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The Politics of School Reform 1870-1940


reviewed by Ann L. Lopez Schubert & William H. Schubert — 1987

coverTitle: The Politics of School Reform 1870-1940
Author(s): Paul E. Peterson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, Chicago
ISBN: 0226662950, Pages: 241, Year: 1985
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The Politics of School Reform is a carefully written inquiry into the history of urban education, from 1870 to 1940, in San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta. Working-class groups and organizations are given special emphasis as actors in the conflict and competition that yielded schools as public institutions. Peterson portrays their growth from a fragmented status to one “accepted as a fundamental part of the social order” (p. 3). He contends that the expansion of public schooling in America was a function of pluralistic politics. As school systems achieved the stature of a political entity, however, they became interested in self-perpetuation and became heavily involved in attracting middle-class clientele so that they might stay in business. Thus, the character of schooling was forged by the interests of educators, “the most obvious beneficiaries of an expanding system” (p. 14), as they interacted in an interdependent, often contesting, milieu with ethnic and racial... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 88 Number 3, 1987, p. 465-469
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 644, Date Accessed: 10/17/2017 6:35:43 PM

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About the Author
  • Ann Schubert
    Chicago, Illinois

  • William Schubert
    University of Illinois at Chicago

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