STATE POLITICS AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS by

STATE POLITICS AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This ""exploratory analysis"" of the relationships between education and state politics in three states, Missouri, Illinois and Michigan, has been made by three professors in the hope of stimulating further research and it is explanatory rather than predictive. It has also been made in the widely held belief (hard to think right now) ""that politics and public education are separate, or even separable"", which they are not-even though schools may show an even greater diversity of situations at the local district level. Broadly, at the state level, finance, organization of districts, teacher welfare and certification and educational standards are all controlled-the most public-spirited PTA to the contrary. After outlining the methods and criteria of relevance used here, there is a detailed breakdown of the operative facts in the three states: Missouri with its ""low pressure system""- i.e. teachers get what they ask for if they don't ask for too much, and money is a real problem although the per capita income is twice as high as the expenditure for schools would indicate; Illinois, where there is also a moderate approach but where all decisions are centralized through its Problems Commissions; and finally Michigan where there is no ""consensus"" or visible pattern of decision-making but many independent pressures. This is a very detailed study (of political designations- democratic vs republican; urban vs rural; the strength of the governor and legislature; lobbies; bills; etc.) and it is, as intended, of special interest to political scientists and professional educators and administrators.

Publisher: Knopf