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Education Reform in the Age of Policy

reviewed by Donald Warren - 1984

coverTitle: Education Reform in the Age of Policy
Author(s): Diane Ravitch
Publisher: Basic Books, New York
ISBN: 0465087574, Pages: , Year: 1985
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Despite the author’s attempts to interpret contemporary American schooling in a positive light, The Troubled Crusade unfolds a story of almost unrelieved sadness. It tells of educational ideals coming to grief seriatim between 1930 and 1980, as various efforts to make public schools humane and efficient, equal and effective, came apart under economic and political pressures. The book begins with the years around the Second World War when progressive education, a noble concept, flourished briefly as a fad. It was more discussed than enacted. Its diluted form, rendered harmless by gaseous rhetoric about education as social adjustment, invited satire but earned primarily mean-spirited scoldings from conservatives who thought the fads and frills introduced by progressives polluted the curriculum and distracted schools from their serious business. The schools’ limited mission of transmitting cognitive skills had implications for loftier concerns, such as employment, manpower training, national defense, and international competition. As the... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 85 Number 4, 1984, p. 684-687
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 898, Date Accessed: 10/29/2020 6:55:34 PM

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About the Author
  • Donald Warren
    University of Maryland
    DONALD WARREN is professor and department chairman of education policy, planning, and administration at the University of Maryland. His research and publication focus on the history of federal education policy and the uses of history in policy analysis.
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