When and Why Did America First Require K-12 Education?
“Federal Role in Education.” Home, US Department of Education (ED), 27 July 2016, www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/ role.html. Accessed 7 Mar. 2017. At this government sponsored website, the history, mission and staffing of the U.S. Department of Education are described. Additional pages are accessible on this site that explain student loans, grants, laws and data. Because it is a government website, no authors are cited for the material. In the overview, the state and local governments are deemed responsible for funding education in their state/locality. In 2012-2013, as noted on the site, 92 percent of K-12 educational funding comes from the state, local and private sources. The other 8 percent does come from these federal sources: Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Agriculture. The latter two primarily for Head Start Program and food services. The purpose of federal oversight across national schools is to ensure all students have access to superior education and best practices are shared amongst the states. The latest update also states the Department of Education was the third largest budgeted agency of the government.
Katz, Michael B. “The Origins of Public Education: A Reassessment.” History of Education Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 4, 1976, p. 381., doi:10.2307/367722. Katz is a Professor of History in Toronto, Canada. This article was presented in Massachusetts in 1976. In his address, he touched on three areas of educational history: why public education, how was it established, and what were the results. He conducted case studies involving education in Canada and New York. Beginning with the industrialization era, he outlines how the education system developed. He tied societal norms, family and capitalism into the overall development of school systems. A portion of his article is also dedicated to the role of women in education. The article is academic and not easily understood. It is, however, valuable in determining the cultural aspects of the history of k-12 education systems. This article will be helpful in explaining why public schools were established in America. Katz concluded that schools had no positive impact on crime, poverty, or morality, as he showed was an expected outcome.
Klein, Alyson. “K-12 Law’s Legacy Blend of Idealism, Policy Tensions.” Education Week, vol. 34, no. 26, 1 Apr. 2015, pp. 1–21. Klein is a reporter and editor for the academic journal, Education Week, as well as a blogger for Politics K-12. Klein’s primary focus in this article is on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), No Child Left Behind Act, and the 1983 Nation At Risk Report regarding disadvantaged children. In the law portion of her article, a timeline is provided from 1965 to 2015 enacted education laws. The article identifies that laws were put in place to ensure impoverished school districts received funding and resources for improvement. Her quotes from legislators set the tone that additional funding would not solve the educational problems in poverty stricken regions. This article was replete with detailed dates, laws and legislators involved in Department of Education activities after the ESEA was established. In addition to the timeline, the article discusses the non-quantifiable impact of funding, an explanation of Title 1 through Title 10 laws, and an analysis of performance levels based on the laws introduced throughout the years.
Lubienski, Christopher A, and Sarah Thuele Lubienski. “The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools.” Education Digest, vol. 79, no. 8, Apr. 2014, p. 72. This article is a review of their own book written by the Lubienski authors. In one page they summarize the 304 page book. The argument is privatized, market-based school systems versus public school. Results of testing show that private school students outperform their public school counterparts. Wealthy donors and market-based education advocates attempt to use that data to push for vouchers and charter schools. The Lubienski’s research shows that the performance differences between public and private schools are due to community affluence and educational support at home, rather than the educational system in which the students participate. The authors of the review and book conducted research to discount student affluence and compare private to public school student performance based on other factors and public school students matched or outperformed their counterparts for those areas of comparison. They do not believe political agendas need to be introduced into education systems, nor does funding. If public school students had community and parental guidance to the same degree as private school students, they would exceed private educational performance by far.
Ravitch, Diane. “Stop the Madness.” Education Review, vol. 23, no. 1, 2010, pp. 27–34. Diane Ravitch is a widely respected and top education historian. This article comes from her previous work, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.” Ravitch writes that No Child Left Behind was ineffective and that standardized testing should be abolished. She proposes the schools should be available in neighborhood settings, allowing different cultures to assimilate and progress in life; where parents can get involved and have a say in the educational standards. Ravitch compares the market-based approach to education to the public policy approach. She points out that private organizations exert undue influence over school administrators by offering large sums of money in exchange for promoting their ideals. This activity leaves little oversight and little affect from the community and parents. The article also mentions teacher unions and how they are unfairly connected to school performance. Ravitch notes that unions have no impact, but community affluence has a greater impact.
Toppo, Greg. “Education Secretary Makes Push for Public Schools.” USA Today, 12 Jan. 2017, p. 03a. Greg Toppo is a writer for USA Today who covers national K-12 issues. This newspaper article briefly covers parting thoughts of the Obama Administration Department of Education Secretary, John King. Knowing his replacement, Betsy DeVos, is not a fan of public education, King warned against private-school vouchers. Toppo’s interview detailed King’s accomplishments over his 8 years of service as the Secretary. Toppo tied in quotes from then President-Elect Trump regarding DeVos and the education reformation he favors. He ended the article with a quote from King stating that public education is key to reaching the American dream and experiencing the true diversity of the nation. This was a short article, but brings to light the attacks on public school from a political prospective. Toppo is effective in not introducing media bias to the conflicting perspectives, giving concrete information and facts for the reader to digest. This information is key to knowing the trajectory that public education will follow in the future, at least for four years following the article.
Yanushevsky, Rafael. Improving Education in the US: A Political Paradox. Algora Publishing, 2011. In his book, Yanushevsky proclaims the education in America is in crisis. Yanushevsky was born and educated in Kiev, Ukraine and later became a professor in American universities in the sciences. He was named one of 2000 leading educators in the world. He details the origins of k-12 public education in America, explains the inner workings of public education across the nation along with political implications, discusses parent responsibilities in educating their children, shows differences with private and charter school education systems, and covers budgetary requirements for education. Yanushevsky exposes how politics interferes with education and writes that increased spending in the public education system does not and will not improve education. This book contains all essential information regarding the history of education with minute details regarding Department of Education staffing, budgeting, and politics. Yanushevsky writes about various issues and proposed, failed solutions to public education as well as offering his own recommendations for improvement in curriculum and funding.
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