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United States school reform model - Essay Example

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Public schools in the US are long overdue for reform. The pedagogy, governance, and organization are archaic, as are the methods of teaching and day to day operations. Yet it is no small task to overhaul a system that has been in place for well over one hundred years. …
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Download file to see previous pages Public schools in the US are long overdue for reform. The pedagogy, governance, and organization are archaic, as are the methods of teaching and day to day operations. Yet it is no small task to overhaul a system that has been in place for well over one hundred years. There have been several attempts to change the way schools were run, yet each one has failed, or has affected change on only a few schools. Few would argue that America's public schools are no longer meeting the needs of the families they serve, much less reaching their potential as ideal environments for children to grow and learn in. Schools are essential to society, but they must grow and change to meet the needs of the people that reside within that society. To change schools, it is necessary to look at change to the way schools are run, both at a micro and a macro level or organization. It is necessary to look at how the school should interact within the community, and how it should create its' own community. And finally, it is necessary to look at the pedagogy, and how it works and is assessed within the schools.Current school government is convoluted, and is micro-managed at far too many levels. Each school has government, then each district, then each county, each state, each region, and finally, on a country-wide level. This overabundance of government comes also with very little organization. Tyack looks at governance as a definite place of difficulty in education. Citing the New York City schools as an example, he points out that when control is de-centralized, people demand centralized governance; yet when the governance is centralized, the people want governance back at the local level. When it returns, the cycle repeats itself (Tyack 76-77). It is clear that governance of schools needs to be clear about hierarchy of power, and also with regard to who is in charge of what areas of education. Because American's are an ever changing population characterized by the constant shifting and movement of groups from one area to another, it stands to reason that public schools should be run on a country wide level, and not on a state run level. Goodlad, author of A Place Called School, recommends similar changes, only at a state level. He explains "State officials, including the governor, should be held accountable for articulating a comprehensive, consistent set of educational goals for schools (Goodlad 275). He suggests that it is not reasonable, nor logical to place the blame for not following educational mandates upon schools; that it is the responsibility of the state to pass on these new mandates, and to ensure that the schools are funded for the changes (Goodlad 274). His recommendations are reasonable, although they do not account for the need to maintain standards country-wide, which would be better served by one organization rather than several. By limiting governance to one major organization, all schools would be subject to the same rules and tests, allowing children to move from school to school with regular uniformity. Health codes and nutrition could also be met at a federal level, ensuring the health of America's children over the long term. Clearly, in addition to federal level government there needs to be local organization also, to provide support and to ensure all schools are accounted for. This can be met by having state level governance, removing the need for district level altogether.
With-in schools, current governance allows for the handling of discipline and day to day operations. The principal of each school should have power over the daily operations of the school, but should also be a part of the staffing decisions and possibly a member of a state advisory board, that would help suggest curriculum or other changes to a state committee. School governance needs to take into account American Society, and the changes that take place yearly.
Community involvement is also a necessary component of school success. Goodlad suggests that in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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