Daily Life in the United States, 1960-1990: Decades of Discord

By Myron A. Marty | Go to book overview

16 Hard Knocks for Schools

School administrators, board members, and teachers in those years wrestled with such issues as minimum competency testing, community advisory councils, programs in "values clarification," bilingual education, and questions about textbooks. In their student populations were some judged to be at-risk, others gifted and talented, and still others learning disabled (a term used initially in 1963). For the latter, that most likely meant separate classrooms, since mainstreaming was not yet a part of schools' responses or vocabularies.

Challenges Facing Schools

Moreover, until the twenty years of enrollment growth ended in 1970, school administrators faced overcrowded schools and classrooms. Predictably, but with seeming suddenness, enrollment problems shifted into reverse in 1971, as a long downward spiral began. Soon decisions over which schools to close became battles between neighborhoods within school districts. Convenience of location was one issue. The perception that an empty school building signaled neighborhood decline was another.

As school systems grew larger and more bureaucratized, teachers felt increasingly alienated from school administrators. Rather quickly, they stood on opposite sides of a number of issues. Almost overnight the National Education Association (NEA), once the symbol of a united profession, became chiefly a collective bargaining agent. Whether teachers chose to affiliate with it or its rival, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), or simply to maintain unaffiliated local organizations, they became more militant.

Teacher Militancy

-159-

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Daily Life in the United States, 1960-1990: Decades of Discord
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in the Greenwood Press "Daily Life through History" Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Notes xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • Introduction xix
  • Part I - Modern Times Flourish and Fade: 1960-1966 1
  • 1 - Family Life 3
  • 2 - Changing Population Patterns 11
  • 3 - Private and Public Lives 25
  • 4 - Consumers in the Material World 35
  • 5 - The Other America 43
  • 6 - Mind and Spirit 51
  • 7 - Technology in Daily Life 57
  • 8 - Cultural Transformations 65
  • Part II - Troubled Times: 1967-1974 77
  • 9 - Changing Families 79
  • 10 - Civil Rights and Group Identities 87
  • 11 - Securities Shaken 99
  • 12 - Cultural Reflections/Cultural Influences 115
  • 13 - Material Aspects of Life 127
  • 14 - Environmental and Consumer Protection 141
  • 15 - Technology's Small Steps and Giant Leaps 149
  • 16 - Hard Knocks for Schools 159
  • 17 - Spiritual Matters 169
  • 18 - Not Ready for New Times 175
  • Part III - Times of Adjustment, 1975-1980 179
  • 19 - Family Changes Continue 181
  • 20 - The Peoples of America 187
  • 21 - Security Concerns 195
  • 22 - Television, Movies, and More 205
  • 23 - Cares of Daily Life 215
  • 24 - Arenas of Discord 225
  • 25 - Pulling Together 239
  • Part IV - Crossing the Postmodern Divide: 1981-1990 245
  • 26 - Family Variations 247
  • 27 - People at the Margins 255
  • 28 - Security Concerns Continue 265
  • 29 - Diversions 277
  • 30 - Concerns of Daily Life 291
  • 31 - Technology 303
  • 32 - More Discord 309
  • 33 - Prospects 331
  • Selected Bibliography 337
  • Index 353
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