A Cradle of Democracy



The nation’s public schools represent the ultimate expression of American democracy. They are operated by the people, for the people. They instill the knowledge and cultivate the attitudes of the next generation of Americans, serving 90 percent of the country’s school-age population. A local board of education is—in its ideal form—a group of citizen-volunteers who give unselfishly of themselves, usually without remuneration, to look after the affairs of the school system and, by extension, the community. Of all the institutions in the country with jurisdiction over large chunks of money and the ability to influence the nation’s future, boards of education are surely the most obscure and least understood.


Public School School District School Board American Democracy Motor Vehicle Theft 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Chester E. Finn Jr., “Reinventing Local Control,” in School Boards: Changing Local Control, ed. Patricia F. First and Herbert J. Walberg (Berkeley, CA: McCuthan Publishing, 1992), 21.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ronald W. Rebore, A Handbook for School Board Member. (Englewood Cliifs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984), 5.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carl F. Kaestle, “Equal Educational Opportunity and the Federal Government: A Response to Goodwin Liu,” Yale Law Journal. 116 (November 21, 2006): 152–56, Scholar
  4. 4.
    Charles Everand Reeves, School Boards: Their Status, Functions and Activitie. (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1954), 10.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Patricia F. First, “Evaluating School Boards: Looking Through Next-Generation Lenses,” in School Boards: Changing Local Control, ed. Patricia F. First and Herbert J. Walberg (Berkeley, CA: McCutchan Publishing, 1992), 178.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jacqueline P. Danzberger and Michael D. Usdan, “How Boards See Themselves and How Their Policies See Them,” in School Boards: Changing Local Control, ed. Patricia F. First and Herbert J. Walberg (Berkeley, CA: McCutchan Publishing, 1992), 98.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Agnes Repplier, “Americanism,” The Atlantic, March 1916.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sean Loughlin, “Rumsfeld on Looting in Iraq, ‘Stuff Happens,’”, April 12, 2003, Scholar
  9. 10.
    Sean Wilentz, The Rise of American Democrac. (New York: W. W. Norton, 2005).Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    Henry H. Brickell and Regina H. Paul, Time for Curriculum: How School Board Members Should Think About Curriculu. (Alexandria, VA: National School Boards Association, 1988), 9.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    G. Thomas Bellamy and John I. Goodlad, “Continuity and Change in Pursuit of a Democratic Public Mission,” Phi Delta Kappa. 89, no. 8 (2008): 565–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 14.
    David Tyack, “Democracy in Education—Who Needs It?” Education Week, November 17, 1999, commentary page.Google Scholar
  13. 15.
    Robert W. Flinchbaugh, The 21st Century Board of Education: Planning, Leading, Transformin. (Lancaster, PA: Technomic Publishing, 1993), 1.Google Scholar
  14. 16.
    Iowa Association of School Boards, “IASB Lighthouse Research Report,” IASB Compass, September 2000.Google Scholar
  15. 17.
    Stephen J. Carroll and Ethan Scherer, The Impact of Educational Quality on the Communit. (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2008).Google Scholar
  16. 18.
    Thomas L. Alsbury, “Hitting a Moving Target: How Politics Determines the Changing Roles of Superintendents and School Boards,” in Handbook of Education Politics and Policy, ed. Bruce S. Cooper, James G. Cibulka, and Lance D. Fusarelli (New York: Rout-ledge, 2008), 131–32.Google Scholar
  17. 19.
    John Dewey, Democracy and Educatio. (New York: Free Press, 1944), 20.Google Scholar
  18. 20.
    Margot Stern Strom, “Education, Democracy, and Rights,” Boston Globe, November 20, 2008.Google Scholar
  19. 21.
    Peter Beilenson and Helen Beilenson, eds., The Wisdom and Wit of Franklin Delano Roosevel. (White Plains, NY: Peter Pauper, 1982), 29.Google Scholar
  20. 22.
    Diane Ravitch, “Now Is the Time to Teach Democracy,” Hoover Diges. (Hoover Institution, Stanford University), no. 1 (2002).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gene I. Maeroff 2010

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations