Review of Arons's


  • Charles L. Glenn Boston University



Book Review, Academic Freedom, Bureaucracy, Censorship, Community Control, Cultural Influences, Educational Legislation, Elementary Secondary Education, Family School Relationship, Freedom of Speech, Moral Values, Public Education, Socialization, Textbook


Stephen Arons, author of Compelling Belief: The Culture of American Schooling (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1986), is one of the most articulate and influential critics of the educational Establishment from the secular Left. In his new book, he takes on the Clinton Administration's efforts to establish national outcome standards--Goals 2000--which he describes as "comprehensive, centralizing, and insensitive to the diversity of goals that students, families, and communities bring to education. Through the use of federal grants and state regulations, it aims to bring every school in every school district in every state into conformity with politically prescribed standards of what should be learned by every child" (page 4). Arons warns that "[o]nce accepted by the public, Goals 2000 will change the balance of power in schoolhouses and courtrooms in a way unlikely ever to be undone. That change in schooling will very likely undermine the freedom of intellect and spirit that has been so essential to the American experience" (page 98).


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Author Biography

Charles L. Glenn, Boston University

Charles L. Glenn (AB, EdD, Harvard University; PhD, Boston University) is the Chairman, Department of Administration, Training, and Policy Studies and Professor of Education in the Boston University School of Education. The formulation and implementation of policies affecting the education of urban and racial, ethnic, and religious minority students are the focus of Dr. Glenn's teaching and research. He has published extensively on parent choice, desegregation, use of minority languages in schools, and religion and education. The Myth of the Common School (1988) is a historical study of resistance to efforts to use schooling to reshape society in France, the Netherlands, and the United States. Choice of Schools in Six Nations and Educational Freedom in Eastern Europe survey current policies and controversies. His forthcoming Minority Languages in Schools considers how twelve industrialized nations educate the children of immigrants. Dr. Glenn directed the Massachusetts Department of Education's equity and urban-education efforts for more than 20 years and continues to work with educational systems in the United States, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Middle East on policies to balance common standards with school-level autonomy and choice by parents and teachers.




How to Cite

Glenn, C. L. (1998). Review of Arons’s. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 6, 2.