Educational governance and democratic practice

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24 Citations (Scopus)


A preoccupation with academic quality has guided contemporary education reforms in the United States. This is hardly surprising, because political and business elites recognize that well-trained, high-skilled workers are crucial for regional competitiveness. Many parents have also come to see academic credentials as vital to their children's future well-being; they have thus sought more control over their children's schooling. As these changes have been occurring, others have voiced concerns about the state of civic engagement and democratic practice. With questions emerging over how public policies might promote democracy, the democratic function of public schooling has received renewed scrutiny. However, as yet, no effort has been made to explore the commensurability between reform efforts motivated by quality and accountability concerns and the growing discussion of education for democracy. This article begins that task, indicating where trade-offs must be made between goals and where goals could be advanced in mutually supporting ways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-643
Number of pages29
JournalEducational Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

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