ERIC Number: ED371914
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Rural School Consolidation in New York State, 1795-1993: A Struggle for Control.
Pugh, Thomas J.
Between 1795 and 1993, elementary and secondary schooling in New York State shifted from a private/local to a public/state activity. That shift from local to state control and identity involved a lengthy political struggle and reveals the historical working-out of two conflicting themes in the American political tradition: popular democratic control versus administrative efficiency and filtered representation. Since 1900 the total number of school districts nationwide has decreased from 150,000 to less than 16,000. In New York, the decrease is from 11,000 to 720. Proponents of consolidation, typically lead by well-educated professionals with positions of authority, have used arguments of increased equity, efficiency, and quality. Citizens who resist consolidation, often considered to be penurious or ignorant, have expressed concerns about democratic participation, local control, and the nature and function of education. The accomplishments of consolidation and centralization include the provision of a somewhat equitably financed system of schools providing a comprehensive education program and co-curricular activities delivered by credentialed experts in modern school buildings. However, consolidation has also led to the loss of opportunities for civic education and to the dissolution of rural communities. (KS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York