Education Policy

Pluralism and American Public Education

No One Way to School

Authors: Berner, Ashley Rogers

  • Delivers a timely roadmap for American policymakers who are looking for a way to navigate choice, accountability, and equity in education amid a new administration
  • Presents the case for a powerful and novel choice-driven alternative to the current structure of public education that is neither libertarian nor state-focused
  • Explores different approaches to the structure of public education and their impact 
  • Examines the historical context behind the United States' adaptation of a uniform public school system
  • Provides examples of major changes in educational philosophies and structures, and locates them within different theories of social change
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-50224-7
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Hardcover $99.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-50223-0
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Softcover $22.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-50226-1
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About this book

This book argues that the structure of public education is a key factor in the failure of America's public education system to fulfill the intellectual, civic, and moral aims for which it was created. The book challenges the philosophical basis for the traditional common school model and defends the educational pluralism that most liberal democracies enjoy. Berner provides a unique theoretical pathway that is neither libertarian nor state-focused and a pragmatic pathway that avoids the winner-takes-all approach of many contemporary debates about education. For the first time in nearly one hundred fifty years, changing the underlying structure of America’s public education system is both plausible and possible, and this book attempts to set out why and how.



About the authors

Ashley Rogers Berner is Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy and Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, USA. Berner is also Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University Law School, USA.



Reviews

“This book is lush and timely. In every chapter, Berner integrates hard-nosed evidence, political philosophy, ethics, and history to challenge the deep structural assumptions that most of us have forgotten actually shape our current system of K-12 public education. Scholars, parents, teachers, and decision-makers will appreciate Berner’s questions and suggestions even if they don’t agree with each idea. Most importantly, partisans and polemicists of all stripes will appreciate Berner’s levelheaded and moderate tone as she sketches a transformative vision for the future.” (Dmitri Mehlhorn, Founder, Vidinovo, and Fellow, Progressive Policy Institute)

“In this provocative book, Berner traces the challenges facing American education to their root cause: the decision to privilege state-sponsored uniformity over a pluralistic approach that would enable all families to gain access to schools that reflect their values. Drawing on an eclectic blend of philosophy, history, and contemporary examples from abroad, she argues convincingly that educational pluralism is not only consistent with America’s principles as a liberal democracy, but would likely result in better academic and civic outcomes for students.” (Martin West, Associate Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, USA)

“Berner has produced a lucid explanation and an extraordinarily compelling argument in favor of educational pluralism, and it couldn't come at a better time. For the last quarter century, an array of initiatives, including charter schooling, private school-choice programs, and online learning, have steadily and quietly sought to distribute educational authority to families, communities, and civil-society organizations. Berner expertly describes the historical and theoretical underpinnings of this evolutionary process and its revolutionary result: a new understanding of the purposes, organization, and governance of public schooling.” (Andy Smarick, Partner, Bellwether and Member, Maryland State School Board)

“Berner’s book opens up a new space in which to explore the normative claims inherent in education and will be a critical resource for teacher preparation programs across the country.” (Lisa Miller, Professor of Psychology and Education, Columbia Teachers College)

“Berner's view on the wrong turns of uniformity and mediocrity gets right at what ails America's public education system and philosophy.” (Derrell Bradford, Executive Vice President, 50CAN)


Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Berner, Ashley Rogers

    Pages 1-6

  • Educational Philosophies and Why They Matter

    Berner, Ashley Rogers

    Pages 7-28

  • Political Philosophies and Why They Matter

    Berner, Ashley Rogers

    Pages 29-50

  • American Constitutions and Religious Schools

    Berner, Ashley Rogers

    Pages 51-71

  • Citizenship, Achievement, and Accountability

    Berner, Ashley Rogers

    Pages 73-103

Buy this book

eBook $14.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50224-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50223-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $22.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50226-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Pluralism and American Public Education
Book Subtitle
No One Way to School
Authors
Series Title
Education Policy
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-50224-7
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-50224-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-50223-0
Softcover ISBN
978-1-137-50226-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 185
Topics