ERIC Number: ED385897
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Our Schools and Our Future & Private and Parochial Schools in the Education Revolution.
Finn, Chester E., Jr.
This document contains two essays--the first on public education, and the second on private education. The first essay, entitled, "Our Schools and Our Future," points out a paradox--public-opinion polls show widespread public receptivity to fundamental changes in the education system; however, this attitude is accompanied by widespread complacency about the performance of the education system. The paper outlines 10 essential elements of a reformed system, some of which include: clear standards and outcome goals; compulsory school attendance; more time spent on learning; a systemwide core curriculum; and school choice for students, teachers, and parents. The second essay, "Private and Parochial Schools in the Education Revolution," examines the current situation of private education and speculates as to its future. The essay describes a growing convergence between public and private education, as public school reform adopts features traditionally associated with private education, and reviews states' actions in school choice. Four implications for the future of private education are stated: (1) Any significant policy action that may benefit private education will happen outside the Beltway; (2) the radicalization of public-school reform may not benefit private schools; (3) private schools could be threatened by ventures that invent and then install a nationwide chain of new proprietary schools; and (4) a preoccupation with measurable, cognitive learning outcomes may result in homogenization of curriculum and fail to justify to parents the cost of private education. The paper argues that private education does not seem to be making maximum use of its independence; it is not yet doing as well as it should and is not improving fast enough. A fundamental political revolution is needed, which will turn education from a system dominated by the interests of its producers into one that is run for the benefit of its consumers. (LMI)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Accountability, Educational Innovation, Elementary Secondary Education, Parochial Schools, Private Schools, Public Schools, School Choice, School Restructuring, School Support, State Action, State Church Separation, Systems Approach
Center of the American Experiment, 2342 Okaza VII, 45 South 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 ($5).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center of the American Experiment, Minnapolis, MN.
Note: Papers presented separately at two meetings, the forum of the Center of the American Experiment and the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Federation of Citizens for Education Freedom (Minneapolis, MN, November 1991).