Not by Schools Alone: Sharing Responsibility for America's Education Reform

By Sandra A. Waddock | Go to book overview

increase in working hours suggests that there is less time for dealing with issues such as paying attention to children, ensuring that homework is completed, or dealing with children's problems that arise at school or in the home. Suzanne Gordon has documented that the pressures created by so much work have resulted in a substantial lessening of both concern for community and for caring. 15 Workplaces in general are not amenable to concerns about children or caring.

Family policies of different types of employers reflect a similar bias against caring and ultimately against children and education. With few exceptions, most companies do not allow employees time off for dealing with their children's births, sicknesses or other problems, and even where there are family friendly policies in place, cultural norms about how much work needs to be done often prohibit employees from exercising their right to use these policies.

The very existence of these many types of influence on school performance suggests in an interdependent system each of these institutions also bears responsibilities for the entire system that influences education. In the next chapters we will explore in detail the systems dynamics that affect schools and the ways in which leverage points within those dynamics might be found to begin a long-term process of social change.


NOTES
1.
See N. Postman ( 1979), Teaching as a Conserving Activity ( New York: Delacorte Press).
2.
N. Postman ( 1979), deals with this topic. See also C. Sykes ( 1992), A Nation of Victims: The Decay of the American Character ( New York: St. Martin's Press). For a discussion of victimization in the black community see S. Steele ( 1990), The Content of Our Character ( New York: St. Martin's Press).
3.
See Sykes ( 1992).
4.
See S. Gordon remarkable book ( 1991), Prisoners of Men's Dreams: Striking Out for a New Feminine Future ( Boston: Little, Brown and Company), for a lengthy discussion of what she terms the caring agenda, particularly Chapter 5 and the Conclusion; and also C. Derber ( 1992). Money, Murder, and the American Dream: Wilding from Wall Street to Main Street ( Boston: Faber and Faber).
5.
See J. P. Comer four articles: ( 1984), "Home-School Relations as They Affect the Academic Success of Children," Education and Urban Society 16(3): 294-337; ( 1987), "Our National Dilemma: Building Quality Relationships," EDRS November: 40; ( 1988), "Educating Poor Minority Children," Scientific American 259(5): 42-48; and ( 1989), "Child Development and Education," Journal of Negro Education 58( 2): 125- 139.
6.
See, e.g., D. W. Osborne and T. Gaebler ( 1992), Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector ( Reading, MA: Addison- Wesley).

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