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NCJ Number: 51401 Find in a Library
Title: HIGH SCHOOLS UNDER FIRE
Journal: TIME MAGAZINE  Dated:(NOVEMBER 14, 1977)  Pages:62-65,67,71,72,75
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: Time, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Time, Inc
New York, NY 10020
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DECLINING ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE, RISING VIOLENCE, SHUTDOWNS AND TEACHERS' STRIKES, ABSENTEEISM, AND OTHER PROBLEMS OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: OF ALL THE AREAS OF CONCERN ABOUT EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES, ONLY ONE IS SHOWING IMPROVEMENT: THERE ARE FEWER DROPOUTS THAN THERE WERE IN THE 1950'S AND 1960'S. AFTER A DECADE OF SUCH INNOVATIONS AS FREE-FORM OPEN CLASSROOMS, MODULAR SCHEDULING, AND ELECTRONIC TEACHING AIDS, ALL SIGNS INDICATE THAT STUDENTS ARE INCREASINGLY POORLY EQUIPPED IN BASIC SKILLS. SCHOOL VIOLENCE IS ON THE RISE, ESPECIALLY IN URBAN SCHOOLS. TAXPAYER REBELLIONS AGAINST EVER-RISING EDUCATIONAL COSTS HAVE BROUGHT FINANCIAL CRISES TO SOME SCHOOL SYSTEMS. TEACHERS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY CONTINUE TO CLOSE SCHOOLS TO DRAMATIZE THEIR PAY DEMANDS. THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS SAYS THAT ABSENTEEISM IS THE WORST PROBLEM FACING TEACHERS, AHEAD OF POOR MOTIVATION, LACK OF DISCIPLINE, VANDALISM, TARDINESS, AND DRUGS. THE PROBLEMS FACED BY THE SCHOOLS ARE ILLUSTRATED IN CASE STUDIES OF MEDFORD, MASS., A BOSTON SUBURB; A SMALL-TOWN SCHOOL IN COOS BAY, OREG.; AND A MIDDLE-SIZE SCHOOL IN IOWA CITY, IOWA. IN THE 1960'S, THE DRIVE FOR EDUCATIONAL QUALITY COLLIDED WITH THE IMPERATIVES OF SOCIAL EQUALITY. SCHOOLS WERE GIVEN MAJOR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE REPAIR OF RACIAL INJUSTICES AND BEGAN TO EASE REQUIREMENTS IN THE NAME OF HELPING THE DEPRIVED. NEWLY VOCAL STUDENTS DEMANDED AND GOT 'RELEVANT' COURSES AND SOFTER REQUIREMENTS. ELECTIVE COURSES MUSHROOMED. TEACHERS BECAME AS CONSUMER ORIENTED AS THEIR PUPILS. SOME CRITICS OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS QUESTION TEACHER QUALITY, CLAIMING THAT, AS THE PROFESSION HAS LOST SOCIAL PRESTIGE, IT HAS ATTRACTED TEACHERS WHO THEMSELVES ARE ONLY AVERAGE STUDENTS. OTHERS NOTES THAT, TYPICALLY, OVER HALF OF THE COURSES EDUCATION STUDENTS TAKE ARE IN METHODOLOGY, NOT IN THE SUBJECTS THEY WILL TEACH. MANY EDUCATORS APPLAUD A BACK-TO-BASICS MOVEMENT (26 STATES HAVE PASSED LAWS REQUIRING COMPETENCY EXAMINATIONS FOR GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS), BUT SOME ARE WORRIED THAT THE MOVEMENT MAY GO TOO FAR. OTHER EDUCATORS FEEL THAT A MORE CONSTRUCTIVE APPROACH WOULD BE TO CONCENTRATE ON TEACHER TRAINING, OR TO FOCUS ON BRINGING PARENTS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL POLICY-SETTING PROCESS. EMERGING SIGNS OF LOCAL INSISTENCE ON EXCELLENCE, OR AT LEAST ADEQUACY, IN PUBLIC EDUCATION ARE ENCOURAGING. (LKM)
Index Term(s): High school education; School vandalism; Students
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51401

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