Chapter 7 of Joel Spring’s book American Education addresses power and control at the state and national levels, and provides specific information on high-stakes testing, school violence, reading wars and private foundations.
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Testing Program (ACT) are in competition to control the college entrance exam market. In 2005, 1.5 million students took the SAT; while 1.2 million took the ACT.
People are particular about the neighborhoods where they choose to live. Families with school-age children are especially picky. Fact is that home prices reflect district performance in high-stakes tests: The better the test scores, the higher the property values.
So, who really is in charge of American education these days?
Federal branches and agencies with the greatest influence over educational policies are, in order: Congress, President, Secretary of Education, Staff of the Department of Education.
Non-government groups with significant influence on American education include teachers’ unions and educational associations, business leaders, special interest groups, private think tanks, and educational research organizations.
Private foundations, such as the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, tend to nationalize educational policies and practices through financial support of studies, research, programs and organizations.
The federal government influences local education indirectly by controlling the requirements through which funds are given to local schools. Some programs, such as Career and Technical Education, are funded at 150% of general education through the Carl D. Perkins Act.
Federal power over public schools is out of proportion to the amount of funding it provides: Despite local and state taxes providing 92% of educational funding to public schools, local and state control is reduced under NCLB. In 2002-2003, funding was from State: 49%, Local: 43%, Federal: 8%. Nevertheless, it’s enough money to make most school officials jump.
The U.S. may already have a kind of national school system in place today, although not in name.
There are numerous ways to teach reading to children, but No Child Left Behind specifically supports phonics methods. Traditionally, conservatives support phonics instruction, while liberals support whole language methods. Critics argue that politics needs to be removed from education.
NCLB addresses violence prevention in and around schools in a section called the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act as a reaction to numerous violent tragedies at public schools. Young people should learn coping and social skills that will help them move away from violence and drugs.
… and, believe it or not, the school teachers and administrators are the ones doing it!
High-stakes testing is causing schools and educators to cheat by erasing incorrect answers on students’ answer sheets, allowing more time for testing than instructions permit, supplying students with hints of the correct answer, and preparing students with actual test questions. NCLB on teachers and administrators: Student test scores can influence performance evaluations, promotions, or salaries.
NCLB on students: High Stakes tests might determine promotion between grades or graduation.
NCLB on schools: Low student test scores may determine if the teaching staff will dismissed, the school is taken over by the state, or the school continues to exist.
Is anybody home? It’s awfully drafty in here.
Photographs from the following Flickr.com members were downloaded on July 30, 2012 for use in this presentation under a Creative Commons agreement: Armwrestling by Aldoaldoz ASH Locked by Bill Rhodes Photo Bully boy with ball by Trix0r Cheating by Mr_Stein Money by 401(K)2012 Graduation by Besighyawn Home by Paul L. McCord Jr. Moneygrab by Truthorg NCLB Schoolhouse by M.V.Jantzen Old Schoolhouse by JHF Portage Path School Demolition by Ecstatic Mark Puppets by Louish Pixel Running Away by Stuant63 Schoolhouse by Loozrboy Subdivision by Eurobas
American Education Chapter 7 presentation
Joel Spring: American Education Chapter 7 Summary by Pete Kendall
ReferencesPhotography from the following Flickr.com members was downloaded on 7.30.2012 for use in this presentation under a Creative Commons agreement: Arm wrestling by Aldoaldoz ASH Locked by Bill Rhodes Photo Bully boy with ball by Trix0r Cheating by Mr_Stein Money by 401(K)2012 Graduation by Besighyawn Home by Paul L. McCord Jr. Money grab by Truthorg NCLB Schoolhouse by M.V.Jantzen Old Schoolhouse by JHF Portage Path School Demolition by Ecstatic Mark Puppets by Louish Pixel Running Away by Stuant63 Schoolhouse by Loozrboy Subdivision by Eurobas Reading by Old Shoe Woman Ghost by Sherwood411