New Foundations for Knowledge in Educational Administration Policy and Politics: Science and Sensationalism
This book probes the intellectual foundations of scholarly inquiry into educational administration, policy, and politics. The contributors – all recognized scholars in the fields of educational organization, administration, policy and politics – tackle the question of epistemology directly, addressing anew what rules of scholarly conduct should guide research and practice in the field, and how those rules of inquiry should guide the training of scholars and education professionals. The Introduction places the chapters in a common intellectual framework for rebuilding confidence in social science inquiry and of the legitimacy of the university as an arbiter of scientific knowledge claims. Intended audiences for this volume include research scholars, faculty, graduate students, and policy agency staffers in the fields of educational policy, politics, and administration; educational evaluation; and educational foundations.
Why are America's public schools falling so short of the mark in educating the nation's children? Why are they organized in ineffective ways that fly in the face of common sense, to the point that it is virtually impossible to get even the worst teachers out of the classroom? And why, after more than a quarter century of costly education reform, have the schools proven so resistant to change and so difficult to improve?
In this path-breaking book, Terry M. Moe demonstrates that the answers to these questions have a great deal to do with teachers unions --which are by far the most powerful forces in American education and use their power to promote their own special interests at the expense of what is best for kids.
Despite their importance, the teachers unions have barely been studied. "Special Interest" fills that gap with an extraordinary analysis that is at once brilliant and kaleidoscopic --shedding new light on their historical rise to power, the organizational foundations of that power, the ways it is exercised in collective bargaining and politics, and its vast consequences for American education. The bottom line is simple but devastating: as long as the teachers unions remain powerful, the nation's schools will never be organized to provide kids with the most effective education possible.
Moe sees light at the end of the tunnel, however, due to two major transformations. One is political, the other technological, and the combination is destined to weaken the unions considerably in the coming years --loosening their special-interest grip and opening up a new era in which America's schools can finally be organized in the best interests of children.
Contrasted worlds in the fiction of J. K. Rowling: Between muggles And magic - The two worlds Of Harry Potter
Haar surveys the organization's history and demonstrates its longstanding tendency to involve itself in issues of little or no relevance to education policy. Throughout its formative years, the PTA pursued legislative goals on issues such as prohibition, cigarette smoking, and international relations -- topics that had little to do with educating students. In more recent years, Haar contends, when the PTA did address important educational issues, its positions merely reflected the policies of the powerful teacher unions: the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. The modern PTA at the national and state levels rarely speaks with a truly independent voice, depriving parents of what could have been a constructive force for reform in public education.
Haar criticizes the PTA for defining meaningful parental involvement in education as fundraising, lobbying, and volunteering at schools in roles defined by teachers. Parental involvement should be viewed, Haar contends, primarily as activities that parents undertake to improve their children's academic performance. Ineffect, the PTA relegates parents to being little more than boosters of the educational status quo. With this dubious mission, it is not surprising that the organization's membership has dwindled, and with its tightly controlled governance structure, reform of the PTA is very improbable. Unable to stand up to the teacher unions or to represent parents' interests, the PTA seems destined for irrelevance, as its base in the schools is challenged by local parent organizations that choose not to be affiliated with the National PTA.
The belief that desegregation in the public schools has been a failed and costly policy is widespread. Educational standards suffer and public support declines, it is said, when the schools are used as agencies of social reform. In this study of school desegregation in San Francisco, Doris Fine argues that although the schools' difficulties are real, they are due not to the policy of desegregation but to deficiencies of leadership and organization within the schools.
Fine's central concern is institutional integrity and the demoralization that sets in when integrity is undermined. Some of the questions she considers are: How did San Francisco's public schools become a central arena for community conflict over issues of civil rights? What options did school leaders have? What happened when the political and educational controversy was brought to federal court? Did court orders help or hinder institutional reform? Most importantly, what adjustments in the leadership and internal dynamics of public schools were necessary for change to be effective?
This study of social policy and institutional dynamics documents a painful episode in the history of public schools. It sheds light both on the nature of social change and on the critical role leadership plays in the reform of organizations.