S.O.S.: Sustain Our Schools

S.O.S.: Sustain Our Schools

S.O.S.: Sustain Our Schools

S.O.S.: Sustain Our Schools

Excerpt

This book began with an unsuccessful trip to the library. Early in 1977 I was called for an interview with Joe Califano in Washington, D.C., to determine whether I should become the director of the National Institute of Education. Knowing little about NIE or about the federal government's role in education, I followed a strategy I had turned to often in my life, and went to the library to look up whatever had been published about NIE or, more important, about what the federal government had done or was supposed to do to improve American education. I found very little about either. On that raw winter day I would have settled for a handbook on the federal government's historical and contemporary role in education, but I could not find one.

Despite the failure of my research, I took the job, and during the ensuing two and a half years I had no time to search any more libraries. Often, during that hectic time, I wished vainly for a small volume that would explain briefly and simply what the issues were in improving American education and what the federal government could do to help.

When I returned to university teaching in 1979, I inaugurated a course on the historical role of the federal government . . .

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