Cover image for Visions of schooling : conscience, community, and common education
Visions of schooling : conscience, community, and common education
Salomone, Rosemary C.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press [2000]

Physical Description:
xiv, 329 pages ; 25 cm
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LB1027.9 .S26 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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At no time in the past century have there been fiercer battles over American state schools than there are now. Parents and educational reformers are challenging not only the mission, content, and structure of mass compulsory schooling but also its underlying premise - that the values promoted through public education are neutral and therefore acceptable to any reasonable person. In this important book, Rosemary Salomone sets aside the ideological and inflammatory rhetoric that surrounds today's debates over educational values and family choice. She offers instead a fair-minded examination of education for democratic citizenship in a society that values freedom of conscience and religious pluralism. And she proposes a balanced course of action that redefines but does not sever the relationship between education and the state. Salomone demonstrates how contemporary conflicts are the product of past educational and social movements. She lays bare some of the myths that support the current government monopoly over education and reveals how it privileges those of economic means. Through a detailed case study of a recent controversy in a suburban New York school district, the author expl

Author Notes

Rosemary C. Salomone is professor of law at St. John's University School of Law and a fellow of the Open Society Institute.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

How much control should parents have over their children's education? What should the balance be between parental and governmental control in education? And where do the children and their rights fit in? Salomone (law, St. John's Univ.) examines how children have been perceived through history (as "miniature adults" in the Middle Ages and as the legal property of their parents after the Reformation) before they were eventually seen as individuals with their own rights. She also explains how our current education system is rooted in 19th-century ideals, stating that it is clearly time for a change. "Can't we all just get along," seems to be Salomone's plea as she tackles the issue of mixing the needs and wants of children, parents, and educators. While she offers no specific solutions, her comments could cause concerned citizens to "think outside the box" and to begin a process that could create a more harmonious environment in public schools. Primarily for academic and larger public libraries.DTerry Christner, Hutchinson P.L., KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Using the litigation opposing compulsory schooling, Salomone (law, St. Johns Univ. School of Law) shows that public schools do not promote common values. Her aim is to consider the problems of bringing people together and allowing them to pursue their own values. She describes the 19th-century image of the common school and the controversies over whether the school should meet the rights of children or support the rights of parents. Pointing out that federal justices consider these issues political, she explains how religious conservatives imitated the strategies used by the NAACP to support their aims. In addition, she explores a controversy that took place when an elementary school encouraged children to play a card game that some parents believed advanced occult practices. Finally, she considers the meaning of education in a pluralistic society and compares efforts to accommodate parental choice within public schools to efforts that weaken the public schools such as charter schools. For comparative purposes readers may also be interested in James W. Fraser's Between Church and State (CH, Jan'00) or Catherine A. Lugg's For God and Country: Conservatism and American School Policy (CH, May'97). Recommended for graduate students, faculty, and professionals. ; University of Dayton

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
1. Introductionp. 1
2. The Common School: Past as Prologuep. 10
3. From Children's Rights to Parents' Rightsp. 42
4. The Supreme Court as Schoolmasterp. 75
5. Voices of Dissentp. 105
6. Struggling with Satanp. 142
7. Education for Democratic Citizenshipp. 197
8. Re-Envisioning Common Educationp. 228
9. Conclusionp. 267
Notesp. 273
Indexp. 317