The War against American Public Schools by Gerald Bracey In his book The War against American Public Schools Gerald W. Bracey, a famous educational psychologist and research analyst, makes an attempt to broadly examine the system of American public education schools and functioning of alternative institutions like vouchers, charters, private schools, etc. He studies and summarizes a variety of different researches and tests, carried out in order to bring reforms to public schooling in the United States. Also Bracey analyzes some widespread imaginations about public education, like the common thought that increasing number of lessons or growing amount of money to be paid for school can bring to better test results, etc. The starting point of the book is the common idea that American public schools require fundamental reformation. Schools seem to be getting more and more boring for the majority of children.
And the author claims the establishment in intentions not to improve, but to separate and commercialize all educational structure of the country. Beginning with A Nation at Risk report, which Bracey calls “the blue book of propaganda,” destructive means and instruments of majoring interested groups and public school antagonists are summarized. The authors apprehension is proved with three main motives. The first is in revelation of how the conservative groups purposefully undermined and destabilized the situation in education with the help of obviously mangled educational statistics. The second is the growing variety of choice for students among different commercial programs, which are being offered in public education system. The third is the authors premonitions about privatizing of public schools and bad consequences of this behind the unclear policy regarding the changes and possibility of improvements in privatized schools. Bracey claims that governmental statistical reporters and mass media deliberately worsen the situation in public education with the aim of proving the necessity of advancing and changes.
Inclusion of prayer in modern American school schedule has been a controversial and highly debated issue during last several decades. When tragedy of the Columbine High School in 1999 occurred, in which twelve students and one teacher died, the issue of moral education and role of religion in the life of public education has been brought to an entirely different level. Right after the tragedy, The ...
He examines The International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) which was carried out by officials and resulted with a disappointing conclusion that American children are underachieving and are behind children of the same age from other nations. Bracey proves that the opponents of the existing educational system almost falsified the results of the tests with their known interests. Also he defends the efficiency of public schools against those, who say that children are noticeably worse in science and math in comparison with foreign students. Bracey underlines that American schools are more comprehensive in teaching of the other subjects and skills. Further in the book, Bracey specifies some social groups whose interests are tightly twined round the matters of public schools and who are eager to misbalance current situation in education. First of all, those are foundations of fiscal conservatives, whose primary aim is to minimize the activity of government in public schooling institutions, to reduce the amount of governmental personnel and legislative involvement and control, which can result in lowering of taxes, correspondently increasing of profits, and other opportunities. Second are, of course, businessmen. Benefits from governmental subsidies, given to the companies for trainings of young people, are obvious.
Moreover, smart businessmen are looking for ways to persuade government to lower and lower the costs of trainings and to make them affordable, sometimes using fiction as arguments. Bracey refers to the following example: nowadays the economy and industry are in rapid development, which requires some fast response in education system and preparation of young working power. As all relevant statistical researches emphasize, the demand of high computer literacy of high school graduates is growing, so some additional programs or courses in public schools would be vital for the needs of American industry. But in real, as Bracey underlines, just a few positions require deep knowledge of programming or PC operating, prevalently the level of usual PC user would be enough for successful work in the office or at the factory, especially for the beginners from high-schools. Academic personnel in public schools are also encouraging changes. To receive governmental or other special grants and advantages it is necessary to find out, create and implement some reformative innovation, because effortless praising of the existing system will not do. For many enthusiastic members of academic staff sometimes it becomes less important to consider the necessity of such reforms.
Public Policies Towards Native Americans Native American Policy is the set of laws and procedures developed and adapted in the United States to define the relationships between Native Americans and the federal government. Over the course of two hundred years, this policy has undergone many changes. At times, the federal government has recognized indigenous peoples as independent political ...
Even religious groups are interested in issues of public education in order to withdraw some money from it in favor of religious schools. That is why Christian conservatives support the idea of vouchers, which would directly provide religious schools with public funds in case of registering of children to parochial schools (though the idea of vouchers received strong opposition in federal government).
Under political pressure of such groups, Bracey reveals, the Supreme Court made some positive decisions for the increasing financing of religious schools in Cleveland. Finally, Bracey is firmly against privatization of American public schools. After revealing how many interested parts are recently playing this game, he argues that privatization will destroy that steady order and effectiveness, which still exists there, no matter what. He claims that bringing school system to profit-making will result negatively on the quality of education, especially for not very successful students. Bracey also appeals that the real situation in public education is not that critical as it is been presented by officials.
Private Schools The first position of chapter three is supportive of private schools. This position feels that private schools prevent the public schools from having a total monopoly over education by offering the community an alternative choice. This choice also produces competition with public schools for student enrollment. This position views public schools as something a student must accept ...
The book is highly readable, straightforward and captive. The author is excellent in using statistics to illustrate his speculations and amusing stories to keep up with the narration. Bracey supports his research with case studies from public schools of different states of the country. He gives a comprehensive analysis of the situation in public education, saying that it is in danger. He does not make-believe that he suggests the solution or reformative strategies. He argues the readers and all interested participants into leaving the events in public education to go on without outer interference or fights..