What's public about public schools? Why do we invest in educating the next generation of Americans? What is it that drives our common purpose in educating children and at the same time divides us so passionately about how to educate them? Public schools have little to do with children. Schools are political and ideological institutions in which each generation battles among itself for supremacy in determining the purposes, goals and direction of public education. From battles over school lunch to school dress to school prayer, each generation reinterprets and recapitulates the political and ideological arguments that date back to the founding of our nation. More than two centuries after the American Revolution, public schools serve as political battlefields for debates about religious freedom and whether students should be allowed to wear U.S. flag teeshirts. We invite you to join us in an exploration of the purposes of public schools, the competing visions of public education, and the values of the public good that comprise the public in public schools.
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About the Author
Phil Boyle is president of Leading and Governing Associates, a public purpose consulting practice dedicated to preserving democracy and representative government. Del Burns is a consultant and director of education services for GMK Associates and is a former superintendent.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Part I: What's Public about Public Schools? Chapter 2 Prologue: Crestwich Faces a Public Test Chapter 3 Introduction: The Public in Public Schools Part 4 Part II: Visions and Values of Public Education in Our Democratic Republic Chapter 5 Chapter 1 – Liberty and Public Schools: Freedom, Choice, Opportunity Chapter 6 Chapter 2 – Community and Public Schools: Connection, Belonging, Social Order Chapter 7 Chapter 3 – Equality and Public Schools: Difference, Diversity, Equal Opportunity Chapter 8 Chapter 4 – Prosperity and Public Schools: Economy, Efficiency, Competitiveness Part 9 Part III: Policy Goals and Values in Crestwich Public Schools Chapter 10 Chapter 5 – Leveling the Playing Field: Who Gets Educational Opportunity? Chapter 11 Chapter 6 – Assigning Students: Who Goes Where, with Whom and Why? Chapter 12 Chapter 7 – Funding Schools: Who Pays for What, How, Why and for Whom? Part 13 Part IV: Leading and Governing Public Schools Chapter 14 Chapter 8 – Public Problems: Values, Conflicts and Choices Chapter 15 Chapter 9 – Public Leadership: Policy Problem Solving and Decision Making Chapter 16 Chapter 10 – Governing Public Schools: Who Shall Rule? Chapter 17 Part V: Preserving the Public Chapter 18 Conclusion: Public Schools for the Public Good Chapter 19 Epilogue: The Future of the Public in Crestwich Public Schools