Defending Public Schools - Vol. 4

Defending Public Schools - Vol. 4

Defending Public Schools - Vol. 4

Defending Public Schools - Vol. 4

Synopsis

Defending Public Schools addresses the historical, current, and future context of public schools in the United States. While the essays provide an overview of education and schooling issues, the overarching concern is that public schools are under attack and deserve to be defended.

Excerpt

Sandra Mathison and E. Wayne Ross

The second half of the twentieth century witnessed two major and distinct educational reform movements in the United States. It seems de rigueur for any article on educational reform in the United States to mention the launching of the Soviet satellite Sputnik in 1957 and the U.S. Department of Education's National Commission on Excellence in Education report A Nation at Risk, published in 1983. While these events produced dramatically different consequences, they both illustrate how the nature of educational reform efforts cannot be separated from the social, political, and economic circumstances of the times.

The launch of Sputnik I has been described as a “technological Pearl Harbor.” the success of the world's first artificial satellite, which was the size of a basketball and weighed only 183 pounds, produced a massive response. in the context of the Cold War, Sputnik not only jump-started the “space race” between the United States and the ussr, but also ushered in new military, political, scientific, technical, as well as educational developments. the month following the Sputnik launch, President Dwight Eisenhower addressed the nation from the Oval Office on the topic of “Science in National Security.” Eisenhower declared that “one of our greatest, most glaring deficiencies is the failure of us in this country to give high enough priority to scientific education and to the place of science in our

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