Education and Community: The collective wisdom|
of teachers, parents, and members of our community.
Educational policy is the combination of politics, pedagogy, and values. (Mann, Draft, p43) Policy is about community. In the ever-changing, turbulent times of school reform, part of its nature is recycling. We find some calling for a resurgence in community involvement. (Belluck, Blase, Clinton, Mann 1998, Rose, Spring) This revisiting of community involvement results from the dissolving of the nuclear family, desegregation, immersion of special education, and the use of the computer as a communications tool. Much of the conflict facing education today is that "schools have two missions that frequently collide, to change society and to conserve it." (Mann, Draft p20) How can we resolve this conflict and satisfy the needs of the community?
Education reform has been consistent in that methods for reform always seem to be sparked by an external force. (Blase, Cuban, Edmonds 1979 & 1981, Mann: Draft 1978 1986, Spring) And yet the goals of reform have not been reached. Perhaps to get a better idea or inspiration to affect reform we should consider Viteritti's concluding remarks in his study Across the River:
Change on behalf of the poor requires tampering with relationships that already exist between the organization and its environment and violating the political premises upon which they are founded. (Viteritti, p 344)
We need to stir the pot suggests Viteritti. We need to look beyond ourselves or our microcosms of our schools and consider the macrocosm in which we exist.