The School Administrator


October 2008 Number 9, Vol. 65 Educating For DemocracyRenewing the civic mission through the public schools


  • Renewing the Civic Mission of Schools

    by Charles C. Haynes and Terry Pickeral

    Public school leaders know their schools have a civic mission, but in this period of high-stakes testing, who has time to emphasize civic learning in the overburdened school day?

    Similar Reading: Sandra Day O'Connor: Get students in the game and Funding avenues for service learning and Additional resources

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  • Educating for Citizenship

    by Carl Glickman

    Academic learning connected with service can be built into the curriculum for students at every grade level, according to the president of the Institute for Schools, Education and Democracy.

    Similar Reading: George Wood: Demonstrating citizenship to graduate and Defining citizenship education and Additional resources

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  • Education in a Rapidly Changing Democracy

    by Matt Leighninger and Peter Levine

    The shifting relationship between citizens and government has special implications for public schools. How schools approach civic education isn’t just a matter of course content — it is wrapped up in how teachers and administrators view their role in the larger community.

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  • A Superintendent's Systemic Notion of Civics

    by Sheldon H. Berman

    As a superintendent for 15 years, the author has made civic engagement a central aspect of school reform. This commitment stems from the knowledge that teaching civics motivates and empowers students to learn in all areas because they find relevance and meaning in what they are studying.

    Similar Reading: From Civics to the Civic Arts

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  • The Power of Diversity

    by Scott E. Page

    The author, a professor of political science and complex systems, wants to introduce students to a new way to think about differences, based not on tolerance or appreciation, but on collective performance and the necessity of diversity to a well-functioning school and nation.

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    The Top-Shelf Pick of Librarians by Jay P. Goldman

    A superintendent of two decades would seem an unlikely choice to become the poster boy of school librarians, but that’s the life Nathan Greenberg now leads.

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    Punchback: Answering Critics

    Top Collegians Won't Solve What Ails Classrooms by Walt Gardner

    Countering the argument that turning around failing schools can be addressed by recruiting the brightest college graduates — regardless of any education coursework. This strategy has great intuitive appeal but doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, in the author’s view.

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    Guest Columns

    Swimming Into Change by Michael H. McVey

    The high school natatorium was the setting for diving into a discussion of leadership transitions, during which the potential for personal upheaval is high.

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    The Whining Center by Stan Bippus

    During a generation working in educational leadership, the author found the school’s attendance office a predictable place to hear endless excuses to cover student truancy and tardiness.

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    Appointments, honors and a death in the school system leader ranks. Plus, the Sidelight captures a superintendent’s keen interest in karate in his retiring years.

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    Tech Leadership

    Abdication of Responsibility Isn’t an Option by Milt Dougherty

    As the use of personal and instructional technology becomes increasingly embedded into day-to-day operations, superintendents need more than ever to be intimately involved in the direction and decisions of a school district’s technology initiatives.

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    President's Corner

    Democracy's Forge: American Public Schools by Randall H. Collins

    AASA’s president wonders whether we truly realize the hidden treasure we have in our public schools. Do we fully appreciate the mission and the role schools play in our great democracy?

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    Executive Perspective

    Toward a Meaningful Federal Contribution by Daniel A. Domenech

    With a presidential election next month, AASA has a unique opportunity in the months ahead to promote education as a civil right.

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    Systems Thinking

    A Climate for Success by Edgar B. Hatrick

    It takes more than a great program or even great leaders to bring about meaningful, systemic change — a lesson discovered during 17 years leading a burgeoning school system.

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    Quality Induction for Teachers in Rural Schools by Karen P. Ellis

    A school district in southeastern Louisiana recognized the need to more effectively support intern teachers. The result has been a 20 percentage point gain in retention over seven years.

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    District Vulnerability in Student Harassment Cases by Nathan L. Essex

    Based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s posture regarding student-on-student sexual harassment, school officials should consider tighter measures to minimize legal liabilities.

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