The Institutions Of American Democracy

Author: Susan Fuhrman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199883564
Size: 45.39 MB
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From curriculum standards and testing to school choice and civic learning, issues in American education are some of the most debated in the United States. The Institutions of American Democracy , a collection of essays by the nation's leading education scholars and professionals, is designed to inform the debate and stimulate change. In association with the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands and the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, The Institutions of American Democracy is the first in a series of books commissioned to enhance public understanding of the nature and function of democratic institutions. A national advisory board--including, among others, Nancy Kassebaum Baker, David Boren, John Brademas, Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, David Gergen, and Lee Hamilton--will guide the vision of the project, which includes future volumes on the press and the three branches of government. Each essay in The Institutions of American Democracy addresses essential questions for policymakers, educators, and anyone committed to public education. What role should public education play in a democracy? How has that role changed through American history? Have the schools lost sight of their responsibility to teach civics and citizenship? How are current debates about education shaping the future of this democratic institution? Among the contributors are William Galston, Director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland;Clarence Stone, Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland - College Park and editor of Changing Urban Education and Regime Politics: Governing Atlanta, 1946-1988 (University Press of Kansas, 1998).; Susan Moore Johnson, Pforzheimer Professor of Education in Learning and Teaching, Harvard University; Michael Johanek, Executive Director of K-12 Professional Development, College Board; Kathy Simon, co-executive director of the Coalition for Essential Schools and author of Moral Questions in the Classroom (Yale University Press, 2001); and Jennifer Hochschild, Professor of Government and Professor of Afro-American Studies at Harvard University and author of Facing Up to the American Dream: Race, Class, and the Soul of the Nation (Princeton University Press, 1995).

Schooling America

Author: Patricia Albjerg Graham
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198038443
Size: 17.47 MB
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Patricia Graham is one of America's most esteemed historians of education, formerly Dean of Harvard's Graduate School of Education and Director of the National Institute of Education. In this informative volume, Graham offers a vibrant history of American education in the last century. Drawing on a wide array of sources, from government reports to colorful anecdotes, Graham skillfully illustrates Americans' changing demands for our schools, and how schools have responded by providing what critics want, though never as completely or as quickly as they would like. In 1900, as waves of immigrants swept the nation, the American public wanted schools to assimilate students into American life, combining the basics of English and arithmetic with emphasis on patriotism, hard work, fair play and honesty. In the 1920s, the focus shifted from schools serving a national need to serving individual needs; education was to help children adjust to life. By 1954 the emphasis moved to access, particularly for African-American children to desegregated classrooms, but also access to special programs for the gifted, the poor, the disabled, and non-English speakers. Now Americans want achievement for all, defined as higher test scores. The public largely ignored colleges until after World War II when research received international recognition and enrollments grew. Throughout the narrative, we meet the passionate educators, scholars and journalists who drove particular agendas, and we also meet Graham's own family, starting with her immigrant father's first day of school and moving through her experiences as a teacher. Invaluable background in the ongoing debate on education in the United States, this book offers an insightful look at what the public has sought from its educational institutions, what educators have delivered, and what remains to be done.

The Fight For Local Control

Author: Campbell F. Scribner
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501704109
Size: 37.47 MB
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Throughout the twentieth century, local control of school districts was one of the most contentious issues in American politics. As state and federal regulation attempted to standardize public schools, conservatives defended local prerogative as a bulwark of democratic values. Yet their commitment to those values was shifting and selective. In The Fight for Local Control, Campbell F. Scribner demonstrates how, in the decades after World War II, suburban communities appropriated legacies of rural education to assert their political autonomy and in the process radically changed educational law. Scribner's account unfolds on the metropolitan fringe, where rapid suburbanization overlapped with the consolidation of thousands of small rural schools. Rural residents initially clashed with their new neighbors, but by the 1960s the groups had rallied to resist government oversight. What began as residual opposition to school consolidation would transform into campaigns against race-based busing, unionized teachers, tax equalization, and secular curriculum. In case after case, suburban conservatives carved out new rights for local autonomy, stifling equal educational opportunity. Yet Scribner also provides insight into why many conservatives have since abandoned localism for policies that stress school choice and federal accountability. In the 1970s, as new battles arose over unions, textbooks, and taxes, districts on the rural-suburban fringe became the first to assert individual choice in the form of school vouchers, religious exemptions, and a marketplace model of education. At the same time, they began to embrace tax limitation and standardized testing, policies that checked educational bureaucracy but bypassed local school boards. The effect, Scribner concludes, has been to reinforce inequalities between districts while weakening participatory government within them, keeping the worst aspects of local control in place while forfeiting its virtues.

School Choice And The Future Of American Democracy

Author: Scott Franklin Abernathy
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472022229
Size: 10.62 MB
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In School Choice and the Future of American Democracy, Scott Franklin Abernathy shows what is lost in the school choice debate. Abernathy looks at parents as citizens who exert power over the educational system through everything from their votes on school budgets to their membership on school boards. Challenging the assumption that public schools will improve when confronted with market-based reforms, Abernathy examines the possibility that public schools will become more disconnected and isolated as civic life is privatized. Scott Abernathy takes up big questions and provides answers grounded in the complex reality of policy and politics. School Choice and the Future of American Democracy is a book written for those who understand that the world does not fit the simple explanations too often put forward. --Clarence Stone, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland, and Research Professor, George Washington University Will school choice revive or eviscerate democratic processes and institutions? Will it narrow or exacerbate the range of educational inequities? This book takes several differently angled slices into these questions and draws intriguing answers. --Jeffrey R. Henig, Teachers College, Columbia University, and author of Rethinking School Choice: Limits of the Market Metaphor Through extensive research and refreshingly impartial analysis, Scott Abernathy probes how the use of market principles to reform public schools affects democratic citizenship. Treating citizens first and foremost as customers, he finds, threatens civic engagement and the well-being of schools, especially in the nation's neediest communities. This thoughtful and balanced appraisal is must-reading for those concerned about the future of American education and democracy. --Suzanne Mettler, Alumni Associate Professor, Syracuse University, and author of Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation Scott Franklin Abernathy is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota

Why We Still Need Public Schools

Author: Art Must
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 20.65 MB
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Two cornerstones of American democracy - separation of church and state, and public schools - are under increasing attack. As this collection of essays, written by some of America's leading educators, political figures, and advocates of religious liberty shows, universal public education and the separation of church and state are related. The eminent contributors to this book argue that we need to defend both institutions against increasing onslaughts by the Religious Right and other self-proclaimed arbiters of societal behavior, who seek to dictate public policy and who are labeling the public schools themselves as "immoral" institutions. At issue here is not whether public schools need to be improved. It is assumed that improvement is necessary. Part One of this volume testifies to the need for separation of church and state, explores the intent of our nation's founders on the subject, and deals with issues of separation within education. Several historical examples are given of battles between the upholders of strict separation and those who would ignore this constitutionally mandated principle. Part Two discusses the dangers of heeding the current call - under the banner of school "choice" - to ingore the principle of separation by allowing public tuition subsidies of private schools, the great majority of which are parochial. This drive to underwrite school tuition via vouchers, tax credits, or tuition tax deductions would create not only a dangerous entanglement of government with religion but could lead to the eventual demise of America's public schools. Contributors to this important collection are Robert Alley, Ann Bastian, Charles Bergstrom, Robert Bullough, Michael Casserly, Edd Doerr, Arnold Fege, Florence Fast, Donald Frey, Colin Greer, Herbert Grover, T. Jeremy Gunn, Bill Honig, Shirley McBay, Al Menendez, Michael Oleska, Sam Rabinove, William Rioux, William Schulz, Eugenie Scott, August Steinhilber, John Swomley, Oliver Thomas, Julie Underwood, and James Wood.

The Institutions Of American Democracy

Author: Geneva Overholser
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195172833
Size: 13.48 MB
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Examines the role of the press in a democracy, investigating alternative models used throughout world history to understand how the American press has evolved. This work also examines the history, identity, roles, and future of the American press, with an emphasis on topics of concern to both practitioners and consumers of American media.

School Boards In America

Author: G. Maeroff
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 023011749X
Size: 23.19 MB
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School boards spend almost $500 billion in taxpayer-provided funds, they employ more than 6 million people, offering pensions and lifetime health benefits that have helped build the obligation that has put state governments in fiscal peril. This book lifts the veil of obscurity from school boards and makes readers think about the issues.

Special Interest

Author: Terry M. Moe
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815721307
Size: 18.10 MB
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Why are America's public schools falling so short of the mark in educating the nation's children? Why are they organized in ineffective ways that fly in the face of common sense, to the point that it is virtually impossible to get even the worst teachers out of the classroom? And why, after more than a quarter century of costly education reform, have the schools proven so resistant to change and so difficult to improve? In this path-breaking book, Terry M. Moe demonstrates that the answers to these questions have a great deal to do with teachers unions—which are by far the most powerful forces in American education and use their power to promote their own special interests at the expense of what is best for kids. Despite their importance, the teachers unions have barely been studied. Special Interest fills that gap with an extraordinary analysis that is at once brilliant and kaleidoscopic—shedding new light on their historical rise to power, the organizational foundations of that power, the ways it is exercised in collective bargaining and politics, and its vast consequences for American education. The bottom line is simple but devastating: as long as the teachers unions remain powerful, the nation's schools will never be organized to provide kids with the most effective education possible. Moe sees light at the end of the tunnel, however, due to two major transformations. One is political, the other technological, and the combination is destined to weaken the unions considerably in the coming years—loosening their special-interest grip and opening up a new era in which America's schools can finally be organized in the best interests of children.

Democracy S Schools

Author: Johann N. Neem
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421423219
Size: 51.94 MB
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At a time when Americans are debating the future of public education, Johann N. Neem tells the inspiring story of how and why Americans built a robust public school system in the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. It’s a story in which ordinary people in towns across the country worked together to form districts and build schoolhouses and reformers sought to expand tax support and give every child a liberal education. By the time of the Civil War, most northern states had made common schools free, and many southern states were heading in the same direction. Americans made schooling a public good. Yet back then, like today, Americans disagreed over the kind of education needed, who should pay for it, and how schools should be governed. Neem explores the history and meaning of these disagreements. As Americans debated, teachers and students went about the daily work of teaching and learning. Neem takes us into the classrooms of yore so that we may experience public schools from the perspective of the people whose daily lives were most affected by them. Ultimately, Neem concludes, public schools encouraged a diverse people to see themselves as one nation. By studying the origins of America’s public schools, Neem urges us to focus on the defining features of democratic education: promoting equality, nurturing human beings, preparing citizens, and fostering civic solidarity.

Politics Markets And America S Schools

Author: John E. Chubb
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815717263
Size: 14.70 MB
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During the 1980s, widespread dissatisfaction with America's schools gave rise to a powerful movement for educational change, and the nation's political institutions responded with aggressive reforms. Chubb and Moe argue that these reforms are destined to fail because they do not get to the root of the problem. The fundamental causes of poor academic performance, they claim, are not to be found in the schools, but rather in the institutions of direct democratic control by which the schools have traditionally been governed. Reformers fail to solve the problem-when the institutions ARE the problem. The authors recommend a new system of public education, built around parent-student choice and school competition, that would promote school autonomy—thus providing a firm foundation for genuine school improvement and superior student achievement.