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American Public Education and the Responsibility of its CitizensSupporting Democracy in the Age of Accountability$
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Sarah M. Stitzlein

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190657383

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190657383.001.0001

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Changing Schools, Changing Citizens, Changing Priorities

Changing Schools, Changing Citizens, Changing Priorities

(p.1) 1 Changing Schools, Changing Citizens, Changing Priorities
American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens

Sarah M. Stitzlein

Oxford University Press

In this introductory chapter, I explain the shifting context of public schooling and the democracy it enables. I show that increasing numbers of citizens have relinquished support for traditional public schools. I explain how neoliberalism has accelerated this trend and has been accompanied by changes in citizen life. I introduce accountability as an important issue tied to many of the frustrations with public schools and deteriorating support for them. I argue that, rather than being about the poor performance of schools, the current educational crisis is at heart one about citizen responsibility. Introducing the major thesis of the book, I claim that the recent accountability movement has shifted the onus of curing nearly all societal problems almost exclusively onto schools, but contend that these burdens should not be unidirectional. I make the argument that there is a corresponding responsibility on the part of citizens toward public schools.

Keywords:   Public school governance, educational change, citizen responsibility, accountability, neoliberalism

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