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David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
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    The Bone Clocks

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Someone Has to Fail: The Zero-Sum Game of Public Schooling

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Someone Has to Fail: The Zero-Sum Game of Public Schooling Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What do we really want from schools? Only everything, in all its contradictions. Most of all, we want access and opportunity for all children--but all possible advantages for our own. So argues historian David Labaree in this provocative look at the way "this archetype of dysfunction works so well at what we want it to do even as it evades what we explicitly ask it to do."

Ever since the common school movement of the nineteenth century, mass schooling has been seen as an essential solution to great social problems. Yet as wave after wave of reform movements have shown, schools are extremely difficult to change. Labaree shows how the very organization of the locally controlled, administratively limited school system makes reform difficult.

At the same time, he argues, the choices of educational consumers have always overwhelmed top-down efforts at school reform. Individual families seek to use schools for their own purposes--to pursue social opportunity, if they need it, and to preserve social advantage, if they have it. In principle, we want the best for all children. In practice, we want the best for our own.

Provocative, unflinching, wry, Someone Has to Fail looks at the way that unintended consequences of consumer choices have created an extraordinarily resilient educational system, perpetually expanding, perpetually unequal, constantly being reformed, and never changing much.

About the Author

David F. Labaree is Professor of Education at Stanford University.

Stanford University

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674063860
Author:
Labaree, David F.
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Educational Reform
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Education-School Reform & Controversy
Subject:
Education-Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
Subject:
Political Science : Public Policy - Social Policy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120402
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
312
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Education » General
Education » School Reform and Controversy
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Textbooks » General

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