Books: New In Print

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Just Schools: The Idea of Racial Equality in American Education, by David L. Kirp (University of California Press, 2223 Fulton St., Berkeley, Calif. 94720; 375 pages, $19.95).

In an analysis of race and education policy since the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Mr. Kirp traces the educational history of five California communities (San Francisco, Richmond, Berkeley, Sausalito, and Oakland). Calling the effort to achieve racial equality in the schools a "vexed, ... quixotic undertaking," he looks at the "history of enmity and indecision" as it relates to busing, community control, the meaning of equal opportunity, law and politics, decision making on the local level, and other issues.

In his recommendations for reforms to deal more effectively with race and schooling, Mr. Kirp advocates new roles for the courts, members of Congress, and local officials. Mr. Kirp is professor of public policy and lecturer in the Boalt School of Law, University of California, Berkeley.

Schools in Conflict, by Frederick M. Wirt and Michael W. Kirst (McCutchan Publishing Corporation, 2526 Grove St., Berkeley, Calif. 94704; 334 pages, $20.50).

A "major revision" of The Political and Social Foundations of Education that incorporates events of the last decade into its examination of the issues, pressure groups, and public policies that make up the politics of education. The authors look at federal, state, and local politics as they relate to school policies and treat such current issues as curriculum, finance, desegregation, new pressure groups, and the expanding role of the states in education decision making. Intended for practitioners, students, scholars, and policymakers. Mr. Wirt is professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Mr. Kirst is professor of education at Stanford University.

Special Education in America: Its Legal and Governmental Foundations, edited by Joseph Ballard, Bruce A. Ramirez, and Frederick J. Weintraub (The Council for Exceptional Children, 1920 Association Dr., Reston, Va. 22091-1589; 112 pages, paper $22.50).

Eight contributors trace the history of legislation and court decisions affecting special education, from the establishment of the first state school for the deaf in 1823 to the evolution of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142). Written for policymakers and students majoring in special education, the book documents the federal provisions for a "free, appropriate public education" for exceptional children and identifies new areas in need of study by policymakers. A set of appendices provides information on federal laws and a list of special-education resources. The editors are members of The Council for Exceptional Children.

The Paideia Proposal: An Educational Manifesto, by Mortimer J. Adler, on behalf of the members of the Paideia Group (Macmillan Publishing Co., 866 Third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022; 96 pages; cloth $6.68, paper $2.95).

American public education has failed to provide equal educational opportunity for all children, says Mr. Adler in his "manifesto" for parents, teachers, administrators, school-board members, and all those interested in the quality of schools. Calling for an "educationally classless society" that treats all children equally, he advocates a one-track system of schooling with the same objectives and the same course of study for all students. Differences among students would be handled by adjusting the program and administering it flexibly, he contends. The author also discusses higher education, the student's role in the workforce, and the roles of teachers and principals in the context of the Paideia Proposal. Mr. Adler is director of the Institute for Philosophical Research. (See story on page 9.)

Guides and Directories

Collective Enrollment Strategies, the Secondary School Admission Test Board and the Committee on Boarding Schools (The National Association of Independent Schools, 18 Tremont St., Boston, Mass. 02108; 61 pages, paper $4.00, $3.00 for member schools).

A guide for independent or private schools interested in combining their efforts to recruit students. Addresses minority recruitment, marketing and the media, the preparation of school publications, group travel, admissions presentations, and other aspects of admissions programs. Included in the appendices are sample letters, questionnaires, and press releases for recruitment events.

Finetuning Special Education Finance: A Guide for State Policymakers (Education Policy Research Institute, Educational Testing Service, Suite 300, 1800 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036; 130 pages, paper $3.50).

Intended to help state education officials who work with special-education laws and regulations make decisions about policy and the allocation of resources. Acknowledging that states' practices differ, the authors identify common issues in administering state special-education programs and present various options for dealing with them. Those issues are: defining student eligibility, establishing a range of appropriate services, determining costs, developing funding sources, and instituting formulas for distributing funds. Appendices include information on related legislation and legal cases, state revenue sources, and finance formulas.

Other Resources

Assessing Teacher Performance, by Robert C. Hawley (Education Research Associates Press, Box 767-R, Amherst, Mass. 01004; 168 pages, paper $15.95).

Designed to help administrators evaluate teaching performance, Mr. Hawley discusses observing teachers in a nonthreatening manner, conducting teacher conferences, analyzing teaching competencies, writing reports, and other concerns. Also addresses the roles of administrator and supervisor and their effect on teachers' accountability.

Listening Skills Schoolwide: Activities and Programs, by Thomas G. Devine (National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 Kenyon Rd., Urbana, Ill. 61801; 61 pages, paper $6.50, $5.25 for N.C.T.E. members).

This workbook suggests ways that teachers can help students become better listeners. The author discusses the purpose of listening and such skills as confirming the speaker's purpose, grasping details, taking notes, distinguishing fact from opinion, and other techniques. For use in teacher workshops and inservice sessions, as well as by individual teachers.

Thinking About Preventing Nuclear War (Ground Zero, 806 15th St., Washington, D.C. 20002; 24 pages, $.50 per copy, $.25 per copy if ordering 25 or more).

How might nuclear war occur? How can we prevent it from starting? These and other questions are posed in this booklet, an education project of Ground Zero, a nonprofit citizens' group established last year to promote "nonpartisan" discussion about nuclear armaments. Designed for use by teachers, parents, and others interested in participating in that discussion.

--Anne Bridgman

Vol. 02, Issue 09

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