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ERIC Number: ED467675
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-May
Pages: 56
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Practical Deliberation in Local School Districts: A South Carolina Experiment. CSE Technical Report.
McDonnell, Lorraine M.; Weatherford, M. Stephen
Despite its growing prominence as a political reform strategy, it is still unclear whether deliberation, with its emphasis on an inclusive process where citizens and politicians listen to each other and are open to persuasion, is a feasible strategy for engaging citizens in public education. This paper explores the feasibility of practical deliberation using a comparative case study of a deliberative experiment in South Carolina. Reconnecting Schools was intentionally designed to be deliberative and represents a good test of whether a diverse group of citizens can come together to discuss what kind of community and schools they want, formulate a plan for furthering those goals, and then take action. Although it is too soon to make a final assessment, the Reconnecting experience suggests that deliberative forums can be more inclusive than conventional venues for citizen participation in education politics, and that diverse participants can discuss controversial issues in an open and civil fashion. However, the enduring challenge of bringing the disenfranchised to the table and sustaining effective participation over the long term remains. Nevertheless, the Reconnecting experiment represents a promising strategy for engaging a broad segment of the community in the work of educating children. An appendix contains Reconnecting agreements. (Contains 15 references.) (Author/RT)
Center for the Study of Evaluation, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies Building, Mailbox 951522, 300 Charles E. Young Drive North, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1522 ($5.50). Tel: 310-206-1532; Fax: 310-825-3883; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.; California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for the Study of Evaluation.
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina