ERIC Number: EJ710986
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar-1
Reference Count: N/A
Stateline: Critical Mass
Phi Delta Kappan, v86 n7 p485 Mar 2005
In Physics "critical mass" refers to the minimum amount of fissionable material required to sustain a chain reaction. The adoption of state education policy isn't often equated with this concept, but occasionally solutions and ideas seem to gather around a common problem. If the solution at hand is simple, easily understood, and strengthened with personal anecdotes, and if someone or some organization tags it with a common name, a solid core of support can quickly emerge in a number of locales. While some critics might presume that states copy one another's legislation, this is rarely the case. However, during the Vietnam War era, states moved almost in unison to provide scholarships to widows and orphans of POWs and MIAs. The adoption of minimum competency testing two decades ago and the more recent embrace of charter schools are two more examples of how simple concepts reach critical mass.
Descriptors: Educational Trends, Educational Change, State Legislation, School Law, Charter Schools, Alternative Teacher Certification, Educational Finance, Court Litigation, School Restructuring, Educational Policy, Educational Improvement
Phi Delta Kappa International, Inc., 408 N. Union St., P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Web site: http://www.pdkintl.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A