Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Educational Issues

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  • Edition: 18th
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  • Copyright: 2014-03-11
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The Taking Sides Collection on McGraw-Hill Create™ includes current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. This Collection contains a multitude of current and classic issues to enhance and customize your course. You can browse the entire Taking Sides Collection on Create, or you can search by topic, author, or keywords. Each Taking Sides issues is thoughtfully framed with Learning Outcomes, an Issue Summary, an Introduction, and an Exploring the Issue section featuring Critical Thinking and Reflection, Is There Common Ground?, and Additional Resources and Internet References. Go to McGraw-Hill Create™ at www.mcgrawhillcreate.com, click on the "Collections" tab, and select The Taking Sides Collection to browse the entire Collection. Select individual Taking Sides issues to enhance your course, or access and select the entire Koonce: Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Educational Issues, 18/e ExpressBook for an easy, pre-built teaching resource by clicking here. An online Instructor's Resource Guide with testing material is available for each Taking Sides volume. Using Taking Sides in the Classroom is also an excellent instructor resource. Visit the Create Central Online Learning Center at www.mhhe.com/createcentral for more details.

Table of Contents

TAKING SIDES: Clashing Views on Educational Issues, Eighteenth Edition

Table of Contents

Clashing Views on Educational Issues, Eighteenth Edition

Unit: Basic Theoretical Issues

Issue: Should Schooling Be Based on Social Experiences?
YES: John Dewey, from Experience and Education (Macmillan, 1938)
NO: Roger Scruton, from “Schools and Schooling,” The American Spectator (June 2006)
Philosopher John Dewey suggests a reconsideration of traditional approaches to schooling, giving fuller attention to the social development of the learner and the quality of his or her total experience. British philosopher Roger Scruton expresses the traditionalist view that Dewey’s progressive education, with its emphasis on “child-centeredness” and “relevance,” has had a disastrous effect on quality education.
Issue: Should the Curriculum Be Standardized for All?
YES: Mortimer J. Adler, from “The Paideia Proposal: Rediscovering the Essence of Education,” American School Board Journal (July 1982)
NO: John Holt, from Escape from Childhood (E. P. Dutton, 1974)
Philosopher Mortimer J. Adler contends that democracy is best served by a public school system that establishes uniform curricular objectives for all students. Educator John Holt argues that an imposed curriculum damages the individual and usurps a basic human right to select one’s own path of development.
Issue: Should Behaviorism Shape Educational Practices?
YES: Carson M. Bennett, from “A Skinnerian View of Human Freedom,” The Humanist (July/August 1990)
NO: Laura Zucca-Scott, from “Know Thyself: The Importance of Humanism in Education,” International Education (2010)
Professor of educational psychology Carson M. Bennett presents the case for adopting the radical behaviorism of B. F. Skinner to improve the power and efficiency of the process of learning. Laura Zucca-Scott, Professor of Education at Blackburn College, stresses the importance of humanism in today’s educational practices.
Issue: Is Constructivism the Best Philosophy of Education?
YES: David Elkind, from “The Problem with Constructivism,” The Educational Forum (Summer 2004)
NO: Jamin Carson, from “Objectivism and Education: A Response to David Elkind’s ‘The Problem with Constructivism’,” The Educational Forum (Spring 2005)
Child Development Professor David Elkind contends that the philosophical positions found in constructivism, though often difficult to apply, are necessary elements in a meaningful reform of educational practices. Jamin Carson, an Assistant Professor of Education and former high school teacher, offers a close critique of constructivism and argues that the philosophy of objectivism is a more realistic and usable basis for the process of education.
Issue: Should “Public Schooling” Be Redefined?
YES: Frederick M. Hess, from “What Is a ‘Public School?’ Principles for a New Century,” Phi Delta Kappan (February 2004)
NO: Linda Nathan, Joe Nathan, Ray Bacchetti, and Evans Clinchy, from “A Response to Frederick Hess,” Phi Delta Kappan (February 2004)
Frederick M. Hess, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, advocates a broadening of the definition of “public schooling” in light of recent developments such as vouchers, charter schools, and home schooling. Linda Nathan, Joe Nathan, Ray Bacchetti, and Evans Clinchy express a variety of concerns about the conceptual expansion that Hess proposes.

Unit: Current Fundamental Issues

Issue: Are Truly Democratic Classrooms Possible?
YES: Kristan A. Morrison, from “Democratic Classrooms: Promises and Challenges of Student Voice and Choice, Part One,” Educational Horizons (Fall 2008)
NO: Gary K. Clabaugh, from “Second Thoughts about Democratic Classrooms,” Educational Horizons (Fall 2008)
Associate Professor of Education Kristan A. Morrison explores historical and theoretical bases for implementing democratic practices in schools that would make student experience more appealing and productive. Professor of Education Gary K. Clabaugh examines such factors as top-down management, compulsory attendance, business world influences, and federal mandates to declare Morrison’s ideas to be “out of touch” with reality.
Issue: Do Public Schools Have Grounds to Punish Students for Their Off-Campus Online Speech?
YES: Theodore A. McKee, from Layshock v. Hermitage School District, United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals (June 13, 2011)
NO: Theodore A. McKee, from J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District, United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals (June 13, 2011)
In Layshock v. Hermitage School District, Third Circuit Court judges approved a local Pennsylvania school officials’ 10-day suspension of a high school student who mocked his principal with a fake MySpace profile that he accessed off-campus. On the same day and in the same circuit court as Layshock v Hermitage School District, a different set of judges ruled in J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District that local Pennsylvania school officials overreacted and breached the First Amendment Rights of a junior high school student who ridiculed her principal online using MySpace with a computer that was accessed off-campus. Chief Judge Theodore McKee wrote the court’s opinion for both cases. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear either of these social media cases.
Issue: Do American Schools Need a Common Curriculum?
YES: The Albert Shanker Institute, from “A Call for Common Content,” American Educator (Spring 2011)
NO: Jay P. Greene, Sandra Stotsky, Bill Evers, Greg Forster, and Ze’ev Wurman, from “Closing the Door on Innovation,” Education Next (May 9, 2011)
The Albert Shanker Institute, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, promotes a common curriculum to build a bridge from standards to achievement across the nation. A coalition of opponents, led by Jay P. Greene, Sandra Stotsky, Bill Evers, Greg Forster, and Ze’ev Wurman, offers a critical response to what they see as an effort to nationalize public education.
Issue: Can the Common Core State Standards Be Successful?
YES: William H. Schmidt and Nathan A. Burroughs, from “How the Common Core Boosts Quality and Equality,” Educational Leadership (December 2012/January 2013)
NO: Tom Loveless, from “The Common Core Initiative: What Are the Chances of Success?” Educational Leadership (December 2012/January 2013)
With a focus on the new math standards, Michigan State University researchers William Schmidt and Nathan Burroughs indicate the Common Core State Standards will address two tenacious problems in U.S. education: the mediocrity quality of mathematics learning and unequal opportunity in U.S. schools. Tom Loveless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, takes the position that chances for the Common Core Standards to be successful are “slim at best” when compared to the claims on how well similar policies have worked in the past.
Issue: Can Failing Schools Be Turned Around?
YES: Karin Chenoweth, from “It Can Be Done, It’s Being Done, and Here’s How,” Phi Delta Kappan (September 2009)
NO: Andy Smarick, from “The Turnaround Fallacy,” Education Next (Winter 2010)
Karin Chenoweth, a senior writer with the Education Trust and author of How It’s Being Done, describes strategies employed to bring about dramatic improvements in low-performing schools. Andy Smarick, a visiting fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, advocates the closing of failing schools to make room for replacements through chartering.
Issue: Are Local School Boards Obsolete?
YES: Marc Tucker, from “Changing the System Is the Only Solution,” Phi Delta Kappan (March 2010)
NO: Diane Ravitch, from “Why Public Schools Need Democratic Governance,” Phi Delta Kappan (March 2010)
Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, calls for shifting the running of public schools to the states, allowing local boards to focus solely on the improvement of learning. Education historian Diane Ravitch feels that a movement of control to the state level or to the mayor’s office will undermine democratic deliberation and move toward a top-down business model.

Unit: Current Specific Issues

Issue: Is There Support for Arming Teachers in Schools?
YES: Nirvi Shah, from “Teachers Already Armed in Some Districts,” Education Week (February 20, 2013)
NO: National School Safety and Security Services, from “Arming Teachers and School Staff with Guns: Implementation Issues Present School Boards and Administrators with Significant Responsibility and Potential Liability” (August 15, 2013), retrieved from: www.schoolsecurity.org/trends/arming_teachers.html
Nivri Shah examines arming teachers in schools shortly, after the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, noting the one Texas district superintendent concluded that “school personnel are the first responders.” Led by President Kenneth Trump, the National School Safety and Security Services assert that teachers want to be armed with “textbooks and computers, not guns.”
Issue: Has the Time Arrived for Universal Preschool?
YES: David L. Kirp, from “The Kids-First Agenda,” in Big Ideas for Children: Investing in Our Nation’s Future (First Focus, 2008)
NO: Douglas J. Besharov and Douglas M. Call, from “The New Kindergarten,” The Wilson Quarterly (Autumn 2008)
David L. Kirp, a Professor of Public Policy and Author of The Sandbox Investment, calls for expansion of federal support for universal preschool and other child care services. Professor Douglas J. Besharov and Research Associate Douglas M. Call of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy examine the development of child care programs and conclude that the case for universal preschool is not as strong as it seems.
Issue: Is the Inclusive Classroom Model Workable?
YES: Mara Sapon-Shevin, from “Learning in an Inclusive Community,” Educational Leadership (September 2008)
NO: Wade A. Carpenter, from “The Other Side of Inclusion,” Educational Horizons (Spring 2008)
Professor of inclusive education Mara Sapon-Shevin presents a redefinition of the inclusive classroom and offers specific strategies for bringing it about in practice. Associate professor of education Wade A. Carpenter expresses concerns about the inclusive ideology’s uncritical infatuation with socialization.
Issue: Do Teachers Unions Stymie School Reform?
YES: Andrew Coulson, from “A Less Perfect Union,” The American Spectator (June 2011)
NO: Louis Malfaro, from “Lessons on Organizing for Power,” American Educator (Fall 2010)
Andrew Coulson, director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, contends that the NEA and AFT monopolize public school operations, resulting in a collapse of productivity. Louis Malfaro, an AFT vice president, sees the teachers unions as uniquely able to build productive relationships and exert positive influence on the improvement of teaching and learning.
Issue: Should Teacher Preparation and Licensing Be Regulated by the Government?
YES: James Cibulka, from “Strengthen State Oversight of Teacher Preparation,” Education Next (Fall 2013)
NO: David Chard, from “Training Must Focus on Content and Pedagogy,” Education Next (Fall 2013)
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation President Jim Cibulka states that tightening government licensure regulation is needed to assure candidate and program quality that can result in a more favorable learning environment for Pre-K–12 students. David Chard indicates that current state control of teacher preparation and licensing does not ensure that teachers will be of high quality.
Issue: Can Zero Tolerance Violate Students Rights?
YES: Hon. David Souter, from Majority Opinion in Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding (June 25, 2009)
NO: Hon. Clarence Thomas, from Dissenting Opinion in Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding (June 25, 2009)
Supreme Court justice David Souter, delivering the opinion of the Court, hold that school officials, in carrying out a zero-tolerance policy on drug possession, violated a student’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure when they included a strip search of the girl. Justice Clarence Thomas, in dissent, states that the majority opinion imposes too vague a standard on school officials and that it grants judges sweeping authority to second-guess measures those officials take to maintain discipline and ensure safety.
Issue: Do American Students Need More Time in School?
YES: Chris Gabrieli, from “More Time, More Learning,” Educational Leadership (April 2010)
NO: Larry Cuban, from “The Perennial Reform: Fixing School Time,” Phi Delta Kappan (December 2008)
National Center on Time and Learning Chairman Chris Gabrieli claims that current school time schedules are outmoded and calls for expansion of the instructional day and year to close the achievement gap and provide enrichment opportunities. Stanford University Professor Emeritus Larry Cuban reviews the history of school time expansion and finds scant research to support such demands.
Issue: Is the Road to Virtual Schooling Smoothly Paved?
YES: William Crossman, from “From the Three Rs to the Four Cs,The Futurist (March–April 2012)
NO: Erin Dillon and Bill Tucker, from “Lessons for Online Learning,” Education Next (Spring 2011)
Futurist Philosopher William Crossman depicts the inevitable movement from brick-and-mortar schools to a flexible learning environment dominated by digital multi-sensory media. Erin Dillon and Bill Tucker of Education Sector wave caution flags because of the current lack of data on the efficacy of K-12 online learning and the need for independent quality control.
Issue: Is the “21st Century Skills” Movement Viable?
YES: Andrew J. Rotherham and Daniel T. Willingham, from “21st Century Skills: The Challenges Ahead,” Educational Leadership (September 2009)
NO: Diana Senechal, from “The Most Daring Education Reform of All,” American Educator (Spring 2010)
Education Policy Expert Rotherham and psychology professor Willingham see great promise in the movement to bring needed skills to all students if the delivery system works satisfactorily. Education Writer and Former Teacher Diana Senechal expresses deep concern about the movement’s focus on current societal needs to the detriment of core academic studies.

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