This article discusses the concept of the forum as a form of "political conversation" in America. Two forum models (liberal and democratic) are contrasted on the basis of educational objective, experiential analogy, consensus goal, and forum participants.
Curriculum workers, supervisors, and others in leadership roles
are frequently daunted by essentially political forces and pressures that
call for compromise of professional standards or ethics or the diversion
of energies intended to benefit children to other and less legitimate
activities. In some cases, the pressures take the form of mandates or
their equivalent from state governments, state agencies, or other
powerful entities seeking to accomplish certain broad social or
political goals through the instrument of public education. In other
cases, the pressures are more localized and originate with parents, both
individually and collectively, with boards of education, or with the
administrative officers of the local school district. On occasion the
pressures come from prestigious persons, organizations, or other
opinion-influencing entities such as the media. Whatever their origins
or their merit, such pressures sometimes pose enormous problems for
supervisors and eventually dilute, alter, or imperil the overall quality
of educational services. In this chapter we examine these pressures and
consider how curriculum workers are affected by and deal with them.
The 1984 Democratic primary campaign is used to assess how little effect leftist educational analysis has had on mainstream discourse. A brief outline of directions and emphases for a leftist political agenda is presented.
While the family is the main agency for helping young people develop the ideas, attitudes, and behavior of successful citizenship and work, schools can enrich the teacher-student relationship to the point that values rub off.
Early in the century, it was not difficult to identify the locus of the power driving educational decision making. The control rested in approximately 127,000 school districts and 423,000 school board members. State departments of education were slowly adding staff members but still a number of states had few personnel beyond the state commissioner or superintendent of public instruction.
The recent selection of a new president of the University of Florida, which, because of Florida's Sunshine Laws, was the most public search process ever conducted by a major university is described. The negative effects of public openness on the selection process and the candidates are explored.
The subject of this chapter is the application of computer
technology to educational governance. According to Mitchell, three
important aspects of educational governance attract scholarly
attention: (a) the congeries of constitutional, statutory, and regulatory
policies that are the parameters within which educational goals and
objectives are prescribed; (b) the exercise of power and authority over
education within the legal machinery of government at federal, state,
and local levels; and (c) the linkage between, as well as the
interdependency of, the managerial and political (executive and
This article reviews the school effectiveness movement from inception to its current state, analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of research and implementation literature, and discusses the appropriate role for state and federal government in fostering school effectiveness.
This article explores the evolution of federal government policy on education during the past 20 years, points out trends likely to influence future policy, and projects possible future responses to these trends. The roles of educational interest groups instrumental in passing the legislation are described.
The federal government's role in educational policy is examined. Discussed are changes in the public's problems, needs, and attitudes, and changes in state and local government roles in school governance. The impact of the federal government on state educational policy is analyzed, and predictions are made for future federal educational policy.
This symposium provides a condensed version of the four papers produced for the task of political forecasting and evaluating Washington’s role in education during the 1980s. The central analytical question was “to examine the issue of the respective roles of the three levels of government in education and how these roles are likely to be altered during the decade of the 1980s; the political forces that will be operative are a crucial feature.”
Various indices of public support for the schools—school finance voting patterns, public opinion polls, and court litigation—are analyzed to document current trends. Two possible scenarios are forecast for the future, based on socioeconomic and demographic patterns. The need for future government support is stressed.
A review of major federal education programs indicates that educational interest groups have played a modest role in shaping policy. Typically, these groups have ridden existing political and judicial currents to pass programs, and then have concentrated on maintaining their interests. Future roles are discussed.
Critical and revisionist historians of American education have generated a model of education in a capitalist society that has a functionalist orientation. However, this model does not properly acknowledge the importance of society's contradictions, disjunctions, and incoherence in social and educational change.
Questions about educational reform in postindustrial societies cannot be discussed intelligently without consideration of the limited energy resources on which these societies can draw, and the problem of social justice (equity) that has been made more complex by the multicultural nature of postindustrial societies like the United States, Canada, Australia, and to a lesser extent, Great Britain. These issues, in turn, relate directly to the problem of equity between societies using energy-intensive technologies and those that must sell their nonrenewable resources in order to attain minimal standards of health care and education.
In the 1950s, students had formal bomb-threat education; civil defense training taught students where to hide and how to protect themselves. Comments of teachers and students of that era are presented along with a history of various programs and techniques used for civil defense education.
The scarcity of college courses dealing with disarmament is noted, and educators are urged to address the question of arms limitation. Military and economic factors which limit the ability of the United States to continue the arms race are listed, and plans for reversing the arms race are discussed.
Our purpose in this chapter is to consider the manner and extent to which the courts shape educational policy. One thesis popular with many educators is that the courts are usurping the policy-making roles of professional educators and board of education members. We shall challenge this thesis and argue instead that judicial participation in educational matters has been essentially a conservative process that endeavors to support state and local school officials insofar as their actions are consistent with constitutional guarantees.
Basic textbooks in education traditionally have referred to education as a state function. School districts are creatures of the state constitution and, more specifically, the state legislature. In order to fulfill their responsibility of providing for education, legislatures have created these local sehool districts headed by a board of education. The major responsibility of boards of education is the creation of policy not inconsistent with the constitution and statutes of the nation and the given state.
The contemporary judicial landscape is cluttered with school desegregation decrees, many of which are enmeshed in controversy. Both liability and remedy questions persist and new issues emerge as more desegregation orders are implemented. Is the practice to be corrected or eliminated sufficiently harmful to justify the consequent costs entailed in complying with the order? Is the state or the school district responsible for segregation in schools? Do school boards have an obligation to eliminate segregation regardless of its source? When has a school board fully complied with a court order? These troublesome questions and related issues are discussed in this chapter.
The focus in this chapter on private educational options rather than private salJools reflects the fact, exemplified in shared time, dual enrollment practices, and in other approaches occasionally advocated, that full-time private school attendance is not the only conceivable alternative to full-time public school attendance. Educational facilities, schedules, and finances could be arranged to permit the student to construct an educational mosaic from components proffered by numerous public and private agencies? Furthermore, these variegated learning opportunities could be distributed across a much longer time span than the segment of life customarily devoted to formal schooling,
The curriculum of the public schools has, from the beginning of the Republic, been a matter of continuing controversy. Public schools existed for over a hundred years prior to the development of the United States Constitution, although on a very limited basis, both as to accessibility by substantial numbers of students and as to the extent of the curriculum available.
The direction of student rights has changed gradually but perceptibly during the past decade. One change has been from a definition of student rights to compensation for the deprivation of
student rights. This is not to say that the development of constitutional rights for students is no longer continuing but rather that the status of the rights has become sufficiently recognized to form the basis for both equitable and legal remedies, especially under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act.
Establishing the constitutional right of an individual to obtain a free and appropriate public education has been a major concern of educational jurisprudence since the early 1950s.
Litigation seeking to reform the ways in which states finance elementary and secondary education has been actively pursued since the late 1960s. The vitality of this reform movement sprang from the decision of the California Supreme Court in Serrano v. Priest, but the focus quickly swung to the federal courts, culminating in the adverse decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez.
The Press is overstepping in every direction the obvious bounds of propriety and of decency. Gossip is no longer the resource of the idle and of the vicious, but has become a trade, which is pursued with industry as well as effrontery. To satisfy a prurient taste the details of sexual relations are spread broadcast in the columns of the daily papers.
While freedom of thought has been a subject of importance for scholars at least since the time of Socrates, its existence and legal protection is especially important at the present time because the concept of academic freedom, laboriously rooted and nurtured in this country by the dedicated work of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and others, is now being challenged by a number of new forces.
In this chapter we shall highlight the nature of current legal struggles involving schools and universities, place these struggles in historical perspective, and suggest likely outcomes. Specificity will at times give way to conjecture as we attempt to extrapolate the implications for the future from current legal activity.
Throughout our two hundred year history as a nation, government in one form or another has expressed its interest in education. Indeed, this interest emerged long before the founding of the United States and predates the American Revolution by more than a hundred years.
Can a student recover damages from his school district for his failure to learn because of teacher negligence? The California courts have recently offered an answer to this question. The question of recovery in tort for edueationl malpractice was first posed in 1972. A recent high school graduate, alias Peter Doe, filed a complaint with a California superior court, asserting that after thirteen years of regular attendance in the San Francisco public school system he was functionally illiterate.