Educational Reform
ublic education can provide the foundation for lifelong learning, prepare students to fulfill their civic and economic responsibilities, and even be a means for renewing both individuals and neighborhoods. In practice, however, many public schools are marked according to New York City school consultant Carol Wreszin

by low expectations and high stress. Teachers are often expected to control the students, and principals are expected to control the teachers. Teachers sometimes train students for tests. Principals are expected to keep tight oversight on re sources. As a result, teachers can end up being clerical help filling up reams of paper work, and principals become autocrats wielding power over both teachers and students. Teachers are not treated as professionals and often do not have the space or resources to succeed with their students.


     Few can agree, however, on how to improve public education so that it can fulfill its intended purposes.
     This issue of The Other Side offers perspectives on the educational reform debate and some specific options for change. In the lead article, Raymond Franklin analyzes the state of the current debate and suggests ways to work for genuine reform. The other authors were invited to respond to Franklin or offer their own suggestions for educational reform. Jack Zevin points out that lasting change requires that reformers enter the very complex, mundane, problematic, and resource-limited world of   >>>>>

schools and show how their new concepts will make a difference in the life of a child, teacher, parent, and administrator. Sarah Wilford asserts that the best way to encourage and support change is dialogue: how can parents, teachers, administrators, and children begin serious discussions about matters of mutual importance. Eleanor Armour-Thomas discusses the indicators of quality schooling that can help children, including those from low income backgrounds, achieve academic excellence. Eileen Moran describes the impact of recent immigrants on public schools. Finally, Randolf Tobias suggests specific curriculum tactics for fostering change from with in the classroom.

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