ERIC Number: ED370732
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
Whose KERA Is It Anyway?
DeYoung, Alan J.
Across the Ridge, p3-5 Spr 1994
This paper addresses misconceptions about the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA). Advocates claim that there has never been a statewide school reform of KERA's significance and magnitude. However, Kentucky legislators, both in 1909 and in the mid-1950s, passed governance and finance reforms considered to be as revolutionary as those of KERA. A second claim of KERA advocates is that the myriad of unrelated KERA components are in agreement with the national school reform movement; however, when closely examined, the legislation contains inconsistencies and competing aims. Finally, there is the argument that statewide economic woes are due primarily to poor education; whereas, the reverse is true--Kentucky education has been inadequate due to the lack of industry and leadership to support good schools. Historically, there have been four competing views about school reform and improvement: the humanist view, advocating the teaching of music, poetry, and philosophy; the social efficiency movement, stressing the importance of providing an education that has meaning and social utility; the developmentalist view, stressing consideration of children's mental and psychological development when providing learning experiences; and the social meliorists, who believe that the purpose of education is to improve the social condition of children born into poverty and neglect. KERA draws much of its appeal from the fact that all reformers can recognize their vision of school improvement in the Act. However, supporters of KERA who believe that all involved have an equal stake in the Act probably underestimate complexities and competing interests. The author's primary interest in KERA is in its emphasis on site-based councils, extended school services, family and youth service centers, and enhancement and retention of small schools that serve multiple needs of rural communities. (LP)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kentucky Univ., Lexington. Appalachian Center.
Identifiers: Kentucky; Kentucky Education Reform Act 1990; Reform Efforts
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