Charter Schools: Lessons in School Reform (Topics in Educational Leadership (Hardcover))
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Restore content access Restore content access for purchases made as guest. Article Purchase - Online Checkout. Issue Purchase - Online Checkout. People also read Article. David F. Lawrence et al. Teachers and Teaching Volume 25, - Issue 2. Published online: 13 Nov Laura Thomas et al. Published online: 3 Jan Christiana Karousiou et al. Published online: 14 Nov Joanna K. Garner et al. Teachers and Teaching Volume 25, - Issue 1. Published online: 16 Oct Yan Zeng et al. Teachers and Teaching Volume 25, - Issue 3. Published online: 25 Mar The brief public scare following the launch of Sputnik into space by the Russians in energized these concerns.
It was not designed to equalize opportunity but to raise the academic quality of schoolwork in the sciences, mathematics, and foreign languages, especially for the most academically talented students. By turning attention away from the utilitarian Life Adjustment curriculum, however, it may have had some positive effect across a range of high school students. Historian David Gamson has argued that the NDEA was supported by educators around the nation not just because everyone was alarmed by the launch of Sputnik but because the programs of the NDEA were easily compatible with the aims and programs in the field.
This is a half-truth. The NDEA was more important to the federal role in education than it was to expanding educational opportunity. There had been no federal grant programs generally open to all public schools except for vocational education. NDEA prevailed over a storm of opposition about the perils of federal aid to education, succeeding politically for several reasons. It prescribed which subject areas were eligible for support. It specified the need for language labs. It supported area studies in higher education and instruction in languages generally not taught in the United States.
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Congress was more receptive to this kind of bill. In contrast to general school aid, it gave the impression of accountability: dollars paid for programs established. It honored the state education agencies, which received the money and monitored the programs. Flexibility was great; accountability was slim.
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It also proved flexible. When advocates for history, English, home economics, and other subjects complained, Congress broadened NDEA in subsequent reauthorizations. Gradually, NDEA took on somewhat more of the look of general aid. NDEA was a breakthrough politically, but it did not expand much in subsequent reauthorizations. It was popular with local school administrators, but the big professional lobby groups resumed their crusade for federal aid that would be more general and more generous. More importantly, by the mids, NDEA was overshadowed by the seemingly sudden shift of priorities between and , when the Johnson administration was developing the next big education bill.
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It was focused not on the most academically talented children in the nation but on the most disadvantaged. Brown v. Board of Education of would prove the launching pad for wide-ranging changes in America even though shifts in school segregation patterns would prove glacial at the outset. It is an intriguing connection. Also, although the Brown decision on racial integration had languished in the court system for 10 years, it would prove to be a constitutional lodestone.
More important was the rise to leadership of Martin Luther King and the escalation of the civil rights movement.
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Although the principal aim of Title I was to improve academic achievement of low-performing students in high-poverty schools, it was also used in tandem with Title VI to pressure school districts to eradicate racial segregation. The federal government threatened to withhold Title I funding from districts found to be deliberately segregating their students.
The long-delayed desegregation effort now became the most coercive intervention of the federal government into state and local systems in our history on the passage of ESEA, see Sundquist along with Eidenberg and Morey ; on the Civil Rights Act, see Orfield ; Graham It is well known that very little action was taken to implement the Brown decision between and The Court left enforcement in the hands of the federal district courts in the South.
Many southern states and some southern courts willfully misinterpreted the Brown decision to require only that they would have to wipe laws that sanctioned segregation off the books. Following the passage of the Civil Rights Act, every school district in the country, North and South, was required to file an affidavit with the Office of Education stating either that no segregation was occurring in its schools or describing a plan to discontinue such segregation.
The main targets of the Office of Education were school systems in the 21 states that had mandatory or optional legalized segregation, most of which were in the Old South and border states. More than 10 years after the Brown decision, there were virtually no Black students attending schools with White students in the Old South. Some federal judges supported desegregating districts, but increasingly they did not. Court orders were issued requiring desegregation, but the wheels of justice moved slowly. On the executive side, some federal officers also delayed and compromised, but increasingly, federal civil rights officers supported efforts to desegregate.
Johnson kept his distance from the issue but issued occasional statements of support for the effort. But the machinery of federal enforcement, after more than a decade of inaction, was geared up to enforce the Brown decision by when the Supreme Court declared in Green v. Kent Co. A profound transformation like school desegregation needed the combined efforts of the judiciary, the executive branch, and Congress.
None of those branches took up the cause for the first decade. Under Johnson, the weak link was Congress, with its potent coalition of southern segregationists and conservative Republican. By the end of the first Nixon administration and into the Ford administration, both the White House and the Congress were ambivalent or resistant to desegregation, in particular to busing. Nonetheless, major gains were made in the South in the years between and , driven partly by some key Supreme Court decisions, the efforts of local plaintiffs and civil rights organizations, and the widespread opinion in favor of integration among staff lawyers at the civil rights offices in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare HEW and the Justice Department.
Federal efforts to desegregate school systems in the North and West came later and were less successful. They argued that they could address the issue in the North on the basis of the Civil Rights Act, even though the states involved did not have laws sanctioning segregation. Title VI simply says that no program receiving federal funds could discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
Commissioner Frank Keppel, acting on the directions of the assistant HEW secretary for civil rights with whom he disagreed , pressed the matter with the Chicago school board, enraging Mayor Richard Daley. Politics trumped the Constitution.
Keppel lost his job as commissioner. As to the first barrier, many journalists and some jurists kept alive the distinction that Southern desegregation was de jure enacted in law and therefore unconstitutional , while Northern desegregation was de facto, existing mostly due to housing patterns and thus out of reach of the Brown decision. Decisions within the education policy sector were also grossly discriminatory. Districts deepened segregation through their choice of new construction sites, determining bus routes, drawing attendance boundaries, and granting transfer rights.
In the early days of activism at the Office of Education, federal officials relied upon the Civil Rights Act to attack segregation in states not covered by the Brown decision. Denver Keyes cemented this understanding of northern segregation among the judiciary, though many people continued to argue that northern segregation was different and beyond legal remedy Kaestle Forthcoming.
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The second barrier to northern segregation was the rising percentage of students of color in large cities like Detroit and Newark. As long as desegregation enforcement was restricted to single school systems rather than metropolitan areas, heavily White suburbs escaped involvement in the desegregation of cities that were predominantly non-White. Absent a metropolitan strategy, the prospect of busing children of color around the city to integrate them with a small number of White children was neither logistically nor educationally reasonable.
That restriction was given the imprimatur of the Supreme Court in the Detroit case Milliken v. Bradley in , which declared the suburbs not culpable.
Milliken provided a tiny loophole to allow for metropolitan solutions, and there were subsequently a few such desegregation agreements reached voluntarily or with court encouragement, but Milliken generally proved an effective barrier to desegregating large urban systems. In the s and s, the Supreme Court would demand clear evidence of intent on the part of northern school boards accused of deliberate segregation. Without such evidence, they lifted court supervision of those systems. The third barrier to effective federal action on northern segregation was growing public weariness with the conflict and a shift of opinion about its merits.
Indeed, for some African-Americans, it was not simply an opposition to busing but disillusionment with integration itself and the feeling that it was the wrong solution. Other African-Americans came to think it was demeaning for policy officials to imply that their children could not learn well unless they were in school with Whites.
This position dovetailed with the movement toward Black Power. Historian Jack Dougherty found that when Black leaders in Milwaukee pressed hard for desegregation, the federal government had not yet decided what to do about northern segregation and was unresponsive.
By the time federal officials focused on Milwaukee desegregation, they faced a divided Black community. Many Blacks had defected from integration to community control Dougherty These shifts in the early and mids did not quash the ongoing desegregation suits and investigations of the North and South.
There was a certain momentum behind the 10 years of activism.