Interest Groups and Education Reform: The Latest Crusade to Restructure the Schools (African American Life)
- Publish Date: 1996-10-10
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Veronica Donahue is a Manager for Voter N DiConti
During the 1980s, the education policy agenda proceeded from a consensus reached by politicians, the business community and educators to restructure the nation's public schools as a way to improve student achievement. This book begins with a critical examination of the impact of interest groups on American education since the inception of the first school system. Two restructuring proposals became extremely popular in the reform debate but stemmed from different premises about the best way to restructure the schools. The first, Public School Choice, centers on the idea that students should have the right to exit their assigned schools and attend a school of their choice. Schools would then be forced to improve because they would have to compete in the marketplace of students. The second proposal, School-Based Management, looks at the merits of strengthening the mechanism of voice for parents, students and teachers in the management of their neighborhood school. Those involved in the education process assess the needs, resources and development of local schools. Through two case studies, Minnesota and Baltimore City, the efforts and intentions of reformers demonstrate the abiility of interest groups to capture and define the purpose of a public institution at the state and local level.