School Boards in America A Flawed Exercise in Democracy

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-11-15
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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School boards spend almost $500 billion in taxpayer-provided funds, accounting for the single largest expenditure of tax revenues at the local and state levels. They employ more than 6 million people, a veritable jobs machine that offers pensions and lifetime health benefits that have helped build the mountain of obligation that has put state governments across the country in fiscal peril. Above all, school boards have a hand in determining the instructional program that shapes the nation's future. Yet, Americans seldom think about their local boards of education and have little understanding of the pivotal position they occupy. This book will lift the veil of obscurity from the nation's school boards and make readers think about issues that they have not previously considered.

Author Biography

Gene I. Maeroff is Senior Fellow at the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he was the founding director. He is also a former national education correspondent for the New York Times. He is the author of over a dozen books including The Guide to Suburban Public Schools, Team Building for School Change, School Smart Parent, Altered Destinies, and A Classroom of One.

Table of Contents

A Cradle of Democracy * The School Board’s Impact on the Content of Learning * Inherent Inequities * Jobs, Jobs, Jobs * Teachers: The Glory and the Agony * The Mirage of Local Control * The Special Burden of Special Education * The Inner Workings of School Boards * Accepting Responsibility * Alternatives to School Boards * Do School Boards Have a Future

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