together they can forge new approaches and solutions. The guide suggests that deliberation asks people to put aside their own interests and hear what others feel and think. It highlights the fact that historically minorities have not participated in these public discussions resulting in less rich conversations that are not representative of minority student needs. It includes descriptions of three formats for public deliberationÑstudy circles, caucus group, and the CitizenÕs Jury. Descriptions and contact information for five national organizations that can help practitioners with the public deliberation process are included. This guide is designed to be an initial source for schools and communities to use when considering how to integrate public deliberation and engagement into school reform plans.

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