This is a book about responsibilities--responsibilities that we sometimes do not like to acknowledge that we have. In particular, it is a book about responsibility for education. For too long we in the United States have attempted to shift the burden of responsibility for children and for their education to someone else, anyone else. Responsibility has shifted off the shoulders of parents, away from extended families and communities, outside of churches and social institutions, out of government's hands. As a result, the burden has fallen solely on the schools. Then, when our children fail to live up to global standards of educational achievement, we have an appropriate target to blame: the schools.
The primary responsibility for education is, of course, rightly placed squarely on the shoulders of educators. Only schools can take charge of the educational system. They need to better understand the dynamics, goals, and organizational characteristics of education. Schools themselves need to restructure the system of education to meet the needs of the global society in which we now live. Schools are in fact responsible for the content and methods of education and for these they need to assume responsibility. So this book is also about the structural and systemic reforms that schools can make to convert themselves into organizations whose members, students, teachers, and administrators alike, continue to grow and learn.
Our society has systematically compounded the difficulties with which schools must contend in recent years by asking schools to resolve various kinds of social problems for which no other institution has been willing or