ERIC Number: EJ943011
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: N/A
Leading Public Schools in an Oligarchial Age
Lugg, Catherine A.
Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, v4 n4 p371-373 Win 2010
Contemporary educational leaders should realize that America's political system of governance is not particularly democratic in the sense that the people rule. While popular elections occur in the U.S., participation rates by citizens are notoriously low, particularly at the local level. In very practical terms, the U.S. is less of a democratic republic than an international confederation of corporate oligarchs, with the thinnest democratic window treatments. For educational leaders seeking to lead public schools, they must understand the profoundly anti-democratic structures that shape their work environments. In the U.S., the needs of business and industry take political precedence over the needs of children. Furthermore, when the needs of children are raised in the political sphere they are framed in terms of "economic competitiveness." These political framings displace children's welfare concerns with those of corporations. Additionally, the real educational needs of students for personal autonomy, intellectual curiosity, and political self-determination have been subsumed in favor "academic achievement" as measured by corporate-designed standardized test. So less reflective administrators insist that teachers prepare for public school students the state assessment by insisting that teachers teach to the test--a de-skilling exercise for teachers and a mind-numbing experience for students. These leaders do so because the professional consequences of school failure are increasingly stark. In this article, the author calls on educational leaders to engage in political subversion.
Descriptors: Educational Needs, Educational Policy, Instructional Leadership, Leadership Styles, Educational Administration, Political Influences, Political Attitudes, Politics of Education, Social Justice, Professional Autonomy, Administrative Principles, Public Schools
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States