In The Fight for America’s Schools, Barbara Ferman brings together a diverse group of contributors to investigate how parents, communities, teachers, unions, and students are mobilizing to oppose market-based reforms in education. Drawing on a series of rich case studies, the book illustrates how disparate groups can forge new alliances to work together toward common goals. The Fight for America’s Schools tackles recent changes in the landscape of education policy that have prompted significant alterations in the politics of education. Collectively, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, the Common Core State Standards, and now the Every Student Succeeds Act have chipped away at the traditional center of community control—a trend reinforced by the charter movement, school closures, and state takeovers of some urban schools. At the same time, market-based reforms have sparked resistance from teachers, parents, students, and community groups. The book explores grassroots organizing campaigns in mid-Atlantic cities and suburbs, describing the reconfiguration of historical alliances, the mobilization of new organizations, and the potential for new coalitions that provide a countervailing force to established political configurations and strive to preserve education as a public good.
About the Author
Barbara Ferman is a professor of political science at Temple University and founder and executive director of the University Community Collaborative.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The New Landscape of Education Politics Barbara Ferman 1
1 Challenges to Coalition Building: Confronting Power with Creativity Barbara Ferman Nicholas Palazzolo 17
2 A Tale of Two Cities: Community Resistance in Newark and Camden Stephen Danley Julia Sass Rubin 33
3 With Our Powers Combined: Grassroots Activism in Philadelphia Elaine Simon Rand Quinn Marissa Martino Golden Jody C. Cohen 55
4 When the Personal Becomes Political: Parent Organizing and the Opt-Out Movement Barbara Ferman 75
5 Organizing Goes Statewide: The Case of Save Our Schools NJ Julia Sass Rubin 97
6 Lessons from the Grass Roots Barbara Ferman 115
7 Preserving Education as a Collective Good Susan DeJarnatt Barbara Ferman 131
About the Editor 179
About the Contributors 181