Redisigning American Education

Overview

Drawing on several principles of sociological theory, James S. Coleman and his colleagues construct a new design for American schooling. The authors present compelling evidence on the deficits of our educational system compared to other countries, arguing that the problems are the result of inappropriate incentives for teachers, students, and parents.Asserting that most American school systems are driven by administrative needs, the authors propose school designs that would shift the focus to student achievement ...

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Overview

Drawing on several principles of sociological theory, James S. Coleman and his colleagues construct a new design for American schooling. The authors present compelling evidence on the deficits of our educational system compared to other countries, arguing that the problems are the result of inappropriate incentives for teachers, students, and parents.Asserting that most American school systems are driven by administrative needs, the authors propose school designs that would shift the focus to student achievement output as the driving force behind public education. The move from an administratively driven system to an output-driven system would require the use of external standards; a method of evaluating school and student performance gains over time; a means of rewarding students, teachers and parents for academic performance gains; and the encouragment of informal norms that would support the new educational goals. Basing their recommendations on two national longitudinal data sets, each with a sample of over 1000 schools exhibiting variations in organizational design, the authors identify specific variations that have been shown to promote growth and achievement.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Draws on several principles of sociological theory to construct a new design for American schooling. Provides evidence of the deficits of US schools compared to other countries, and attributes them to inappropriate incentives for teachers, students, and parents and to the fact that school systems are driven by administrative needs. The proposed design would shift the focus to student achievement output as the driving force. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813324951
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 7/6/1997
  • Pages: 175
  • Lexile: 1470L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.29 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

James S. Coleman was University Professor at the University of Chicago until his death in 1995. Barbara Schneider is co-director of the Alfred P. Sloan Center on Parents, Children, and Work, and is professor of sociology at the University of Chicago. She has co-authored a number of books including The Ambitious Generation and Transforming Schools. Stephen Plank is an associate research scientist and adjunct assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University. Kathryn S. Schiller is a visiting assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame . Roger Shouse is an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Acknowledgments
1 Incentives for Reforming Schools 1
2 Output-Driven Schools: Principles of Design 13
3 A Comparison of 1980 and 1990 Sophomore Mathematics Achievement 39
4 Academic Press, Sense of Community, and Student Achievement 60
5 Reconsidering Roles and Incentives in Schools 87
6 External Examinations as an Incentive System 119
7 Prognosis for Reform: Lessons from an Output-Driven Education System 146
References 160
About the Authors 165
About the Book 167
Index 169
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