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Public education : an autopsy

Author: Myron Lieberman
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1993.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In this blistering critique of our failing public schools and our fuzzy thinking about how to fix them, Myron Lieberman explains why public education is in irreversible and terminal decline and tells us what we must do to get American schooling back on track. No other book on educational policy or reform covers such a broad range of issues or draws upon such extensive empirical data across such diverse academic  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Lieberman, Myron, 1919-
Public education.
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1993
(OCoLC)624405229
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Myron Lieberman
ISBN: 0674722329 9780674722323
OCLC Number: 27264764
Description: xi, 379 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Why an autopsy? --
The future context of public education --
Producer-consumer conflict --
The information system of public education --
Educational information under a market system --
The real costs of public education --
Educational outcomes as an efficiency issue --
The educational consequences of racial conflict --
Equality of educational opportunity reconsidered --
The impact of higher education on the public schools --
Educational research and development --
The educational agenda and its problems --
The transition solution.
Responsibility: Myron Lieberman.
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Abstract:

In this blistering critique of our failing public schools and our fuzzy thinking about how to fix them, Myron Lieberman explains why public education is in irreversible and terminal decline and tells us what we must do to get American schooling back on track. No other book on educational policy or reform covers such a broad range of issues or draws upon such extensive empirical data across such diverse academic disciplines. This is a refreshingly clear analysis of our educational crisis and a rallying cry for market-system approaches to school reform. Lieberman contends that the major deficiencies of public education are inherent in the act that government provides the service: the government's role as producer of education conflicts with its role as protector of consumer interests, and the conflicts are overwhelmingly resolved in favor of its producer role. He presents a comprehensive analysis of the alternatives, concluding that the existing system must be replaced by a three-sector industry encompassing public, non-profit, and for-profit schools, with for-profit schools playing an important role. His analysis covers the enormous underestimation of the real cost of public education, the overestimation of its benefits, the breakdown of its information system, the destructive role of higher education, the media emphasis on secondary issues such as multiculturalism, the futility of educational research and development, the role of teacher unions in protecting the status quo, and the antimarket bias that pervades every aspect of public education. Lieberman also analyzes the implications of a market system for equality of educational opportunity; in his view, the critics of a market system of education have ignored the evidence that free enterprise has done more than government to equalize the human condition. Despite his strong criticisms of public education, Lieberman is also highly critical of the educational choice movement for its ineptitude in moving toward a market system. Nobody emerges unscathed - his analysis challenges the advocates of choice as well as the defenders of the public schools. Certain to be controversial, this is a book for everyone seriously involved with education - politicians, administrators, teachers, school board members, teacher union officials, education writers and reporters, academics, and parents.

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