Cover image for Reconstructing the common good in education : coping with intractable American dilemmas
Reconstructing the common good in education : coping with intractable American dilemmas
Cuban, Larry.
Publication Information:
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvi, 283 pages ; 24 cm
Pt. 1. Ways of seeing the common good in public education: the past informing the present. Public schools and the elusive search for the common good / William J. Reese ; Turning points: reconstruction and the growth of national influence in education / Ted Mitchell ; "There is no escape...from the ogre of indoctrination": George Counts and the civic dilemmas of democratic educators / Daniel Perlstein ; "No one here to put us down": Hispano education in a southern Colorado cummunity, 1920-1963 / Rubén Donato ; Echoes of corporate influence: managing away urban school troubles / Dorothy Shipps --Pt. 2. Ways of seeing the common good in public education: social and political implications. No exit: public education as an inescapably public good / David F. Labaree ; Bureaucracy left and right: thinking about the one best system / Harvey Kantor and Robert Lowe ; Why is it so hard to get "good" schools? / Larry Cuban -- Pt. 3. Uncommon ways of seeing the common good. Civic friendship: an Aristotelian perspective / Elisabeth Hansot ; Devotion and ambiguity in the struggles of a poor mother and her family: New York City, 1918-1919 / Michael B. Katz ; Reflections on education as transcendence / John Meyer.

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LA212 .R42 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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For almost two centuries, Americans expected that their public schools would cultivate the personal, moral, and social development of individual students, create citizens, and bind diverse groups into one nation. Since the 1980s, however, a new generation of school reformers has been intent on using schools to solve the nation's economic problems. An economic justification for public schools--equipping students with marketable skills to help the nation compete in a global, information-based workplace--overwhelmed other historically accepted purposes for tax-supported public schools.Private sector management has become the model for public school systems as schools and districts are "downsized," "restructured," and "outsourced." Recent reform proposals have called for government-funded vouchers to send children to private schools, the creation of self-governing charter schools, the contracting of schools to private entrepreneurs, and the partnerships with the business community in promoting new information technologies. But if there is a shared national purpose for education, should it be oriented only toward enhancing the country's economic success? Is everything public for sale? Are the interests of individuals or selected groups overwhelming the common good that the founders of tax-supported public schools so fervently sought?This volume explores the ongoing debates about what constitutes the common good in American public education, assessing the long-standing tensions between shared purposes and individual interests in schooling. It shows how recent school reform efforts, driven by economic concerns, have worsened the conflict between the legitimate interests of individuals and society as a whole, and demonstrates that reconstructing the common good envisioned by the founders of public education in the United States remains essential and unfinished work.

Author Notes

Larry Cuban, a former high school teacher of history and school superintendent, has taught at Stanford University since 1981
Ruben Donato is Associate Professor and Chair of Education Foundations, Policy and Practice in the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder
Patricia Albjerg Graham is Charles Warren Professor of the History of American Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Elisabeth Hansot teaches at Stanford University's political science department
Harvey Kantor is Professor of Education at the University of Utah
Michael B. Katz is Sheldon and Lucy Hackney Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania
David F. Labaree is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University
Robert Lowe is a professor of education at Marquette University
John Meyer is Professor of Sociology at Stanford University
Ted Mitchell currently serves as president of Occidental College
Daniel Perlstein teaches history and policy at the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Education
William J. Reese is Professor of Educational Policy Studies and of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dorothy Shipps teaches and conducts policy research at Teachers College, Columbia University

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In this fascinating and timely tribute to David Tyack, eminent historian of American education, 11 inheritors of Tyack's expansive outlook and precise storytelling apply their scholarship to the roots of contemporary political debates about accountability, standards, and vouchers. Ted Mitchell explores the roots of the Feedman's Bureau in New Orleans in the 1860s, Michael B. Katz "sits on the shoulder" of a poor mother in New York in 1918-19, and Ruben Donato describes the effects of local control by a Hispanic community in Colorado from 1920 to 1963. Also interesting are David Labaree's persuasive claim that there is "No Exit" from collective responsibility for public schools, John Meyer's insightful "Reflections on Education as Transcendent," and Larry Cuban's call to define "good" schools as fostering democratic virtues. Additional essays are by Elisabeth Hansot, Harvey Kantor, Daniel Perlstein, William Reese, and Dorothy Shipps. The editors' introduction and afterword ably contextualize and interpret the particulars, and the combined references and index will aid further inquiry. Every library with serious contemporary affairs or education collections will want this intelligent book. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. C. A. Cunningham; University of Chicago

Table of Contents

Patricia Albjerg GrahamLarry Cuban and Dorothy ShippsWilliam J. ReeseTed MitchellDaniel PerlsteinRuben DonatoDorothy ShippsDavid F. LabareeHarvey Kantor and Robert LoweLarry CubanElisabeth HansotMichael B. KatzJohn MeyerDorothy Shipps and Larry Cuban
Contributorsp. xi
Forewordp. xv
Introductionp. 1
Part I. Ways of Seeing the Common Good in Public Education: The Past Informing the Presentp. 9
1. Public Schools and the Elusive Search for the Common Goodp. 13
2. Turning Points: Reconstruction and the Growth of National Influence in Educationp. 32
3. "There Is No Escape ... from the Ogre of Indoctrination": George Counts and the Civic Dilemmas of Democratic Educatorsp. 51
4. "No One Here to Put Us Down": Hispano Education in a Southern Colorado Community, 1920-1963p. 68
5. Echoes of Corporate Influence: Managing Away Urban School Troublesp. 82
Part II. Ways of Seeing the Common Good in Public Education: Social and Political Implicationsp. 107
6. No Exit: Public Education as an Inescapably Public Goodp. 110
7. Bureaucracy Left and Right: Thinking About the One Best Systemp. 130
8. Why Is It So Hard to Get "Good" Schools?p. 148
Part III. Uncommon Ways of Seeing the Common Goodp. 171
9. Civic Friendship: An Aristotelian Perspectivep. 173
10. Devotion and Ambiguity in the Struggles of a Poor Mother and Her Family: New York City, 1918-1919p. 186
11. Reflections on Education as Transcendencep. 206
Afterwordp. 223
Notesp. 231
Referencesp. 245
Indexp. 275