Conflict of Interests: The Politics of American Education provides a critical understanding of the political and social forces shaping educational politics in the United States. It describes and analyzes how policy is made for American schools, and its effect on all our lives and thinking. Spring argues that the politics of education is driven by a complex interrelationship between politicians, private foundations and think tanks, teachers' unions, special-interest groups, educational politicians, school administrators, boards of education, courts, and the knowledge industry. This text uses many current examples to illustrate conflicts over educational policies. Spring links these conflicts to economics, culture, multiculturalism, language, religion, and equal opportunity. Spring discusses textbook publishing, standardized testing, the political uses of the judicial system, and the politics of education at each level of government. A new first chapter, "Educational Politicians and the Doctors of Spin," examines the impact of President Clinton's New Democratic politics on educational policies and the influence of the Christian Coalition on the Republican Party. A new chapter 4 includes a new section on "The Revolt against Bureaucracy" explaining the ideological origins of attacks on educational bureaucracies. A new chapter 6, "Reinventing the Schools," discusses school choice and the New Democrats' call for a reinvention of schools.
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