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"I'm Calling My Lawyer": How Litigation, Due Process and Other Regulatory Requirements Are Affecting Public Education

Jean Johnson and Ann Duffett. Prepared for Common Good, 2005.

In this pilot study, many teachers and school administrators reported that the possibility of being sued or accused of abuse is ever present in their minds. Avoiding suits and fulfilling due process requirements is a time-consuming part of a principal or superintendent's job and many feel the requirements give unreasonable people a chance to get their way. Yet many educators say protecting children from abuse is a higher priority than reducing the threat of litigation.

Resource Link: http://www.publicagenda.org/research/research_reports.cfm

"I'm Not White": Anti-Racist Teacher Education for White Early Childhood Educators

Tara Goldstein. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (Volume 2, Number 1), 2001.

Conceptualising and implementing early childhood teacher education for racial and cultural diversity is a complex task that involves learning about social stratification and race, acknowledging the privileges associated with whiteness, and finding ways to create positive racial teaching identities. This article discusses three ways that teacher educators might prepare white early childhood education students for anti-racist work in their classrooms.

Resource Link: http://www.wwwords.co.uk/ciec/

A Public Voice '00: Public Schools

Milton B. Hoffman Productions.

Each year, many public television stations around the nation air an hour-long program that features U.S. citizens deliberating in National Issues Forums around the nation. The programs also feature distinguished panels of nationally known political leaders, commentators and journalists meeting at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to reflect on what this 'public voice' may mean in setting direction for America. The topics are different each year.

Resource Link: http://www.nifi.org

A Public Voice '95: Contested Values: Tug-of-War in the School Yard

Milton B. Hoffman Productions.

Each year, many public television stations around the nation air an hour-long program that features U.S. citizens deliberating in National Issues Forums around the nation. The programs also feature distinguished panels of nationally known political leaders, commentators and journalists meeting at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to reflect on what this 'public voice' may mean in setting direction for America. The topics are different each year.

Resource Link: http://www.nifi.org

Administrative Structure and Social Democratic Results: The Case of Education

Kevin B. Smith.

At the center of the contemporary education reform debate is an argument that organizational structure makes a difference to school outcomes. This in turn centers on a basic premise of the public choice literature -- that public and private goods and services are in some fashion analogous, and public sector performance can be improved by adopting at least some of the institutional arrangements and processes of the market (Tiebout 1956). This case study of education with respect to administrative structure examines the goals and challenges to differentially structured education systems.

Resource Link: http://sansfoy.hti.umich.edu/pdf/0472113178-ch11.pdf

AmericanValuesAre.com

AmericanValuesAre.com was designed to promote civic education and civic engagement. Civic education leads to responsible citizenship. Responsible citizens are the core foundation of our democratic system. Our guides are designed to encourage dialogue about what it means to be a citizen, and to energize more Americans to be engaged in shaping and interacting with their own government. We also hope to be able to inform and educate people on how to engage in the dialogue that leads to common ground and minimizes partisan debate that divides and demoralizes us.

Resource Link: http://www.americanvaluesare.com

Building Strong Neighborhoods: A Study Circle Guide for Public Dialogue and Community Problem Solving Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Study Circles Resource Center (SCRC), 1998.

A four-session discussion guide on many important neighborhood issues including: race and other kinds of differences; young people and families; safety and community-police relations; homes, housing and beautification; jobs and neighborhood economy; and schools.

Resource Link: http://www.studycircles.org/en/DiscussionGuides.aspx

By the People Highly Recommended

By the People: America in the World, an initiative of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, aims to energize and enhance the national conversation on America's role in the world through a series of national and local broadcasts and events that demonstrate the relevance of foreign policy issues to local concerns. The project includes three national PBS specials, two cycles of local programming to be produced by PBS stations in cooperation with community organizations, national and local forums for civic dialogue, and an interactive web site.

Resource Link: http://www.macneil-lehrer.com/btp/

Changing the Conversation on Education in Connecticut

Will Friedman. Public Agenda, 2004.

A report on 10 years of public engagement on public education topics in over 75 communities across Connecticut. Supported by the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, the report serves as a comprehensive case study of how public engagement can work in communities across America and discusses the specific accomplishments in Connecticut.

Resource Link: http://www.publicagenda.org/pubengage/pdfs/connecticut_public_engagement_2005.pdf

Citizenship and Education in 28 Countries: Civic Knowledge and Engagement at Age Fourteen

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.

This study explored what young people around the world think about democracy, what they know about how democratic institutions work, and to what extent they expect to get involved in civic activities once they are adults. The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (www.iea.nl) released the study.

Resource Link: http://www.wam.umd.edu/~iea

City Voices, Children's Needs

The National League of Cities.

Describes widespread concerns about the quality of schools, violence by and among young people, and inadequate opportunities for youth to become engaged in constructive activities during non-school hours.

Resource Link: http://www.nlc.org

Conditions for Change: Georgians Talk About How to Improve Public Schools and Education

Prepared by The Harwood Group for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, 1994.

Conversations with Georgia residents reveals that improving public education is a top priority for Georgians across the state. Our experience suggests that to tap this desire and move ahead effectively, Georgians - and citizens everywhere who, like those in Georgia, want to improve their public schools - need to focus on seven key principles for building sustainable changes in education.

Resource Link: http://www.theharwoodinstitute.org/resources/

Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century

Henry Jenkins, Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; with Katie Clinton, Ravi Purushotma, Alice J. Robinson and Margaret Weigel. MacArthur Foundation, 2006.

This occasional paper on digital media and learning talks about how over half of all teens have created media content, and roughly one-third of teens who use the Internet have shared content they produced. In many cases, these teens are actively involved in what we are calling participatory cultures. A participatory culture is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices. A participatory culture is also one in which members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection with one another.

Resource Link: http://www.digitallearning.macfound.org

Contested Values: Tug-Of-War In The School Yard

National Issues Forums, 1994.

America's public schools, which have been the principal means of transmitting common values from one generation to the next, have become battlefields. At issue are fundamental differences about moral authority, family life, sexual expression, and how to live together despite our differences. This nonpartisan issue guide is used for citizen deliberations in National Issues Forums.

Resource Link: http://www.nifi.org/discussion_guides/guides.aspx?catID=10

Creating a Formula for Success in Low-Performing Schools

Public Agenda.

This Citizen ChoiceWork guide (and video) from Public Agenda was developed for community conversations, classrooms, study groups, and individuals. Too many schools have students who are just getting by, or failing to learn much at all. We look at four hypothetical school communities and their different approaches to boosting student achievement: set high expectations and hold schools accountable; increase resources for classroom essentials; increase parent and community involvement; and ensure effective leadership. Spanish language version available.

Resource Link: http://www.publicagenda.org/pubengage/pe_toolkit.cfm

Democratic Dilemmas: Joint Work, Education Politics, and Community Highly Recommended

Julie A. Marsh. SUNY Press (SUNY series, School Districts: Research, Policy, and Reform), 2007.

This 228-page book written by policy researcher Julie Marsh explores ways to engage citizens in the process of educational improvement. The book highlights the inherent tensions of deliberative democracy, competing notions of representation, limitations of current conceptions of educational accountability, and the foundational importance of trust to democracy and education reform. It further provides a framework for improving community-educator collaboration and lessons for policy and practice.

Resource Link: http://www.sunypress.edu/details.asp?id=61456

Education Issue Guide

Public Agenda.

It's hard to find any American who isn't touched in some way by the public schools as a student, parent, taxpayer, employer, or any combination of the above. And by almost any measure, the schools are one of the public's top concerns. Test scores indicate the problems are not as bad as two decades ago, but even so public confidence in public schools has declined dramatically over the past 25 years. Public Agenda Issue Guides or “Citizen Choicework Guides” contain background information on the topic and present three different approaches to the issue for people to deliberate.

Resource Link: http://www.publicagenda.org/issues/frontdoor.cfm?issue_type=education

Education Policy: Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth

Jason Cianciotto and Sean Cahill. The Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (www.thetaskforce.org), 2003.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the school experiences of LGBT youth, and existing policy interventions aimed at making schools safe and affirming environments for all students. It also examines recent federal policy changes that complicate these efforts, and offers a research agenda to fill these gaps in our understanding of the experiences of LGBT youth and children of LGBT parents.

Resource Link: http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/EducationPolicy.pdf

Education: How Can Schools and Communities Work Together to Meet the Challenge? A Guide for Involving Community Members in Public Dialogue and Problem Solving (3rd Edition)

Study Circles Resource Center (SCRC), 1997.

A multiple-session discussion guide examining the challenges schools face and the ways in which citizens and educators can improve education.

Resource Link: http://www.studycircles.org/en/DiscussionGuides.aspx

Education: How Do We Get The Results We Want?

National Issues Forums.

This booklet bypasses the familiar arguments about how to reform our schools, to focus on who can most effectively bring about the educational results we want. This nonpartisan guide is used for citizen deliberations in National Issues Forums.

Resource Link: http://www.nifi.org/discussion_guides/guides.aspx?catID=10

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