Schools for a New Century: A Conservative Approach to Radical School Reform

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This book presents optimistic alternatives to the current educational reform movement, which has not produced substantial improvement. Dwight W. Allen advocates structural reform of education in virtually every aspect--organization, staff, curriculum, and political accountability. His central proposal is for the establishment of a national system of experimental schools, well-funded for research, experimentation, evaluation, and demonstration, but with realistic operating expenses. The biggest obstacle to reform is the lack of confidence in those who might establish, coordinate, and implement it. The establishment of an extensive, coordinated national experimental school system with voluntary participation by all those involved would provide a relatively nonthreatening environment in which to try new alternatives in all aspects of public education. The first requirement is a new vision of education--one that has the capacity for quick implementation of new curricular and instructional programs. Allen advocates the creation of a well-designed national curriculum which would enhance local control of schools. With a portion of the curriculum standardized, local school districts and teachers would have the time and resources to develop local curriculum options.