The Future of Public Education

The Future of Public Education

The Future of Public Education

The Future of Public Education

Excerpt

The Future of Public Education was written in 1958- 59. Since then I have had good reason to reaffirm some of the views expressed in it and to modify others. For this reason I welcome the opportunity to comment briefly upon them at this time.

The hard-cover edition was widely reviewed, probably more so than I had a right to expect. While most reviews were quite favorable to the book as a whole, it seems to me that few reviewers came to grips with the basic theses set forth in it. My comments about teachers organizations and the reactions to these comments are a case in point.

For one thing, I tried to explain why teachers organizations must be concerned with certain problems typically ignored by trade unions. For example, bricklayers are not required to undergo professional training in institutions of higher education. Teachers are, and for this reason their organizations must be deeply involved in problems of teacher education, certification, and accreditation. On the other hand, teachers organizations will never be effective until they incorporate certain union principles. Unlike fee takers such as doctors or lawyers, teachers are employed by other educators serving in an administrative capacity. For this reason, it is unwise to permit unrestricted administrator membership in professional organizations which represent teachers in matters of employment. The fact that such organizations can and should be concerned about many things in addition to conditions of employment is irrelevant to this conclusion.

In short, what I tried to say was that teachers organizations must incorporate certain features of both the fee-taking professions and the trade unions. Nevertheless, I frequently encounter . . .

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