Governing America’s Schools: The Shifting Playing Field
by Joseph Murphy — 2000
This essay argues that the landscape of educational control is being reshaped in the post-industrial era. It reviews the current governance problems in education and details the range of possible governance models for post-industrial schooling. The analysis begins by describing the problems that governance must address and identifying the professional-statist domination of school governance and the reliance on bureaucratic mechanisms to exercise control as the two most serious contemporary governance problems. The discussion then moves to a description of the various possibilities for school governance in the future. Five types of control processes are considered: state control, citizen control, professional control, community control, and market control. The paper concludes by outlining the design principles that form the basis for rethinking school governance in a post-industrial world: localism, direct democracy, lay control, choice, and democratic professionalism.
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