Let's Not Play Favorites: Religion, Civic Values, and Public Education

Education Next, Fall 2003 | Go to article overview

Let's Not Play Favorites: Religion, Civic Values, and Public Education


Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the city of Cleveland's school voucher program constitutional because it took a neutral stance toward religion. Both religious and secular schooling options were available to parents. Now the political and legal struggle shifts to the states, where opponents of vouchers are pinning their hopes on the so-called Blaine amendments enshrined in the constitutions of 39 states. Named for 19th-century anti-Catholic presidential candidate James G. Blaine, these provisions are commonly understood to prohibit the use of public funds at religious schools.

Washington State relied partially on its own Blaine amendment to revoke the publicly funded scholarship of Joshua Davey, a student who had declared a major in theology at Northwest College. In its next term, the Supreme Court will again consider whether it is legitimate for a state to forbid individuals from choosing to use public dollars for religious instruction. The Court's decision in Davey v. Locke, writes James E. Ryan in this issue's cover story, may neutralize the Blaine amendments altogether, thereby clearing the legal path for school vouchers.

If the principle of neutrality is the key to the voucher question, is it also the best way to think about civic education? James B. Murphy believes that efforts to teach civic values in public schools ultimately place students at the nexus of the country's culture wars. In an essay that is sure to provoke both those who want schools to advance patriotic values and those who preach social change, Murphy argues that public schools should focus on teaching students the knowledge and skills necessary to be intellectually engaged citizens, while remaining neutral on questions of civic values.

The principle of neutrality lies at the core of an equally provocative feature by Miriam Kurtzig Freedman. Freedman examines the College Board's controversial decision to end the "flagging" of students' scores when they are granted extended time to take the SAT because of a disability. Beginning in October 2003, some students will take the test in three hours, others in four and a half hours, and college admissions officers will no longer know the difference. Either abolish the time limit for everyone, Freedman argues, or note whose time limits have been lifted.

In this issues forum, Frederick Hess and Marc Tucker suggest that public schools should also remain neutral regarding where potential principals and superintendents gained their management skills and experience. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Let's Not Play Favorites: Religion, Civic Values, and Public Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.