America's Public Schools: From the Common School to ''No Child Left Behind''

America's Public Schools: From the Common School to ''No Child Left Behind''

by William J. Reese
     
 

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William J. Reese's history of public schools in America examines why citizens have repeatedly turned to the schools to improve society and how successive generations of reformers have tried to alter the curriculum and teaching practice to achieve their goals.

Organized around two themes-education as the means for reforming American society and ongoing reform within

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Overview

William J. Reese's history of public schools in America examines why citizens have repeatedly turned to the schools to improve society and how successive generations of reformers have tried to alter the curriculum and teaching practice to achieve their goals.

Organized around two themes-education as the means for reforming American society and ongoing reform within the schools themselves-this study examines two centuries of American public education. It explores school and society in the nineteenth century, including public school growth in the antebellum and postbellum eras; competing visions of education and reform during the first half of the twentieth century; and social change and reform from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Reese emphasizes the centrality of schools in the history of reform and their persistent allegiance to traditional practices and pedagogy despite two centuries of complaint by romantics and progressives. He describes tradition as a reliable friend of public schools, despite the enormous changes that have occurred over time: the centralization of authority, professionalization of teaching staff, and the expansion of curricular offerings.

Reese's clear and accessible book is an original interpretation of the history of public elementary and secondary schools in America. It should become a standard text for future teachers as well as scholars of education.

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Editorial Reviews

Sunday Times
A very good introductory survey for anyone who wants to learn more about American education.

Journal of American History
A superb history of our public schools, one that is clearly and colorfully written.

Journal of Social History
Reese has delivered in one volume an analysis as synthetic, intelligent, and importantly, deeply engaged with the most enduring issues in popular education as we are likely to encounter for some time.

Paedagogica Historica
A brilliant contribution to the field.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421400167
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
03/19/2011
Series:
The American Moment
Edition description:
updated edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

William J. Reese is the Carl F. Kaestle WARF Professor of Educational Policy Studies and History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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