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ERIC Number: ED396441
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Feb-15
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
The Legacy of Disconnection between the Public Schools and Their Constituents.
Brunner, C. Cryss
A renewed call from national and state governments to strengthen connections between public schools and their communities invites people outside of the school system to play an active role in the decision-making process. Despite recent efforts to connect public schools and their communities, the two parties remain disconnected. This paper reflects on the historical literature on the development of public education from the 19th century to the present to understand the roots of this persistent disconnection. The first section establishes the initial connections between the public schools and their communities. These initial consensual connections, justified by public school crusaders, were fueled and supported by both public school representatives and their communities. The second section shows that the last two centuries witnessed the fracturing of the religious, political, and economic arguments for connection. It is suggested that diversity has been the source of disconnection and that the historical intensity and depth of disconnection must be addressed if future reform efforts are to build bridges. The paper concludes that historical forces surrounding diversity have institutionalized the disconnection between public schools and their communities. Any reform effort must not only address the institutional characteristics of schools, but also closely examine the historical forces that affect the formal and informal relationships between schools and society. Reform efforts can utilize diversity in a positive way to reduce the separation. (Contains 51 references.) (Author/LMI)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A