The Great School Legend: A Revisionist Interpretation of American Public Education

The Great School Legend: A Revisionist Interpretation of American Public Education

The Great School Legend: A Revisionist Interpretation of American Public Education

The Great School Legend: A Revisionist Interpretation of American Public Education

Excerpt

Once upon a time there was a great nation which became great because of its public schools. That is the American school legend. And the faith in that legend is so great that most social problems—the bumps and jolts which interfere with the great nation's running smoothly—are seen as unique phenomena, exceptions to the rule, phenomena which the schools will eventually mitigate. So the legend supports a social policy which is secure in its faith that the agency for the amelioration of most social problems already exists—and that those problems whose solutions elude us now either will be resolved or are beyond solution, through no fault of that great nation but because of deficiencies in particular people who cannot seem to solve their problems as countless other Americans have before them. It is a pernicious legend, then, because it justifies the exclusion of millions who will never share in America's greatness as long as the legend persists.

Every schoolchild and certainly every education major learns the same heart-warming story about the history of our public schools. The public school system, it is generally claimed, built American democracy. It took the backward poor, the ragged, ill-prepared ethnic minorities who crowded into the cities, educated and Americanized them, and molded them into the homogeneous productive middle class that is America's strength . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.