Expertise versus Responsiveness in Children's Worlds: Politics in School, Home and Community Relationships

By Maureen McClure; Jane Clark Lindle | Go to book overview

Commission on Privatization (1988) cautioned that where public institutions have assumed important democratic functions, the shift toward market alternatives may threaten core values of our society. Also, a preliminary study of charter schools by the Education Commission of the States emphasized that governmental oversight is extremely important to ensure that charters are not abused by groups that might pursue discriminatory practises (Education Week, 1995). Does the state have a duty to ensure that all children are exposed to certain values and academic content to advance the common good, or should parents be able to dictate educational content and the values to which their children are exposed? Are there limits on how far we can go in privatizing education without jeopardizing our nation's form of government? If an individual school-public or private-is allowed to determine its curriculum with little oversight, might the state be abdicating its responsibility to protect children and ensure an educated citizenry?

Policy makers need to be aware of the underlying assumptions of various options to privatize education and how each model balances accountability to shareholders, consumers, and the general public. If the purposes and basic structure of public education in our nation are being redefined, we need to understand all implications of the decisions. We need to consider the values that are guiding educational policy into the next century because much more than public schooling is at stake. If we are not attentive, we may, by default, embrace policies that are inconsistent with democratic principles, when a majority of our citizens still believe strongly in these ideals.


References
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS (1994) The Private Management Of Public Schools: An Analysis Of The EAI Experience In Baltimore (Washington, DC: AFT.)
Associacion de Puerto Rico Maestros v Torres, No. 94-371, 1994 WL 780744 (Puerto Rico, 1994).
BENNETT, W.J. (1992) The De-Valuing Of America: The Fight For Our Culture And Our Children (New York: Summit Books.)
BUECHLER, M. (1996) Charter Schools: Legislation and Results After Four Years (PR-B13) (Bloomington, IN: Indiana Education Policy Center).
Campbell v. Manchester Board of School Directors, 641 A.2d 352 (Vt. 1994).
CARNOY, M. (1995, July 12) Is school privatization the answer? Data from the experience of other countries suggest not. Education Week, 40, 52.
CHUBB, J.E. and MOE, T. M. (1990) Politics, Markets, And America's Schools (Washington, DC: Brookings Institute).
DOYLE, D. (1994) The role of private sector management in public education. Phi Delta Kappan, 76, 128-132.
DOYLE, D. (1996) Education supply: will it create demand? Education Week (20 March 1996),48.
Education Daily (1994) NEA puts money behind preserving public education. Education Daily (8 July 1994), 1-2.
Education Week (1995) State oversight play a part in success of charter schools. Education Week (15 November 1995), 3-4.
Education Daily (1996) EAI eyes short-term deals. Education Daily (14 February 1996), 1-2.
FOWLER, F.C. (1991) The shocking ideological integrity of Chubb and Moe. Journal of Education, 173, 119-129.
Gatton v. Goff, Nos 96CVH-01-193, 96CVH-01-721 (Ohio Ct. C.P. 1996).
GLENN, C (1990) Parent choice in four nations, in W L. Boyd and H.J. Walberg (eds), Choice In Education (Berkeley, CA: McCutchan).
GRAVES, P. (1995) Putting pay on the line. The School Administrator, 52(6), 8-15.
HOFF, D. (1993) State legislators embrace charter schools over choice. Education Daily (4 June 1993), 3.
HOUSTON, P. (1994) Making watches or making music. Phi Delta Kappan, 76, 133-135.
MARTINEZ, V, KEMERER, F. and GOODWIN, K. (1993) Who Chooses And Why (Denton, TX: University of North Texas).
MARTINEZ, V., THOMAS, K. and KEMERER, F. (1994) Who chooses and why: a look at five school district choice plans. Phi Delta Kappan, 75, 578-681.
McCARTHY, M. (1995) Private investment in public education: boon or boondoggle? Journal of School Leadership, 5, 4-21.
McGRIFF, D. (1995) Lighting the way for systemic reform. School Administrator, 57(7), 14-19.
McLAUGHLIN, J. (1992) Schooling for profit: capitalism's new frontier. Educational Horizons, 71, 23-30.
MCLAUGHLIN, J. (1995) Public education and private enterprise. School Administrator, 52(7), 7-12.

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