"Ford Motor Company would not have survived the competition had it not been for an emphasis on results. We must view education the same way," the U.S. Secretary of Education declared in 2003. But is he right? In this provocative new book, Larry Cuban takes aim at the alluring cliché that schools should be more businesslike, and shows that in its long history in business-minded America, no one has shown that a business model can be successfully applied to education.
In this straight-talking book, one of the most distinguished scholars in education charts the Gilded Age beginnings of the influential view that American schools should be organized to meet the needs of American businesses, and run according to principles of cost-efficiency, bottom-line thinking, and customer satisfaction.
Not only are schools by their nature not businesslike, Cuban argues, but the attempt to run them along business lines leads to dangerous over-standardization--of tests, and of goals for our children. Why should we think that there is such a thing as one best school? Is "college for all" achievable--or even desirable? Even if it were possible, do we really want schools to operate as bootcamps for a workforce? Cuban suggests that the best business-inspired improvement for American education would be more consistent and sustained on-the-job worker training, tailored for the job to be done, and business leaders' encouragement--and adoption--of an ethic of civic engagement and public service.
Winner of the 2021 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award
Historically, Americans of all stripes have concurred that teachers were essential to the success of the public schools and nation. However, they have also concurred that public school teachers were to blame for the failures of the schools and identified professionalization as a panacea.
In Blaming Teachers, Diana D'Amico Pawlewicz reveals that historical professionalization reforms subverted public school teachers’ professional legitimacy. Superficially, professionalism connotes authority, expertise, and status. Professionalization for teachers never unfolded this way; rather, it was a policy process fueled by blame where others identified teachers’ shortcomings. Policymakers, school leaders, and others understood professionalization measures for teachers as efficient ways to bolster the growing bureaucratic order of the public schools through regulation and standardization. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century with the rise of municipal public school systems and reaching into the 1980s, Blaming Teachers traces the history of professionalization policies and the discourses of blame that sustained them.
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.
A compelling history of school desegregation and activism in San Francisco
The picture of school desegregation in the United States is often painted with broad strokes of generalization and insulated anecdotes. Its true history, however, is remarkably wide ranging. Class Action tells the story of San Francisco’s long struggle over school desegregation in the wake of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education.
San Francisco’s story provides a critical chapter in the history of American school discrimination and the complicated racial politics that emerged. It was among the first large cities outside the South to face court-ordered desegregation following the Brown rulings, and it experienced the same demographic shifts that transformed other cities throughout the urban West. Rand Quinn argues that the district’s student assignment policies—including busing and other desegregative mechanisms—began as a remedy for state discrimination but transformed into a tool intended to create diversity. Drawing on extensive archival research—from court docket files to school district records—Quinn describes how this transformation was facilitated by the rise of school choice, persistent demand for neighborhood schools, evolving social and legal landscapes, and local community advocacy and activism.
Class Action is the first book to present a comprehensive political history of post-Brown school desegregation in San Francisco. Quinn illuminates the evolving relationship between jurisprudence and community-based activism and brings a deeper understanding to the multiracial politics of urban education reform. He responds to recent calls by scholars to address the connections between ideas and policy change and ultimately provides a fascinating look at race and educational opportunity, school choice, and neighborhood schools in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education.
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.
Scholars have long explored school desegregation through various lenses, examining policy, the role of the courts and federal government, resistance and backlash, and the fight to preserve Black schools. However, few studies have examined the group experiences of students within desegregated schools. Crossing Segregated Boundaries centers the experiences of over sixty graduates of the class of 1988 in three desegregated Chicago high schools. Chicago’s housing segregation and declining white enrollments severely curtailed the city’s school desegregation plan, and as a result desegregation options were academically stratified, providing limited opportunities for a chosen few while leaving the majority of students in segregated, underperforming schools. Nevertheless, desegregation did provide a transformative opportunity for those students involved. While desegregation was the external impetus that brought students together, the students themselves made integration possible, and many students found that the few years that they spent in these schools had a profound impact on broadening their understanding of different racial and ethnic groups. In very real ways, desegregated schools reduced racial isolation for those who took part.
Diversity and Distrust
MACEDO Harvard University Press, 2000 Library of Congress LA217.2.M33 2000 | Dewey Decimal 371.010973
Extending the ideas of John Rawls, Macedo defends a “civic liberalism” in culturally diverse democracies that supports the legitimacy of reasonable efforts to inculcate shared political virtues while leaving many larger questions of meaning and value to private communities.
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.
"Milwaukee's story is unique in that its struggle for integration and quality education has been so closely tied to [school] choice." --from the Introduction
"Educating Milwaukee: How One City's History of Segregation and Struggle Shaped Its Schools" traces the origins of the modern school choice movement, which is growing in strength throughout the United States. Author James K. Nelsen follows Milwaukee's tumultuous education history through three eras--"no choice," "forced choice," and "school choice." Nelsen details the whole story of Milwaukee's choice movement through to modern times when Milwaukee families have more schooling options than ever--charter schools, open enrollment, state-funded vouchers, neighborhood schools--and yet Milwaukee's impoverished African American students still struggle to succeed and stay in school. "Educating Milwaukee" chronicles how competing visions of equity and excellence have played out in one city's schools in the modern era, offering both a cautionary tale and a "choice" example.
Enduring Legacy describes a multifaceted paradox—a constant struggle between those who espouse a message of hope and inclusion and others who systematically plan for exclusion. Structured inequality in the nation’s schools is deeply connected to social stratification within American society. This paradox began in the eighteenth century and has proved an enduring legacy. Mark Ryan provides historical, political, and pedagogical contexts for teacher candidates—not only to comprehend the nature of racial segregation but, as future educators, to understand their own professional responsibilities, both in the community and in the school, to strive for an integrated classroom where all children have a chance to succeed. The goal of providing every child a world-class education is an ethical imperative, an inherent necessity for a functioning pluralistic democracy. The challenge is both great and growing, for teachers today will face an evermore segregated American classroom.
Much has been written about the Little Rock School Crisis of 1957, but very little has been devoted to the following year—the Lost Year, 1958–59—when Little Rock schools were closed to all students, both black and white. Finding the Lost Year is the first book to look at the unresolved elements of the school desegregation crisis and how it turned into a community crisis, when policymakers thwarted desegregation and challenged the creation of a racially integrated community and when competing groups staked out agendas that set Arkansas’s capital on a path that has played out for the past fifty years.
In Little Rock in 1958, 3,665 students were locked out of a free public education. Teachers’ lives were disrupted, but students’ lives were even more confused. Some were able to attend schools outside the city, some left the state, some joined the military, some took correspondence courses, but fully 50 percent of the black students went without any schooling. Drawing on personal interviews with over sixty former teachers and students, black and white, Gordy details the long-term consequences for students affected by events and circumstances over which they had little control.
“Fifty years ago segregationists trying to keep black students out of Little Rock Central High inadvertently broke up one of the country’s greatest football dynasties. . . . Wait a minute. . . . Who said you can’t have a high school football team just because you don’t have a high school? Canceling football, Faubus decreed, would be ‘a cruel and unnecessary blow to the children.’ O.K. then, everyone agreed. Play ball!”
—“Blinded by History,” Sports Illustrated
Most of us assume that public schools in America are unequal—that the quality of the education varies with the location of the school and that as a result, children learn more in the schools that serve mostly rich, white kids than in the schools serving mostly poor, black kids. But it turns out that this common assumption is misplaced. As Douglas B. Downey shows in How Schools Really Matter, achievement gaps have very little to do with what goes on in our schools. Not only do schools not exacerbate inequality in skills, they actually help to level the playing field. The real sources of achievement gaps are elsewhere.
A close look at the testing data in seasonal patterns bears this out. It turns out that achievement gaps in reading skills between high- and low-income children are nearly entirely formed prior to kindergarten, and schools do more to reduce them than increase them. And when gaps do increase, they tend to do so during summers, not during school periods. So why do both liberal and conservative politicians strongly advocate for school reform, arguing that the poor quality of schools serving disadvantaged children is an important contributor to inequality? It’s because discussing the broader social and economic reforms necessary for really reducing inequality has become too challenging and polarizing—it’s just easier to talk about fixing schools. Of course, there are differences that schools can make, and Downey outlines the kinds of reforms that make sense given what we know about inequality outside of schools, including more school exposure, increased standardization, and better and fairer school and teacher measurements.
How Schools Really Matter offers a firm rebuke to those who find nothing but fault in our schools, which are doing a much better than job than we give them credit for. It should also be a call to arms for educators and policymakers: the bottom line is that if we are serious about reducing inequality, we are going to have to fight some battles that are bigger than school reform—battles against the social inequality that is reflected within, rather than generated by—our public school system.
“The best book on high school dynamics I have ever read.” —Jay Mathews, Washington Post
“A hopeful, easy-to-read narrative on what the best teachers do and what deep, engaging learning looks like for students. Grab this text if you’re looking for a celebration of what’s possible in American schools.” —Edutopia
“A must-read for anyone interested in the fate of the American high school.” —Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO, Learning Policy Institute
What would it take to transform our high schools into places capable of supporting deep learning for students across a wide range of aptitudes and interests? To find out, Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine spent hundreds of hours observing and talking to teachers and students in and out of the classroom at thirty of the country’s most innovative schools. To their dismay, they discovered that deeper learning is more often the exception than the rule. And yet they found pockets of powerful learning at almost every school, often in extracurriculars but also in a few mold-breaking academic courses. So what must schools do to achieve the integrations that support deep learning: rigor with joy, precision with play, mastery with identity and creativity?
In Search of Deeper Learning takes a deep dive into the state of our schools and lays out an inspiring new vision for American education.
In response to a request from the NSSE Board of Directors, the editors have brought together chapters from recent NSSE yearbooks that deal with problems of continuing concern to teachers, administrators, and specialists in curriculum development, including the problem of bringing about change in the curriculum. A recurring theme is the importance of taking account of the culture of the school when considering proposals or curriculum change. A valuable resource as a guide to thinking about persistent curriculum issues, this volume deserves a place on every educator's bookshelf.
Now available in paperback, this award-winning book provides a comprehensive history of gender policies and practices in American public schools. David Tyack and Elisabeth Hansot explore the many factors that have shaped coeducation since its origins. At the very time that Americans were creating separate spheres for adult men and women, they institutionalized an education system that brought boys and girls together. How did beliefs about the similarities and differences of boys and girls shape policy and practice in schools? To what degree did the treatment of boys and girls differ by class, race, region, and historical period? Debates over gender policies suggest that American have made public education the repository of their hopes and anxieties about relationships between the sexes. Thus, the history of coeducation serves as a window not only on constancy and change in gender practices in the schools but also on cultural conflicts about gender in the broader society. "Learning Together presents a rich and exhaustive search through [the] 'tangled history' of gender and education that links both the silences and the debates surrounding coeducation to the changing roles of women and men in our society....It is the generosity and capaciousness of Tyack and Hansot's scholarship that makes Learning Together so important a book." —Science
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.
A large central government providing numerous public services has long been a hallmark of Swedish society, which is also well-known for its pursuit of equality. Yet in the 1990s, Sweden moved away from this tradition in education, introducing market-oriented reforms that decentralized authority over public schools and encouraged competition between private and public schools. Many wondered if this approach would improve educational quality, or if it might expand inequality that Sweden has fought so hard to hold down. In The Market Comes to Education in Sweden, economists Anders Björklund, Melissa Clark, Per-Anders Edin, Peter Fredriksson, and Alan Krueger measure the impact of Sweden's bold experiment in governing and help answer the questions that societies across the globe have been debating as they try to improve their children's education. The Market Comes to Education in Sweden injects some much-needed objectivity into the heavily politicized debate about the effectiveness of educational reform. While advocates for reform herald the effectiveness of competition in improving outcomes, others suggest that the reforms will grossly increase educational inequality for young people. The authors find that increased competition did help improve students' math and language skills, but only slightly, and with no effect on the performance of foreign-born students and those with low-educated parents. They also find some signs of increasing school segregation and wider inequality in student performance, but nothing near the doomsday scenarios many feared. In fact, the authors note that the relationship between family background and school performance has hardly budged since before the reforms were enacted. The authors conclude by providing valuable recommendations for school reform, such as strengthening school evaluation criteria, which are essential for parents, students, and governments to make competent decisions regarding education. Whether or not the market-oriented reforms to Sweden's educational system succeed will have far reaching implications for other countries considering the same course of action. The Market Comes to Education in Sweden offers firm empirical answers to the questions raised by school reform and brings crucial facts to the debate over the future of schooling in countries across the world.
Discuss real estate with any young family and the subject of schools is certain to come up—in fact, it will likely be a crucial factor in determining where that family lives. Not merely institutions of learning, schools have increasingly become a sign of a neighborhood’s vitality, and city planners have ever more explicitly promoted “good schools” as a means of attracting more affluent families to urban areas, a dynamic process that Maia Bloomfield Cucchiara critically examines in Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities.
Focusing on Philadelphia’s Center City Schools Initiative, she shows how education policy makes overt attempts to prevent, or at least slow, middle-class flight to the suburbs. Navigating complex ethical terrain, she balances the successes of such policies in strengthening urban schools and communities against the inherent social injustices they propagate—the further marginalization and disempowerment of lowerclass families. By asking what happens when affluent parents become “valued customers,” Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities uncovers a problematic relationship between public institutions and private markets, where the former are used to leverage the latter to effect urban transformations.
Can money buy high-quality education? Studies find only a weak relationship between public school funding and educational outcomes. In The Money Myth, W. Norton Grubb proposes a powerful paradigm shift in the way we think about why some schools thrive and others fail. The greatest inequalities in America's schools lie in factors other than fiscal support. Fundamental differences in resources other than money—for example, in leadership, instruction, and tracking policies—explain the deepening divide in the success of our nation's schoolchildren. The Money Myth establishes several principles for a bold new approach to education reform. Drawing on a national longitudinal dataset collected over twelve years, Grubb makes a crucial distinction between "simple" resources and those "compound," "complex," and "abstract" resources that cannot be readily bought. Money can buy simple resources—such as higher teacher salaries and smaller class sizes—but these resources are actually some of the weakest predictors of educational outcomes. On the other hand, complex resources pertaining to school practices are astonishingly strong predictors of success. Grubb finds that tracking policies have the most profound and consistent impact on student outcomes over time. Schools often relegate low-performing students—particularly minorities—to vocational, remedial, and special education tracks. So even in well-funded schools, resources may never reach the students who need them most. Grubb also finds that innovation in the classroom has a critical impact on student success. Here, too, America's schools are stratified. Teachers in underperforming schools tend to devote significant amounts of time to administration and discipline, while instructors in highly ranked schools dedicate the bulk of their time to "engaged learning," using varied pedagogical approaches. Effective schools distribute leadership among many instructors and administrators, and they foster a sense of both trust and accountability. These schools have a clear mission and coherent agenda for reaching goals. Underperforming schools, by contrast, implement a variety of fragmented reforms and practices without developing a unified plan. This phenomenon is perhaps most powerfully visible in the negative repercussions of No Child Left Behind. In a frantic attempt to meet federal standards and raise test scores quickly, more and more schools are turning to scripted "off the shelf" curricula. These practices discourage student engagement, suppress teacher creativity, and hold little promise of improving learning beyond the most basic skills. Grubb shows that infusions of money alone won't eradicate inequality in America's schools. We need to address the vast differences in the way school communities operate. By looking beyond school finance, The Money Myth gets to the core reasons why education in America is so unequal and provides clear recommendations for addressing this chronic national problem.
'My son, the doctor' and 'my daughter, the teacher' were among the most cherished phrases of Jewish immigrant parents," writes Ruth Markowitz in recounting this story of Jewish women who taught school in New York. Teaching was an attractive profession to the daughters of immigrants. It provided status, security, was compatible with marriage, and licenses did not require expensive training. In the interwar years, Jewish women in New York entered teaching in large and unprecedented numbers. In fact, by 1960 the majority of all New York teachers were Jewish women. By interviewing sixty-one retired teachers, Ruth Markowitz re-created their lives and the far-reaching influence they had on public education.These women faced many barriers--from lack of parental and financial support to discrimination--as they pursued their educations. Those women who completed their training still had difficulty finding teaching positions, especially during the Depression. Once hired, the teachers' days were filled with overcrowded classes, improperly maintained facilities, enormous amounts of paperwork, few free periods, and countless extracurricular obligations. They also found themselves providing social services; Markowitz finds a large number of teachers who took a special interest in minority children.The teachers Markowitz interviewed often agree with the assessment others have made that the 1930s were in their own way a golden age in the schools. The retired teachers remember the difficult times, but also their love of teaching and the difference they made in the classrooms. Their energy, initiative, and drive will help inspire teachers today, who face the serious problems of drugs, teenage pregnancy, and violence in their classrooms.
“A powerful, detailed, and exceptionally balanced critique of NCLB. It offers some hope for how we might overcome its faults. No legislator or educational expert should be allowed to get away with not reading it—whether to agree or disagree. It’s a must learning experience.”
—Deborah Meier, Senior Scholar and Adjunct Professor, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University, and author of In Schools We Trust
“A concise, highly readable, and balanced account of NCLB, with insightful and realistic suggestions for reform. Teachers, professors, policymakers, and parents—this is the one book about NCLB you ought to read.”
—James E. Ryan, William L. Matheson and Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor, University of Virginia School of Law
This far-reaching new study looks at the successes and failures of one of the most ambitious and controversial educational initiatives since desegregation—the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
NCLB’s opponents criticize it as underfunded and unworkable, while supporters see it as a radical but necessary educational reform that evens the score between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Yet the most basic and important question remains unasked: “Can we ever really know if a child’s education is good?”
Ultimately, Scott Franklin Abernathy argues, policymakers must begin from this question, rather than assuming that any test can accurately measure the elusive thing we call “good” education.
In 1988, the Chicago public school system decentralized, granting parents and communities significant resources and authority to reform their schools in dramatic ways. To track the effects of this bold experiment, the authors of Organizing Schools for Improvement collected a wealth of data on elementary schools in Chicago. Over a seven-year period they identified one hundred elementary schools that had substantially improved—and one hundred that had not. What did the successful schools do to accelerate student learning?
The authors of this illuminating book identify a comprehensive set of practices and conditions that were key factors for improvement, including school leadership, the professional capacity of the faculty and staff, and a student-centered learning climate. In addition, they analyze the impact of social dynamics, including crime, critically examining the inextricable link between schools and their communities. Putting their data onto a more human scale, they also chronicle the stories of two neighboring schools with very different trajectories. The lessons gleaned from this groundbreaking study will be invaluable for anyone involved with urban education.
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.
Accounts of Jewish immigrants usually describe the role of education in helping youngsters earn a higher social position than their parents. Melissa F. Weiner argues that New York City schools did not serve as pathways to mobility for Jewish or African American students. Instead, at different points in the city's history, politicians and administrators erected similar racial barriers to social advancement by marginalizing and denying resources that other students enjoyed. Power, Protest, and the Public Schools explores how activists, particularly parents and children, responded to inequality; the short-term effects of their involvement; and the long-term benefits that would spearhead future activism. Weiner concludes by considering how today's Hispanic and Arab children face similar inequalities within public schools.
Nearly the whole of America’s partisan politics centers on a single question: Can markets solve our social problems? And for years this question has played out ferociously in the debates about how we should educate our children. From the growth of vouchers and charter schools to the implementation of No Child Left Behind, policy makers have increasingly turned to market-based models to help improve our schools, believing that private institutions—because they are competitively driven—are better than public ones. With The Public School Advantage, Christopher A. and Sarah Theule Lubienski offer powerful evidence to undercut this belief, showing that public schools in fact outperform private ones.
For decades research showing that students at private schools perform better than students at public ones has been used to promote the benefits of the private sector in education, including vouchers and charter schools—but much of these data are now nearly half a century old. Drawing on two recent, large-scale, and nationally representative databases, the Lubienskis show that any benefit seen in private school performance now is more than explained by demographics. Private schools have higher scores not because they are better institutions but because their students largely come from more privileged backgrounds that offer greater educational support. After correcting for demographics, the Lubienskis go on to show that gains in student achievement at public schools are at least as great and often greater than those at private ones. Even more surprising, they show that the very mechanism that market-based reformers champion—autonomy—may be the crucial factor that prevents private schools from performing better. Alternatively, those practices that these reformers castigate, such as teacher certification and professional reforms of curriculum and instruction, turn out to have a significant effect on school improvement.
Despite our politics, we all agree on the fundamental fact: education deserves our utmost care. The Public School Advantage offers exactly that. By examining schools within the diversity of populations in which they actually operate, it provides not ideologies but facts. And the facts say it clearly: education is better off when provided for the public by the public.
Many localities in America resisted integration in the aftermath of the Brown v. Board of Education rulings (1954, 1955). Virginia’s Prince Edward County stands as perhaps the most extreme. Rather than fund integrated schools, the county’s board of supervisors closed public schools from 1959 until 1964. The only formal education available for those locked out of school came in 1963 when the combined efforts of Prince Edward’s African American community and aides from President John F. Kennedy’s administration established the Prince Edward County Free School Association (Free School). This temporary school system would serve just over 1,500 students, both black and white, aged 6 through 23.
Drawing upon extensive archival research, Resisting Brown presents the Free School as a site in which important rhetorical work took place. Candace Epps-Robertson analyzes public discourse that supported the school closures as an effort and manifestation of citizenship and demonstrates how the establishment of the Free School can be seen as a rhetorical response to white supremacist ideologies. The school’s mission statements, philosophies, and commitment to literacy served as arguments against racialized constructions of citizenship. Prince Edward County stands as a microcosm of America’s struggle with race, literacy, and citizenship.
An updated edition of this measured, practical, and timely guide to LGBT rights and issues for educators and school officials
With ongoing battles over transgender rights, bullying cases in the news almost daily, and marriage equality only recently the law of the land, the information in The Right to Be Out could not be more timely or welcome. In an updated second edition that explores the altered legal terrain of LGBT rights for students and educators, Stuart Biegel offers expert guidance on the most challenging concerns in this fraught context.
Taking up the pertinent questions likely to arise regarding curriculum and pedagogy in the classroom, school sports, and transgender issues, Biegel reviews the dramatic legal developments of the past decades, identifies the principles at work, and analyzes the policy considerations that result from these changes. Central to his work is an understanding of the social, political, and personal tensions regarding the nature and extent of the right to be out, which includes both the First Amendment right to express an identity and the Fourteenth Amendment right to be treated equally. Acknowledging that LGBT issues affect people of every sexual orientation and gender identity, Biegel provides a road map of viable strategies for school officials and educators.
The Right to Be Out, informed by the latest research-based findings, advances the proposition that a safe and supportive educational environment, built upon shared values and geared toward a greater appreciation of our pluralistic society, can lead to a better world for everyone.
The Same Thing Over and Over
Frederick M. Hess Harvard University Press, 2010 Library of Congress LB2822.82.H492 2010 | Dewey Decimal 371.2070973
Hess argues that in the current disputes over education reform, virtually all vocal parties-- from teachers' unions and ed schools on the left, to the charter school or testing enthusiasts on the right-- accept without questioning the features and structures of schools that were established in the late 19th century. Under this approach, the long-standing assumption is that all schools need to be standardized in their curricula, that all students enroll in uniform schools, and that all schools be organized on the one-teacher-per-age-defined classroom. Provocatively, Hess states that these Left-Right disputes are standing in the way of actual progress and that everything from pedagogical techniques, curricular variability, and the structure of the teaching profession needs to be rethought given 21st century economic realities.
This richly researched and impressively argued work is a history of public schooling in Alabama in the half century following the Civil War. It engages with depth and sophistication Alabama’s social and cultural life in the period that can be characterized by the three “R”s: Reconstruction, redemption, and racism. Alabama was a mostly rural, relatively poor, and culturally conservative state, and its schools reflected the assumptions of that society.
Schools under Surveillance gathers together some of the very best researchers studying surveillance and discipline in contemporary public schools. Surveillance is not simply about monitoring or tracking individuals and their dataùit is about the structuring of power relations through human, technical, or hybrid control mechanisms. Essays cover a broad range of topics including police and military recruiters on campus, testing and accountability regimes such as No Child Left Behind, and efforts by students and teachers to circumvent the most egregious forms of surveillance in public education. Each contributor is committed to the continued critique of the disparity and inequality in the use of surveillance to target and sort students along lines of race, class, and gender.
What do we really want from schools? Only everything, in all its contradictions. Most of all, we want access and opportunity for all children—but all possible advantages for our own. So argues historian David Labaree in this provocative look at the way “this archetype of dysfunction works so well at what we want it to do even as it evades what we explicitly ask it to do.”
Ever since the common school movement of the nineteenth century, mass schooling has been seen as an essential solution to great social problems. Yet as wave after wave of reform movements have shown, schools are extremely difficult to change. Labaree shows how the very organization of the locally controlled, administratively limited school system makes reform difficult.
At the same time, he argues, the choices of educational consumers have always overwhelmed top-down efforts at school reform. Individual families seek to use schools for their own purposes—to pursue social opportunity, if they need it, and to preserve social advantage, if they have it. In principle, we want the best for all children. In practice, we want the best for our own.
Provocative, unflinching, wry, Someone Has to Fail looks at the way that unintended consequences of consumer choices have created an extraordinarily resilient educational system, perpetually expanding, perpetually unequal, constantly being reformed, and never changing much.
In 1959, Virginia’s Prince Edward County closed its public schools rather than obey a court order to desegregate. For five years, black children were left to fend for themselves while the courts decided if the county could continue to deny its citizens public education. Investigating this remarkable and nearly forgotten story of local, state, and federal political confrontation, Christopher Bonastia recounts the test of wills that pitted resolute African Americans against equally steadfast white segregationists in a battle over the future of public education in America.
Beginning in 1951 when black high school students protested unequal facilities and continuing through the return of whites to public schools in the 1970s and 1980s, Bonastia describes the struggle over education during the civil rights era and the human suffering that came with it, as well as the inspiring determination of black residents to see justice served. Artfully exploring the lessons of the Prince Edward saga, Southern Stalemate unearths new insights about the evolution of modern conservatism and the politics of race in America.
In February 2018, 35,000 public school educators and staff walked off the job in West Virginia. More than 100,000 teachers in other states—both right-to-work states, like West Virginia, and those with a unionized workforce—followed them over the next year. From Arizona, Kentucky, and Oklahoma to Colorado and California, teachers announced to state legislators that not only their abysmal wages but the deplorable conditions of their work and the increasingly straitened circumstances of public education were unacceptable. These recent teacher walkouts affirm public education as a crucial public benefit and understand the rampant disinvestment in public education not simply as a local issue affecting teacher paychecks but also as a danger to communities and to democracy.
Strike for the Common Good gathers together original essays, written by teachers involved in strikes nationwide, by students and parents who have supported them, by journalists who have covered these strikes in depth, and by outside analysts (academic and otherwise). Together, the essays consider the place of these strikes in the broader landscape of recent labor organizing and battles over public education, and attend to the largely female workforce and, often, largely non-white student population of America’s schools.
"One hundred years ago, children were kept out of school to be used as a cheap factory workforce; today, they are kept in school to become a cheap workforce in the factories of the future."
Seduced by the language of the market economy, those making decisions about education today argue that market strategies promote democratic educational reform, when really they promote market reform of education. Michael Engel argues against this tendency, siding with democratic values -- which encourage openness, creativity, social awareness, and idealism, whereas market values uphold individual achievement, competition, economic growth, and national security.
Behind the facade of progressive rhetoric, advocates of these corporate models have succeeded in imposing their definition of school reform through federal and state policy makers. As a result, communities lose control of their schools, teachers lose control of their work, and students lose control of their schools, teachers lose control of their work, and students lose control of their futures. Engel attacks the increasing dominance of market ideology in educational policy and extends his critique beyond such trends in school reform as vouchers, charter schools, and "contracting out" to include issues such as decentralization, computer technology, and standards.
The debate over privatization amounts to ideological warfare between democratic and market values. The question is not so much about "school choice" as it is about the values Americans want at the root of their society. Unprecedented in its value-based challenge to the threat of market ideology to educational policy, The Struggle for Control of Public Education is a sophisticated call for a return to community-controlled schools and democratic values. This argument offers theoretical and practical models crafted in the contemporary feminist and social reconstructionist tradition. Readers interested in the study of educational policies, philosophy, and policy will find this book engaging.
A wave of teacher strikes in the 1960s and 1970s roiled urban communities. Jon Shelton illuminates how this tumultuous era helped shatter the liberal-labor coalition and opened the door to the neoliberal challenge at the heart of urban education today.
As Shelton shows, many working- and middle-class whites sided with corporate interests in seeing themselves as society's only legitimate, productive members. This alliance increasingly argued that public employees and the urban poor took but did not give. Drawing on a wealth of research ranging from school board meetings to TV news reports, Shelton puts readers in the middle of fraught, intense strikes in Newark, St. Louis, and three other cities where these debates and shifting attitudes played out. He also demonstrates how the labor actions contributed to the growing public perception of unions as irrelevant or even detrimental to American prosperity. Foes of the labor movement, meanwhile, tapped into cultural and economic fears to undermine not just teacher unionism but the whole of liberalism.
From the union's formation in 1937 until the 1960s, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) was the largest and most influential teachers' union in the country. John F. Lyons examines the role of public schoolteachers and the CTU in shaping the policies and practices of public education in Chicago.
Examining teachers' unions and public education from the bottom up, Lyons shows how the CTU and its members sought rigorous reforms. A combination of political action, public relations campaigns, and community alliances helped the CTU to achieve better salaries and benefits, increased school budgets, reformed curricula, and greater equality for women within the public education system. But its agenda was also constrained by internal divisions over race and gender and by ongoing external disputes with the school administration, politicians, and business and civic organizations.
Detailed and informed by rich interviews, Teachers and Reform: Chicago Public Education, 1929-1970 tells the story of how committed union members effected changes to public education and to local politics that still benefit Chicago teachers, students, and the city today.
Despite claims that written exams narrowed the curriculum, ruined children’s health, and turned teachers into automatons, once tests took root in American schools their legitimacy was never seriously challenged. William Reese puts today’s battles over standards and benchmarks into perspective by showcasing the history of the pencil-and-paper exam.
In recent decades a growing number of middle-class parents have considered sending their children to—and often end up becoming active in—urban public schools. Their presence can bring long-needed material resources to such schools, but, as Linn Posey-Maddox shows in this study, it can also introduce new class and race tensions, and even exacerbate inequalities. Sensitively navigating the pros and cons of middle-class transformation, When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban Schools asks whether it is possible for our urban public schools to have both financial security and equitable diversity.
Drawing on in-depth research at an urban elementary school, Posey-Maddox examines parents’ efforts to support the school through their outreach, marketing, and volunteerism. She shows that when middle-class parents engage in urban school communities, they can bring a host of positive benefits, including new educational opportunities and greater diversity. But their involvement can also unintentionally marginalize less-affluent parents and diminish low-income students’ access to the improving schools. In response, Posey-Maddox argues that school reform efforts, which usually equate improvement with rising test scores and increased enrollment, need to have more equity-focused policies in place to ensure that low-income families also benefit from—and participate in—school change.