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Besieged: School Boards and the Future of Education Politics.

Besieged: School Boards and the Future of Education Politics, edited by William G. Howell (Brookings).

The traditional American school board is under attack from above (by state and federal regulations), from the sides (by judicial mandates and assertions of mayoral control), and from below (by demands for increased school choice). If not necessarily on the way out, school boards are plainly under siege. Some say, "good riddance," dismissing school boards as yet another mechanism by which teacher unions and other organized interest groups exert undue influence over the nation's schools. Defenders of school boards, however, see them as responsive, accountable bodies through which local communities can still deliberate how best to educate their children. On balance, the evidence compiled in this edited volume favors the critics. Most notably, none of the volume's authors believes that school boards are a source of meaningful policy innovation. Those who are convinced that our schools require fundamental reform, Howell aptly concludes, had best look beyond the boardroom.

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Publication:Education Next
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 22, 2005
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