An Alternate Pragmatism for Going Public interrogates composition’s most prominent responses to contemporary K–16 education reform. By “going public,” teachers, scholars, and administrators rightfully reassert their expertise against corporate-political standards and assessments like the Common Core, Complete College America, and the Collegiate Learning Assessment. However, author Jim Webber shows that composition’s professional imperative for self-defense only partly fulfils the broader aims of “going public,” which include fostering public participation that can assess and potentially affirm the public good of professional judgment.
Drawing on the pragmatic/democratic tradition, Webber envisions an alternate rhetoric of professionalism, one that not only reasserts compositionists’ expertise but also expands opportunities for publics to authorize this expertise. While this public inquiry and engagement may not safeguard professional standing against neoliberal reform, it reorients composition toward an equally important goal, enabling publics to gauge the adequacy of the educational standardization so often advocated by contemporary reform.
An Alternate Pragmatism for Going Public shows how public engagement can serve composition’s efforts related to “going public.”
With American public education caught in a dual crisis—of both its performance and its legitimacy—educational governance has found itself increasingly on trial or under attack. This yearbook examines the sources of both crises and assesses the startling range of reform measures—many of which would, not so long ago, have seemed unthinkable—that are now being adopted. Authors include Jane Hannaway, Kenneth Strike, Tyll van Geel, Paul Hill, Allan Odden, Luvern Cunningham, Michael Kirst, James Cibulka, Jack Jennings, Bruce Cooper, Charles Taylor Kerchner, Frederick Hess, Joseph Cronin, Michael Usdan, Carolyn Herrington, and Frances Fowler.
In the aftermath of the genocide, the Rwandan government has attempted to use the education system in order to sustain peace and shape a new generation of Rwandans. Their hope is to create a generation focused on a unified and patriotic future rather than the ethnically divisive past. Yet, the government’s efforts to manipulate global models around citizenship, human rights, and reconciliation to serve its national goals have had mixed results, with new tensions emerging across social groups. Becoming Rwandan argues that although the Rwandan government utilizes global discourses in national policy documents, the way in which teachers and students engage with these global models distorts the intention of the government, resulting in unintended consequences and undermining a sustainable peace.
Test scores are the go-to metric of policy makers and anxious parents looking to place their children in the best schools. Yet standardized tests are a poor way to measure school performance. Using the diverse urban school district of Somerville MA as a case study, Jack Schneider’s team developed a new framework to assess educational effectiveness.
In the wake of the tragedy and destruction that came with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, public schools in New Orleans became part of an almost unthinkable experiment—eliminating the traditional public education system and completely replacing it with charter schools and school choice. Fifteen years later, the results have been remarkable, and the complex lessons learned should alter the way we think about American education.
New Orleans became the first US city ever to adopt a school system based on the principles of markets and economics. When the state took over all of the city’s public schools, it turned them over to non-profit charter school managers accountable under performance-based contracts. Students were no longer obligated to attend a specific school based upon their address, allowing families to act like consumers and choose schools in any neighborhood. The teacher union contract, tenure, and certification rules were eliminated, giving schools autonomy and control to hire and fire as they pleased.
In Charter School City, Douglas N. Harris provides an inside look at how and why these reform decisions were made and offers many surprising findings from one of the most extensive and rigorous evaluations of a district school reform ever conducted. Through close examination of the results, Harris finds that this unprecedented experiment was a noteworthy success on almost every measurable student outcome. But, as Harris shows, New Orleans was uniquely situated for these reforms to work well and that this market-based reform still required some specific and active roles for government. Letting free markets rule on their own without government involvement will not generate the kinds of changes their advocates suggest.
Combining the evidence from New Orleans with that from other cities, Harris draws out the broader lessons of this unprecedented reform effort. At a time when charter school debates are more based on ideology than data, this book is a powerful, evidence-based, and in-depth look at how we can rethink the roles for governments, markets, and nonprofit organizations in education to ensure that America’s schools fulfill their potential for all students.
Head Start. Bilingual education. Small class size. Social promotion. School funding. Virtually every school system in America has had to face these issues over the past thirty years. Advocates and dissenters have declared confidently that "the research" is on their side. But is it?
In the first book to bring together the recent history of educational policy and politics with the research evidence, Timothy Hacsi presents the illuminating, often-forgotten stories of these five controversial topics. He sifts through the complicated evaluation research literature and compares the policies that have been adopted to the best evidence about what actually works. He lucidly explains what the major studies show, what they don't, and how they have been misunderstood and misrepresented. Hacsi shows how rarely educational policies are based on solid research evidence, and how programs that sound plausible simply do not satisfy the complex needs of real children.
This book is about the stifling of dissent by an institution widely acclaimed as the bulwark of democracy in America. It may be no surprise to late twentieth-century cynics that institutions eventually destroy goals they were meant to achieve; but it is nevertheless a paradox that a society should repress intellectual freedom with the institution of education.
Education policy provides a fertile ground for analyzing the perennial tug-of-war between interest groups and public officials. Baumgartner considers thirty examples of French education policymaking during the early 1980s using a combination of documentary evidence, interviews with more than 100 politicians, civil servants, members of parliament, union and interest group leaders, and a thorough analysis of press coverage of education topics.
When Indian communities of Chiapas, Mexico, rose in armed rebellion in 1994, they spoke boldly of values, rights, identities, and expectations. Their language struck a chord for most Mexicans, for it was the cultural legacy of the Revolution of 1910. Of all the accomplishments of the Mexican Revolution, its cultural achievements were among its most important. The Revolution's cultural politics accounts in part for the relative political stability Mexico enjoyed from 1940 through 1993 and underlies much of the discourse accompanying the tumultuous transitions in that country today.
To show the significance of this facet of the Revolution, Mary Kay Vaughan analyzes the educational effort of the state during the 1930s, locating it within the broader sweep of Mexican history to illustrate how the government sought to nationalize and modernize rural society. Vaughan focuses on activities in rural schools, where central state policy makers, teachers, and people of the countryside came together to forge a national culture. She examines the cultural politics of schooling in four rural societies in the states of Sonora and Puebla that are representative of the peasant societies in revolutionary Mexico, and she shows how the state's program of socialist education became an arena for intense negotiations over power, culture, knowledge, rights, and gender practices. The real cultural revolution, Vaughan observes, lay not in the state's efforts at socialist education but in the dialogue between state and society that took place around this program. In the 1930s, rural communities carved out a space to preserve their local identities while the state succeeded in nurturing a multi-ethnic nationalism based on its promise of social justice and development.
Vaughan brings to her analysis a comparative understanding of peasant politics and educational history, extensive interviews, and a detailed examination of national, regional, and local archives to create an evocative and informative study of Mexican politics and society during modern Mexico's formative years. Cultural Politics in Revolution clearly shows that only by expanding the social arena in which culture was constructed and contested can we understand the Mexican Revolution's real achievements.
America’s education system faces a stark dilemma: it needs governmental oversight, rules and regulations, but it also needs to be adaptable enough to address student needs and the many different problems that can arise at any given school—something that large educational bureaucracies are notoriously bad at. Paul Hill and Ashley Jochim offer here a solution that is brilliant for its simplicity and distinctly American sensibility: our public education system needs a constitution. Adapting the tried-and-true framework of our forefathers to the specific governance of education, they show that the answer has been part of our political DNA all along.
Most reformers focus on who should control education, but Hill and Jochim show that who governs is less important than determining what powers they have. They propose a Civic Education Council—a democratic body subject to checks and balances that would define the boundaries of its purview as well as each school’s particular freedoms. They show how such a system would prevent regulations meant to satisfy special interests and shift the focus to the real task at hand: improving school performance. Laying out the implications of such a system for parents, students, teachers, unions, state and federal governments, and courts, they offer a vision of educational governance that stays true to—and draws on the strengths of—one of the greatest democratic tools we have ever created.
In working to build a sense of nationhood, Ghana has focused on many social engineering projects, the most meaningful and fascinating of which has been the state's effort to create a national culture through its schools. As Cati Coe reveals in Dilemmas of Culture in African Schools, this effort has created an unusual paradox: while Ghana encourages its educators to teach about local cultural traditions, those traditions are transformed as they are taught in school classrooms. The state version of culture now taught by educators has become objectified and nationalized—vastly different from local traditions.
Coe identifies the state's limitations in teaching cultural knowledge and discusses how Ghanaians negotiate the tensions raised by the competing visions of modernity that nationalism and Christianity have created. She reveals how cultural curricula affect authority relations in local social organizations—between teachers and students, between Christians and national elite, and between children and elders—and raises several questions about educational processes, state-society relations, the production of knowledge, and the making of Ghana's citizenry.
This is the first biography in English of an uncommon American, Dr. David Murray, a professor of mathematics at Rutgers College, who was appointed by the Japanese government as Superintendent of Education in the Empire of Japan in 1873. The founding of the Gakusei—the first public school system launched in Japan—marks the beginning of modern education in Japan, accommodating all children of elementary school age. Murray’s unwavering commitment to its success renders him an educational pioneer in Japan in the modern world.
Benjamin Duke has compiled this comprehensive biography of David Murray to showcase Murray’s work, both in assisting around 100 samurai students in their studies at Rutgers, and in his unprecedented role in early Japanese-American relations. This fascinating story uncovers a little-known link between Rutgers University and Japan, and it is the only book to conclude that Rutgers made a greater contribution to the development of modern education in the early Meiji Era than any other non-Japanese college or university in the world.
In the United States, preschool education is characterized by the dominance of a variegated private sector and patchy, uncoordinated oversight of the public sector. Tracing the history of the American debate over preschool education, Andrew Karch argues that the current state of decentralization and fragmentation is the consequence of a chain of reactions and counterreactions to policy decisions dating from the late 1960s and early 1970s, when preschool advocates did not achieve their vision for a comprehensive national program but did manage to foster initiatives at both the state and national levels. Over time, beneficiaries of these initiatives and officials with jurisdiction over preschool education have become ardent defenders of the status quo. Today, advocates of greater government involvement must take on a diverse and entrenched set of constituencies resistant to policy change.
In his close analysis of the politics of preschool education, Karch demonstrates how to apply the concepts of policy feedback, critical junctures, and venue shopping to the study of social policy.
India is the second most populous country in the world and also one of the poorest. From the late 1940s to 1980, India's per capita income grew at an average annual rate of only two percent. Expansionist economic reforms during the 1980s boosted economic growth but also unfortunately resulted in high inflation and a balance of payments crisis. As a consequence, in 1991 the government announced sweeping new changes in economic policies.
Economic Policy Reforms and the Indian Economy evaluates the effects of those changes and identifies areas of the Indian economy still in urgent need of reform. After an overview of Indian economic policies and development since independence, papers focus on the country's fiscal situation, the environment for private economic activity, education, the reservation of certain activities for small-scale industry, and determinants of differentials in rates of growth across the different Indian states. Contributors include respected academic specialists on India and policy reform, high-level Indian administrators, and present and past policymakers.
The movement to privatize K–12 education is stronger than ever. Samuel Abrams examines the rise of market forces in public education and reveals how a commercial mindset that sidesteps fundamental challenges has taken over. Nevertheless, public schools should adopt lessons from the business world, such as raising teacher salaries to attract talent.
Almost any economist will agree that education plays a key role in determining a country’s economic growth and standard of living, but what we know about education policy in developing countries is remarkably incomplete and scattered over decades and across publications. Education Policy in Developing Countries rights this wrong, taking stock of twenty years of research to assess what we actually know—and what we still need to learn—about effective education policy in the places that need it the most.
Surveying many aspects of education—from administrative structures to the availability of health care to parent and student incentives—the contributors synthesize an impressive diversity of data, paying special attention to the gross imbalances in educational achievement that still exist between developed and developing countries. They draw out clear implications for governmental policy at a variety of levels, conscious of economic realities such as budget constraints, and point to crucial areas where future research is needed. Offering a wealth of insights into one of the best investments a nation can make, Education Policy in Developing Countries is an essential contribution to this most urgent field.
We spend a lot of time arguing about how schools might be improved. But we rarely take a step back to ask what we as a society should be looking for from education—what exactly should those who make decisions be trying to achieve?
In Educational Goods, two philosophers and two social scientists address this very question. They begin by broadening the language for talking about educational policy: “educational goods” are the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that children develop for their own benefit and that of others; “childhood goods” are the valuable experiences and freedoms that make childhood a distinct phase of life. Balancing those, and understanding that not all of them can be measured through traditional methods, is a key first step. From there, they show how to think clearly about how those goods are distributed and propose a method for combining values and evidence to reach decisions. They conclude by showing the method in action, offering detailed accounts of how it might be applied in school finance, accountability, and choice. The result is a reimagining of our decision making about schools, one that will sharpen our thinking on familiar debates and push us toward better outcomes.
In recent years, federal mandates in education have become the subject of increasing debate. Adam R. Nelson's The Elusive Ideal—a postwar history of federal involvement in the Boston public schools—provides lessons from the past that shed light on the continuing struggles of urban public schools today. This far-reaching analysis examines the persistent failure of educational policy at local, state, and federal levels to equalize educational opportunity for all. Exploring deep-seated tensions between the educational ideals of integration, inclusion, and academic achievement over time, Nelson considers the development and implementation of policies targeted at diverse groups of urban students, including policies related to racial desegregation, bilingual education, special education, school funding, and standardized testing.
An ambitious study that spans more than thirty years and covers all facets of educational policy, from legal battles to tax strategies, The Elusive Ideal provides a model from which future inquiries will proceed. A probing and provocative work of urban history with deep relevance for urban public schools today, Nelson's book reveals why equal educational opportunity remains such an elusive ideal.
This study of educational policy from Lyndon Johnson through Bill Clinton focuses on three specific issues--public school aid, non-public (especially Catholic) school aid, and school desegregation--that speak to the proper role of the federal government in education as well as to how education issues embody larger questions of opportunity, exclusion, and equality in American society. Lawrence J. McAndrews traces the evolution of policy as each president developed (or avoided developing) a stance toward these issues and discusses the repercussions and implications of policy decisions for the educational community over nearly four decades.
Christine Ruane examines the issues of gender and class in the teaching profession of late imperial Russia, at a time when the vocation was becoming increasingly feminized in a zealously patriarchal society. Teaching was the first profession open to women in the 1870s, and by the end of the century almost half of all Russian teachers were female. Yet the notion that mothers had a natural affinity for teaching was paradoxically matched by formal and informal bans against married women in the classroom. Ruane reveals not only the patriarchal rationale but also how women teachers viewed their public roles and worked to reverse the marriage ban.
Ruane's research and insightful analysis broadens our knowledge of an emerging professional class, especially newly educated and emancipated women, during Russia's transition to a more modern society.
Parents in China greatly value higher education for their children, but the intensity and effects of their desire to achieve this goal have largely gone unexamined—until now. Governing Educational Desire explores the cultural, political, and economic origins of Chinese desire for a college education as well as its vast consequences, which include household and national economic priorities, birthrates, ethnic relations, and patterns of governance.
Where does this desire come from? Andrew B. Kipnis approaches this question in four different ways. First, he investigates the role of local context by focusing on family and community dynamics in one Chinese county, Zouping. Then, he widens his scope to examine the provincial and national governmental policies that affect educational desire. Next, he explores how contemporary governing practices were shaped by the Confucian examination system, uncovering the historical forces at work in the present. Finally, he looks for the universal in the local, considering the ways aspects of educational desire in Zouping spread throughout China and beyond. In doing so, Kipnis provides not only an illuminating analysis of education in China but also a thought-provoking reflection on what educational desire can tell us about the relationship between culture and government.
Higher Education and Democracy is a collection of essays written over the last ten years on how civic engagement in higher education works to achieve what authors John Saltmarsh and Edward Zlotkowsi consider to be the academic and civic purposes of higher education. These include creating new modes of teaching and learning, fostering participation in American democracy, the development and respect for community and civic institutions, and encouraging the constant renewal all of these dimensions of American life.
Organized chronologically, the twenty-two essays in this volume provide "signposts" along the road in the journey of fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. For the authors, service-learning is positioned as centrally important to the primary academic systems and structures of higher education, departments, disciplines, curriculum, and programs that are central to the faculty domain. Progressing from the general and the contextual to specific practices embodied in ever larger academic units, the authors conclude with observations on the future of the civic engagement movement.
The History of Modern Japanese Education is the first account in English of the construction of a national school system in Japan, as outlined in the 1872 document, the Gakusei. Divided into three parts tracing decades of change, the book begins by exploring the feudal background for the Gakusei during the Tokugawa era which produced the initial leaders of modern Japan. Next, Benjamin Duke traces the Ministry of Education's investigations of the 1870s to determine the best western model for Japan, including the decision to adopt American teaching methods. He then goes on to cover the eventual "reverse course" sparked by the Imperial Household protest that the western model overshadowed cherished Japanese traditions. Ultimately, the 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education integrated Confucian teachings of loyalty and filial piety with Imperial ideology, laying the moral basis for a western-style academic curriculum in the nation's schools.
In Homeschooling: The History and Philosophy of a Controversial Practice, James G. Dwyer and Shawn F. Peters examine homeschooling’s history, its methods, and the fundamental questions at the root of the heated debate over whether and how the state should oversee and regulate it. The authors trace the evolution of homeschooling and the law relating to it from before America’s founding to the present day. In the process they analyze the many arguments made for and against it, and set them in the context of larger questions about school and education. They then tackle the question of regulation, and they do so within a rigorous moral framework, one that is constructed from a clear-eyed assessment of what rights and duties children, parents, and the state each possess. Viewing the question through that lens allows Dwyer and Peters to even-handedly evaluate the competing arguments and ultimately generate policy prescriptions. Homeschooling is the definitive study of a vexed question, one that ultimately affects all citizens, regardless of their educational background.
The recent financial crisis had a profound effect on both public and private universities, which faced shrinking endowments, declining charitable contributions, and reductions in government support. Universities responded to these stresses in different ways. This volume presents new evidence on the nature of these responses, and on how the incentives and constraints facing different institutions affected their behavior.
The studies in this volume explore how various practices at institutions of higher education, such as the drawdown of endowment resources, the awarding of financial aid, and spending on research, responded to the financial crisis. The studies examine universities as economic organizations that operate in a complex institutional and financial environment. The authors examine the role of endowments in university finances and the interaction of spending policies, asset allocation strategies, and investment opportunities. They demonstrate that universities’ behavior can be modeled using economic principles.
“I am my language,” says the poet Gloria Anzaldúa, because language is at the heart of who we are. But what happens when a person has more than one language? Is there an overlay of language on identity, and do we shift identities as we shift languages? More important, what identities do children construct for themselves when they use different languages in particular ways?
In this book, Norma González uses language as a window on the multiple levels of identity construction in children—as well as on the complexities of life in the borderlands—to explore language practices and discourse patterns of Mexican-origin mothers and the language socialization of their children. She shows how the unique discourses that result from the interplay of two cultures shape perceptions of self and community, and how they influence the ways in which children learn and families engage with their children’s schools.
González demonstrates that the physical presence of the border profoundly affects the practices and ideologies of Mexican-origin women and children. She then argues that language and cultural background should be used as a basis for building academic competencies, and she demonstrates why the evocative/emotive dimension of language should play a major part in studies of discourse, language socialization, and language ideology.
Drawing on women’s own narratives of their experiences as both mothers and borderland residents, I Am My Language is firmly rooted in the words of common people in their everyday lives. It combines personal odyssey with cutting-edge ethnographic research, allowing us to hear voices that have been muted in the academic and public policy discussions of “what it means to be Latina/o” and showing us new ways to connect language to complex issues of education, political economy, and social identity.
How do we ensure that waste and inefficiency do not undermine the mission of publicly funded schools? Derek Neal writes that economists must analyze education policy in the same way they analyze other procurement problems. Insights from research on incentives and contracts in the private sector point to new approaches that could induce publicly funded educators to provide excellent education, even though taxpayers and parents cannot monitor what happens in the classroom.
Information, Incentives, and Education Policy introduces readers to what economists know—and do not know—about the logjams created by misinformation and disincentives in education. Examining a range of policy agendas, from assessment-based accountability and centralized school assignments to charter schools and voucher systems, Neal demonstrates where these programs have been successful, where they have failed, and why. The details clearly matter: there is no quick-and-easy fix for education policy. By combining elements from various approaches, economists can help policy makers design optimal reforms.
Information, Incentives, and Education Policy is organized to show readers how standard tools from economics research on information and incentives speak directly to some of the most crucial issues in education today. In addition to providing an overview of the pluses and minuses of particular programs, each chapter includes a series of exercises that allow students of economics to work through the mathematics for themselves or with an instructor’s assistance. For those who wish to master the models and tools that economists of education should use in their work, there is no better resource available.
Deepening disaffection with conventional public schools has inspired flight to private schools, home schooling, and new alternatives, such as charter schools. Barely a decade old, the charter school movement has attracted a colorful band of supporters, from presidential candidates, to ethnic activists, to the religious Right. At present there are about 1,700 charter schools, with total enrollment estimated to reach one million early in the century. Yet, until now, little has been known about the inner workings of these small, inventive schools that rely on public money but are largely independent of local school boards.
Inside Charter Schools takes readers into six strikingly different schools, from an evangelical home-schooling charter in California to a back-to-basics charter in a black neighborhood in Lansing, Michigan. With a keen eye for human aspirations and dilemmas, the authors provide incisive analysis of the challenges and problems facing this young movement.
Do charter schools really spur innovation, or do they simply exacerbate tribal forms of American pluralism? Inside Charter Schools provides shrewd and illuminating studies of the struggles and achievements of these new schools, and offers practical lessons for educators, scholars, policymakers, and parents.
Margret A. Winzer and Kas Mazurek combine two disciplines in this collection, comparative and international studies and special education, to explore the ways that diverse nations respond to persons who are exceptional. Their learned contributors also explore the changing parameters of special education, employing comparative studies theories and methods to document, explore, discuss, and analyze social and educational inclusion.
International Practices in Special Education: Debates and Challenges travels the world to examine the progress of special education, from inclusive reform in Canada, “education for all” in the United Kingdom, the reform-restructure-renew movement in Poland to the journey from awareness to action in the United States. Chapters describe the challenges and opportunities in the United Arab Emirates; conflicts regarding educational welfare in South Korea; new perspectives on special needs and inclusive education in Japan; facing inclusion in India; making the invisibles visible in Pakistan; problems and prospects in Nigeria; special needs education in Ethiopia; and the developments, prospects, and demands of special education in a rising China. “One step forward, two steps backward” describes Israel’s special education issues. Germany’s special education receives an international perspective; and education policy and pedagogy for students with disabilities in Australia, completes the analyses in this remarkable, comprehensive work of scholarship.
In this book, Steven R. Reed argues that studying only central administrations and national-level politics yields a picture of greater rigidity than actually exists in modern governments. There is not a simple dichotomy between centralization and local autonomy: many different relationships between levels of government are possible. Reed illustrates his point in nine detailed case studies in which he analyzes the governments of three of Japan's forty-seven prefectures. Reed interviews over one-hundred officials to reveal the innovative policymaking that exists at the local level.
Reed compares how each prefecture addresses pollution control, public housing, and access to the best high school education, and concludes that despite some inefficiency in the system, the results are usually very good. Japan's prefectures are important sources of governmental flexibility and responsiveness.
How to handle affirmative action is one of the most intractable policy problems of our era, touching on controversial issues such as race-consciousness and social justice. Much has been written both for and against affirmative action policies—especially within the realm of educational opportunity. In this book, philosopher Michele S. Moses offers a crucial new pathway for thinking about the debate surrounding educational affirmative action, one that holds up the debate itself as an important emblem of the democratic process.
Central to Moses’s analysis is the argument that we need to understand disagreements about affirmative action as inherently moral, products of conflicts between deeply held beliefs that shape differing opinions on what justice requires of education policy. As she shows, differing opinions on affirmative action result from different conceptual values, for instance, between being treated equally and being treated as an equal or between seeing race-consciousness as a pernicious political force or as a necessary variable in political equality. As Moses shows, although moral disagreements about race-conscious policies and similar issues are often seen as symptoms of dysfunctional politics, they in fact create rich opportunities for discussions about diversity that nourish democratic thought and life.
A little-discussed aspect of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is a mandate that requires failing schools to hire after-school tutoring companies—the largest of which are private, for-profit corporations—and to pay them with federal funds. Making Failure Pay takes a hard look at the implications of this new blurring of the boundaries between government, schools, and commerce in New York City, the country’s largest school district.
As Jill P. Koyama explains in this revelatory book, NCLB—a federally legislated, state-regulated, district-administered, and school-applied policy—explicitly legitimizes giving private organizations significant roles in public education. Based on her three years of ethnographic fieldwork, Koyama finds that the results are political, problematic, and highly profitable. Bringing to light these unproven, unregulated private companies’ almost invisible partnership with the government, Making Failure Pay lays bare the unintended consequences of federal efforts to eliminate school failure—not the least of which is more failure.
The integration of second-generation immigrants has proved to be a major challenge for Europe in recent years. Though these people are born in their host nations, they often experience worse social and economic outcomes than other citizens. This volume focuses on one particular, important challenge: the less successful educational outcomes of second-generation migrants. Looking at data from seventeen European nations, Camilla Borgna shows that migrant penalties in educational achievement exist in each one-but that, unexpectedly, the penalties tend to be greater in countries in which socio-economic inequalities in education are generally more modest, a finding that should prompt reconsideration of a number of policy approaches.
German society underwent greater change under the four years of military occupation than it had under Hitler and the Nazis. The issue of reeducation lay at the heart of America's occupation policies. Encompassing denazification, restructuring of the school system, university reform, and cultural exchange, reeducation began as an idealistic (and naive) attempt to democratize Germany by making her over in the American image.
For this meticulously researched study, James F. Tent has drawn on a wealth of recently declassified documents and on numerous personal interviews with veterans of the Occupation. He brings to life not only the dilemmas American officials faced in balancing the need for a political purge against the need to rehabilitate a disrupted society but also the paradoxes involved in a democracy's attempt to impose its ideals on another people. His book chronicles the dedicated work of many Americans; it also illuminates America's Occupation experience as a whole.
Pointing to the disparities between wealthy and impoverished school districts in areas where revenue depends primarily upon local taxes, reformers repeatedly call for the centralization of school funding. Their proposals meet resistance from citizens, elected officials, and school administrators who fear the loss of local autonomy.
Bryan Shelly finds, however, that local autonomy has already been compromised by federal and state governments, which exercise a tremendous amount of control over public education despite their small contribution to a school system's funding. This disproportionate relationship between funding and control allows state and federal officials to pass education policy yet excuses them from supplying adequate funding for new programs. The resulting unfunded and underfunded mandates and regulations, Shelly insists, are the true cause of the loss of community control over public education.
Shelly outlines the effects of the most infamous of underfunded federal mandates, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), and explores why schools implemented it despite its unpopularity and out-of-pocket costs. Shelly's findings hold significant implications for school finance reform, NCLB, and the future of intergovernmental relations.
An era of sweeping cultural change in America, the postwar years saw the rise of beatniks and hippies, the birth of feminism, and the release of the first video game. It was also the era of new math. Introduced to US schools in the late 1950s and 1960s, the new math was a curricular answer to Cold War fears of American intellectual inadequacy. In the age of Sputnik and increasingly sophisticated technological systems and machines, math class came to be viewed as a crucial component of the education of intelligent, virtuous citizens who would be able to compete on a global scale.
In this history, Christopher J. Phillips examines the rise and fall of the new math as a marker of the period’s political and social ferment. Neither the new math curriculum designers nor its diverse legions of supporters concentrated on whether the new math would improve students’ calculation ability. Rather, they felt the new math would train children to think in the right way, instilling in students a set of mental habits that might better prepare them to be citizens of modern society—a world of complex challenges, rapid technological change, and unforeseeable futures. While Phillips grounds his argument in shifting perceptions of intellectual discipline and the underlying nature of mathematical knowledge, he also touches on long-standing debates over the place and relevance of mathematics in liberal education. And in so doing, he explores the essence of what it means to be an intelligent American—by the numbers.
Winner of the 2008 NJ Studies Academic Alliance author's award for an outstanding non-fiction work about New Jersey
In 1981, when Raymond Abbott was a twelve-year-old sixth-grader in Camden, New Jersey, poor city school districts like his spent 25 percent less per student than the state’s wealthy suburbs did. That year, Abbott became the lead plaintiff in a landmark class-action lawsuit demanding that the state provide equal funding for rich and poor schools. Over the next twenty-five years, as the non-profit law firm representing the plaintiffs won ruling after ruling from the New Jersey Supreme Court, Abbott dropped out of school, fought a cocaine addiction, and spent time in prison before turning his life around.
Raymond Abbott’s is just one of the many human stories that have too often been forgotten in the policy battles New Jersey has waged for two generations over equal funding for rich and poor schools. Other People’s Children, the first book to tell the story of this decades-long school funding battle, interweaves the public story—an account of legal and political wrangling over laws and money—with the private stories of the inner-city children who were named plaintiffs in the state’s two school funding lawsuits, Robinson v. Cahill and Abbott v. Burke. Although these cases have shaped New Jersey’s fiscal and political landscape since the 1970s, most recently in legislative arguments over tax reform, the debate has often been too abstract and technical for most citizens to understand. Written in an accessible style and based on dozens of interviews with lawyers, politicians, and the plaintiffs themselves, Other People’s Children crystallizes the arguments and clarifies the issues for general readers.
Beyond its implications for New Jersey, this book is an important contribution to the conversations taking place in all states about the nation’s responsibility for its poor, and the role of public schools in providing equal opportunities and promising upward mobility for hard-working citizens, regardless of race or class.
Rapid and controversial, the spread of school choice initiatives across the United States has radically changed political debate about public education. In this book, Michael Mintrom explores the complex world of open-enrollment policies, charter schools and voucher plans to reveal how and why school choice has become a major issue, and he draws important conclusions about how innovative individuals can spur significant change in the policy arena.
Policy entrepreneurs—individuals who take up a cause and make it part of the political agenda—have largely remained background figures without clear definition in the policymaking literature. This book is the first comprehensive and systematic treatment of the concept of policy entrepreneurship, providing an important foundation for explaining how policy proposals are initiated, considered, and adopted.
Mintrom uses the emergence of school choice in state politics to examine how policy change originates. He shows how policy entrepreneurs have been instrumental in placing school choice onto state legislative agendas, despite the lack of compelling evidence about its merits, and how they use social networks, reframe policy issues, and attempt to shift the sites of policy debate.
Blending innovative theory with both qualitative and quantitative investigation, Mintrom explains how energetic individuals made school choice a real choice. In doing so, he changes our broader understanding of how policy is formed.
During the 1970s, a nationwide school finance reform movement—fueled by litigation challenging the constitutionality of state education funding laws—brought significant changes to the way many states finance their public elementary and secondary school systems. School finance reform poses difficult philosophical questions: what is the meaning of equality in educational opportunity and of equity in the distribution of tax burdens? But it also involves enormous financial complexity (for example, dividing resources among competing special programs) and political risk (such as balancing local control with the need for statewide parity). For those states (like New York) that were slow to make changes a new decade has brought new constraints and complications. Sluggish economic growth, taxpayer revolts, reductions in federal aid, all affect education revenues. And the current concern with educational excellence may obscure the needs of the poor and educationally disadvantaged. This book will provide New York's policy makers and other concerned specialists with a better understanding of the political, economic, and equity issues underlying the school finance reform debate. It details existing inequities, evaluates current financing formulas, and presents options for change. Most important, for all those concerned with education and public policy in New York and elsewhere, it offers a masterful assessment of the trade-offs involved in developing reform programs that balance the conflicting demands of resource equalization, political feasibility, and fiscal responsibility. "Synthesizes the political and fiscal research [on school finance reform] and applies it to the New York Context....A blueprint for how to redesign state school finance....A fine book." —Public Administration Review "This is a book that lucidly discusses the issues in school finance and provides valuable reference material." —American Political Science Review
In a society increasingly dominated by zero-tolerance thinking, Punishing Schools argues that our educational system has become both the subject of legislative punishment and an instrument for the punishment of children. William Lyons and Julie Drew analyze the connections between state sanctions against our schools (the diversion of funding to charter schools, imposition of unfunded mandates, and enforcement of dubious forms of teacher accountability) and the schools' own infliction of punitive measures on their students-a vicious cycle that creates fear and encourages the development of passive and dependent citizens.
"Public schools in the United States are no longer viewed as a public good. On the contrary, they are increasingly modeled after prisons, and students similarly have come to mirror the suspicions and fears attributed to prisoners. Punishing Schools is one of the most insightful, thoughtful, and liberating books I have read on what it means to understand, critically engage, and transform the present status and state of schools from objects of fear and disdain to institutions that value young people, teachers, and administrators as part of a broader vision of social justice, freedom, and equality. William Lyons and Julie Drew have done their homework and provide all the necessary elements for understanding and defending schools as public spheres that are foundational to a democracy. This book should be required reading for every student, teacher, parent, and concerned citizen in the United States. In the end, this book is not just about saving schools, it is also about saving democracy and offering young people a future that matters."
--Henry Giroux, McMaster University
"This is an important book . . . a distinctive contribution. The authors move back and forth convincingly between the micropolitics of school discipline and the 'politics writ large' of the liberal left and the utopian right. The result is an expansive, idealistic, and well-grounded book in the spirit of the very best of social control literature."
--Stuart Scheingold, Professor Emeritus, Political Science, University of Washington
William Lyons is Director of Center for Conflict Management and Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Akron.
Julie Drew is Associate Professor of English, University of Akron.
Three trailblazers for education reform in the Sunbelt South.
In southern politics, 1970 marked a watershed. A group of southern governors entered office that year and changed both the way the nation looked at the South and the way the constituents of those states viewed themselves. Reubin Askew in Florida, John West in South Carolina, Jimmy Carter in Georgia, and Albert Brewer in Alabama all represented a new breed of progressive moderate politician that helped demolish Jim Crow segregation and the dual economies, societies, and educational systems notorious to the Sunbelt South. Historian Gordon Harvey explores the political lives and legacies of three of these governors, examining the conditions that led to such a radical change in political leadership, the effects their legislative agendas had on the identity of their states, and the aftermath of their terms in elected office.
A common thread in each governor's agenda was educational reform. Albert Brewer's short term as Alabama governor resulted in a sweeping education package that still stands as the most progressive the state has seen. Reubin Askew, far more outspoken than Brewer, won the Florida gubernatorial election through a campaign that openly promoted desegregation, busing, and tax reform as a means of equal school funding. John West's commitment to a policy of inclusion helped allay fears of both black and white parents and made South Carolina's one of the smoothest transitions to integrated schools.
As members of the first generation of New South governors, Brewer, Askew, and West played the role of trailblazers. Their successful assaults on economic and racial injustice in their states were certainly aided by such landmark events as Brown v. Board of Education, the civil rights movement, and the expansion of voting rights-all of which sounded the death knell for the traditional one-party segregated South. But in this critical detailing of their work for justice, we learn how these reform-minded men made education central to their gubernatorial terms and, in doing so, helped redefine the very character of the place they called home.
Language has long functioned as a signifier of power in the United States. In Texas, as elsewhere in the Southwest, ethnic Mexicans’ relationship to education—including their enrollment in the Spanish-language community schools called escuelitas—served as a vehicle to negotiate that power. Situating the history of escuelitas within the contexts of modernization, progressivism, public education, the Mexican Revolution, and immigration, Reading, Writing, and Revolution traces how the proliferation and decline of these community schools helped shape Mexican American identity. Philis M. Barragán Goetz argues that the history of escuelitas is not only a story of resistance in the face of Anglo hegemony but also a complex and nuanced chronicle of ethnic Mexican cultural negotiation. She shows how escuelitas emerged and thrived to meet a diverse set of unfulfilled needs, then dwindled as later generations of Mexican Americans campaigned for educational integration. Drawing on extensive archival, genealogical, and oral history research, Barragán Goetz unravels a forgotten narrative at the crossroads of language and education as well as race and identity.
Phil Cohen is a founding scholar in the study of British youth subculture and a key figure at the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. In Rethinking the Youth Question, essays representing twenty years of Cohen’s work—beginning in 1969—are presented together for the first time. Some of these essays have not previously been published, others have been difficult to locate, and together they provide a precise conceptual history of the development of British cultural studies and a thoughtful contemplation of the significance of the entire cultural studies enterprise. With a preface that contextualizes Cohen’s essays for an American audience, Rethinking the Youth Question reflects his tenure as a community organizer and activist in inner-city London and includes ethnographic, theoretical, and historical studies of Britain’s urban youth. Cohen offers an enlightening analysis of British educational policy, develops historical and structural accounts of generational and gendered divisions of labor, and discusses such topics as racism and the rise of the New Right. Also exploring broader questions such as the theoretical and sociological significance of youth as a category, this book is a model of useful methodology and engaged cultural reflection. With empirical research that combines biographical, autobiographical, critical, cultural, and social elements, Rethinking the Youth Question is sure to impact debates surrounding the pedagogical value of cultural studies and the nature and future of this field in both the United States and Britain. This collection will be informative reading for students and scholars of cultural studies, sociologists, and others interested in the category of youth.
Over the past thirty years, the government has spent approximately $1.5 billion on the Regional Educational Laboratories and $1.1 billion on the Research and Development Centers. After this large investment, these two research facilities still have been unable to find the best way to effectively help at-risk children thrive in school. Many people are slowly realizing that, unfortunately, our sizable investment in educational research and development has not been sufficient to produce the kind of information that policymakers and educators must have if they hope to meet the needs of these at-risk children.
Maris A. Vinovskis uses the research he has done over the past decade, along with the findings of other policymakers, to argue that the American public school system needs to gain functional reform if research institutions are to conduct more effective studies for policymakers. He examines here both recent reform policies as well as the history behind educational reform.
Vinovskis's vigorous investigation of the process of educational research and development in the United States will be of particular interest to individuals whose careers depend on continued federal funding. This book will also appeal to educators, policymakers, and public policy analysts and will be of unequaled value in understanding the formulation of new educational policies in the twenty-first century.
Maris A. Vinovskis is active on Capitol Hill and lectures throughout the country at such prestigious institutions as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Brookings Institution, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is Professor of History, University of Michigan.
School Choice in Chile examines the dramatic educational decentralization and privatization of schools in Chile. In the early 1980s, the Pinochet regime decentralized schooling, providing vouchers for parental choice of public or private schools. At the same time, the government supposedly gave the administration of schools to local municipalities. Although the reform has merit and is defended by some as a major achievement, Varun Gauri shows the many ways in which it has not worked.
In this process of reform, neither the administration of schools nor school content was really decentralized from the Ministry of Education, nor did students gain equality of educationaly opportunity or better schooling outcomes. These failures of the post-welfare model are due partly to Chile’s political and economic problems of the era, but are also evidence of flaws at its core, at least where education is concerned.
The study presents data for an original survey of 726 households in Greater Santiago that finds more evidence for social and economic stratification among Chilean schools than past analyses have shown. Gauri finds that information about school quality, a sense of entitlement, and the use of specific search techniques increase the odds that a child attends a school with high achievement scores. Gauri offers some insights as he supports the criticism that market forces might exacerbate inequalities without necessarily generating clear gains in academic achievement. In the new system, many parents continued to be ill-informed about differences among schools, nonacademic factors played a major role in school selection, schools appeared to use entrance exams to practice a form of “creaming,” and parental wealth was a strong determinant of whether families were willing and able to take full advantage of choice programs.
These are extremely timely findings, especially in light of the current debate over school choice and vouchers in the United States. Because the United States has little experience in school choice, School Choice in Chile presents a convincing and necessary report on an almost twenty-year-old experience with information from which all nations can learn. Parents, policy analysts in education and social welfare, as well as those studying political science, public policy, and education, will find it extremely useful.
“Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife,” wrote John Dewey in his classic work The School and Society. In School, Society, and State, Tracy Steffes places that idea at the center of her exploration of the connections between public school reform in the early twentieth century and American political development from 1890 to 1940.
American public schooling, Steffes shows, was not merely another reform project of the Progressive Era, but a central one. She addresses why Americans invested in public education and explains how an array of reformers subtly transformed schooling into a tool of social governance to address the consequences of industrialization and urbanization. By extending the reach of schools, broadening their mandate, and expanding their authority over the well-being of children, the state assumed a defining role in the education—and in the lives—of American families.
In School, Society, and State, Steffes returns the state to the study of the history of education and brings the schools back into our discussion of state power during a pivotal moment in American political development.
For most of the history of the United States, citizens and elected officials alike considered elementary and secondary education to be the quintessential state and local function. Only in the past four decades, from Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to George W. Bush's ambitious but controversial "No Child Left Behind" initiative, has Washington's influence over America's schools increased significantly. Today, many Americans have become more convinced that the U.S. government and the states should play an increasingly important role in the nation's schools.
In School's In, Paul Manna looks over forty years of national education policymaking and asserts that although Washington's influence over American schools has indeed increased, we should neither overestimate the expansion of federal power nor underestimate the resiliency and continuing influence of the states. States are developing comprehensive—often innovative—education policies, and a wide array of educational issues have appeared on the political agenda at the state and national levels.
Manna believes that this overlap is no accident. At the core of his argument is the idea of "borrowing strength," a process by which policy entrepreneurs at one level of government attempt to push their agendas by leveraging the capabilities possessed by other governments in the federal system. Our nation's education agenda, he says, has taken shape through the interaction of policy makers at national and state levels who borrow strength from each other to develop and enact educational reforms.
Based on analyses of public laws, presidential speeches, congressional testimony, public opinion, political advertising, and personal interviews, School's In draws on concepts of federalism and agenda-setting to offer an original view of the growing federal role in education policy. It provides insights not only about how education agendas have changed and will likely unfold in the future, but also about the very nature of federalism in the United States.
The Social Benefits of Education
Jere R. Behrman and Nevzer Stacey, Editors University of Michigan Press, 1997 Library of Congress LC191.4.S63 1997 | Dewey Decimal 370.190973
For decades, the primary argument in justifying education has been based on its direct economic effects. Yet education also provides "social benefits" for individuals and society at large, including a better way of taking care of ourselves, and consequently creating a better society to live in. Though it is difficult to quantify these social benefits, a more systematic analysis would improve our understanding of the full effects of education and provide a basis for considering related policies. The Office of Research of the United States Department of Education commissioned a series of papers on measuring these effects of education.
Those papers, revised and updated, are collected here. Kenneth J. Arrow provides perspective on education and preference formation, and Jere R. Behrman considers general conceptual and measurement issues in assessing the social benefits of education and policies related to education. These issues are taken up by experts in four fields--health, parenting, the environment, and crime. Themes addressed include measurement issues regarding what we mean by education and its benefits; basic analytical issues in assessing the impact of education on these social benefits using behavioral data; and whether the social benefits of education justify public policy interventions.
Jere R. Behrman is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvania. Nevzer G. Stacey is Senior Research Analyst, Office of Educational Research, U.S. Department of Education.
What happens to federal and state policies as they move from legislative chambers to individual districts, schools, and, ultimately, classrooms? Although policy implementation is generally seen as an administrative problem, James Spillane reminds us that it is also a psychological problem.
After intensively studying several school districts' responses to new statewide science and math teaching policies in the early 1990s, Spillane argues that administrators and teachers are inclined to assimilate new policies into current practices. As new programs are communicated through administrative levels, the understanding of them becomes increasingly distorted, no matter how sincerely the new ideas are endorsed. Such patterns of well-intentioned misunderstanding highlight the need for systematic training and continuing support for the local administrators and teachers who are entrusted with carrying out large-scale educational change, classroom by classroom.
Table of Contents:
1. Making Education Policy Here, There, and Everywhere 2. Doing Standards: Content and Context 3. Interactive Policymaking 4. Making Policy, Making Sense 5. Resources for Sense-Making 6. The Schoolteacher and Interactive Policymaking 7. Policy in Practice 8. Implementation Reconsidered
Appendix: Research Methods References Index
Policy implementation is like the telephone game. . . . the player at the start of the line tells a story to the next person in line, who then relays the story to the third person in line. . . . by the time the story is retold by the final player, it is very different from the original. --chapter 1
A 2003 law in Eritrea—a notoriously closed-off, heavily militarized, and authoritarian country—mandated an additional year of school for all children and stipulated that the classes be held at Sawa, the nation’s military training center. As a result, educational institutions were directly implicated in the making of soldiers, putting Eritrean teachers in the untenable position of having to navigate between their devotion to educating the nation and their discontent with their role in the government program of mass militarization.
In her provocative ethnography, The Struggling State, Jennifer Riggan examines the contradictions of state power as simultaneously oppressive to and enacted by teachers. Riggan, who conducted participant observation with teachers in and out of schools, explores the tenuous hyphen between nation and state under lived conditions of everyday authoritarianism.
The Struggling State shows how the hopes of Eritrean teachers and students for the future of their nation have turned to a hopelessness in which they cannot imagine a future at all.
Subject Lessons offers a fascinating account of how western knowledge “traveled” to India, changed that which it encountered, and was itself transformed in the process. Beginning in 1835, India’s British rulers funded schools and universities to disseminate modern, western knowledge in the expectation that it would gradually replace indigenous ways of knowing. From the start, western education was endowed with great significance in India, not only by the colonizers but also by the colonized, to the extent that today almost all “serious” knowledge about India—even within India—is based on western epistemologies. In Subject Lessons, Sanjay Seth’s investigation into how western knowledge was received by Indians under colonial rule becomes a broader inquiry into how modern, western epistemology came to be seen not merely as one way of knowing among others but as knowledge itself.
Drawing on history, political science, anthropology, and philosophy, Seth interprets the debates and controversies that came to surround western education. Central among these were concerns that Indian students were acquiring western education by rote memorization—and were therefore not acquiring “true knowledge”—and that western education had plunged Indian students into a moral crisis, leaving them torn between modern, western knowledge and traditional Indian beliefs. Seth argues that these concerns, voiced by the British as well as by nationalists, reflected the anxiety that western education was failing to produce the modern subjects it presupposed. This failure suggested that western knowledge was not the universal epistemology it was thought to be. Turning to the production of collective identities, Seth illuminates the nationalists’ position vis-à-vis western education—which they both sought and criticized—through analyses of discussions about the education of Muslims and women.
Offering the first systematic, comparative examination of the origins of teachers’ unions in two countries—France and the United States—Teaching Marianne and Uncle Sam shows how teachers’ unions came into existence not because of the willful efforts of particular actors, but over the course of decades of conflict over the proper role of professional educators in public politics.
Nicholas Toloudis traces teacher unionism back to the first efforts of governments to centralize public education. He carefully documents how centralization created new understandings of the role of teachers in their societies and generated new sources of conflict within teachers’ corps. Using rare archival source materials, Toloudis illustrates how these internal conflicts became salient in teachers’ battles with governments over their legitimate right to exist as collective claim-makers within the polity.
In the series Politics, History, and Social Change, edited by John C. Torpey
For over a century, Americans have translated their cultural anxieties and hopes into dramatic demands for educational reform. Although policy talk has sounded a millennial tone, the actual reforms have been gradual and incremental. Tinkering toward Utopia documents the dynamic tension between Americans' faith in education as a panacea and the moderate pace of change in educational practices.
In this book, David Tyack and Larry Cuban explore some basic questions about the nature of educational reform. Why have Americans come to believe that schooling has regressed? Have educational reforms occurred in cycles, and if so, why? Why has it been so difficult to change the basic institutional patterns of schooling? What actually happened when reformers tried to "reinvent" schooling?
Tyack and Cuban argue that the ahistorical nature of most current reform proposals magnifies defects and understates the difficulty of changing the system. Policy talk has alternated between lamentation and overconfidence. The authors suggest that reformers today need to focus on ways to help teachers improve instruction from the inside out instead of decreeing change by remote control, and that reformers must also keep in mind the democratic purposes that guide public education.