ERIC Number: ED231712
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr-11
Reference Count: 0
Compelling Belief: The Culture of American Schooling.
Majority control of schooling undercuts the freedoms of expression and belief which are central to the First Amendment and to the political health of our society. In education, First Amendment rights can only be guaranteed insofar as choice is actually available to dissenting families. However, battles over public orthodoxy are observable in family efforts to secure home education, in government regulation of private schools, and in the conflict over curriculum content and book censorship. Two illustrations are "Pico v. Island Trees Union Free School District" and the Texas Textbook Proclamation. The Supreme Court case affirmed that in book selection and curriculum decisions the majority may force its values on the minority in the name of "community." The Texas Textbook Proclamation sets official guidelines to publishers for the content of textbooks. Because Texas is one of the largest buyers of textbooks and because the guidelines are subjective and vague, publishers give in to the pressure not to offend values and ideological preferences of organized political or cultural censors. Thus, the only reasonable response is the separation of school and state, a move which would guarantee the same government neutrality and parental choice as the separation of church and state. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Majority Role; Pico v Island Trees Union Free School District
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Canada, April 11, 1983).