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The Great School Wars: New York City, 1805-1973

reviewed by Sol Cohen

coverTitle: The Great School Wars: New York City, 1805-1973
Author(s): Diane Ravitch
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: 0465027024, Pages: 449, Year: 1974
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In few areas is the general public so misin­formed as in the field of the governance of public schools. It is the conventional wis­dom that the public schools are not in­volved in "politics," or that educational policy-making is dictated by advances in the Science of pedagogy, or by the inexor­able finger of Progress, or by some process of ratiocination uncontaminated by pro­fane motives. This bit of mythology has been widely accepted. It has not precluded school "politics," but simply lessened its visibility. That is, public schools have been largely removed from the realm of "pub­lic" politics to behind-the-scene politics. The operations of educational decision-makers, the stakes, the prizes, the contes­tants, and their strategies are largely invis­ible. The fact is that public school systems are thoroughly political phenomena from top to bottom. Education must compete with other governmental functions for limited resources. More public money is spent for education than any other single function of state and local government. No public school in America exists without state legislative sanction. All... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 76 Number 3, 1975, p. 505-515 ID Number: 1392, Date Accessed: 6/23/2018 11:36:33 PM

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