Who's in Charge?
American education grew up from the community outward. From Colonial times onward, local citizens built the schools, raised the money, hired the teachers, and chose which books to use. They also elected local leaders to oversee the job.
The process was often fractious, and more players have entered the fray in the 20th century. The voices of elected board members and their constituents have been joined by a discordant chorus: a new breed of education professionals, the courts, the federal and state governments, teachers' unions, and advocates for a host of other competing groups and interests.
Meanwhile, new legislation and rules have spawned bureaucracies and moved decisions further from local communities. The result is what the historian David B. Tyack calls "fragmented centralization."
Today, that system is also under challenge from market-based approaches as Americans once again ask questions about who controls their schools and how they are run.
The ninth installment of "Lessons of a Century," a yearlong Education Week series of monthly special sections, looks at "Who's in Charge?"
Vol. 19, Issue 12, Page 1
- Secondary Teachers
- Roaring Fork School District, Glenwood Spgs, CO
- Director of Schools (Superintendent)
- Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Nashville, TN
- High School Physics Teacher
- The International Educator (TIE), Major cities worldwide, In, United Kingdom
- Director of John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School
- Aurora University, Aurora, IL
- Online Career Fair - Clark County School District
- Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV