Featuring current information and challenging perspectives on the latest issues and forces shaping the American educational system—with scholarship that is often cited as a primary source—Joel Spring introduces readers to the historical, political, social, and legal foundations of education and to the profession of teaching in the United States. In his signature straightforward, concise approach to describing complex issues, he illuminates events and topics that are often overlooked or whitewashed, giving students the opportunity to engage in critical thinking about education. Students come away informed on the latest topics, issues, and data and with a strong knowledge of the forces shaping the American educational system.
Thoroughly updated throughout, the new edition of this clear, authoritative text remains fresh and up-to-date, reflecting the many changes in education that have occurred since the publication of the previous edition. Topics and issues addressed and analyzed include:
• The decline of the Common Core State Standards, particularly as result of a Republican-controlled administration currently in place
• Increasing emphasis on for-profit education, vouchers, charter schools, and free-market competition between schools, expected to surge with the appointment of the new U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
• Current debates about immigration and "Dreamers"—new statistics on immigrant education, discussion of education proposals to accommodate the languages, cultures, and religions of newly arrived immigrants
• New education statistics on school enrollments, dropouts, education and income, school segregation, charter schools, and home languages
• The purposes of education as presented in the 2016 platforms of the Republican, Democratic, Green, and Libertarian parties
• Discussions around transgender students
Table of Contents
PART ONE: School and Society
Chapter 1 The History and Political Goals of Public Schooling
Chapter 2 The Social Goals of Schooling
Chapter 3 Education and Equality of Opportunity
Chapter 4 The Economic Goals of Schooling: Human Capital, Global Economy, and Preschool
Chapter 5 Equality of Educational Opportunity: Race, Gender, and Special Needs
Chapter 6 Student Diversity
Chapter 7 Multicultural and Multilingual Education
PART TWO Power and Control in American Education
Chapter 8 Local Control, Choice, Charter Schools, and Home Schooling
Chapter 9 Power and Control at State and National Levels
Chapter 10 The Profession of Teaching
Chapter 11 Globalization of Education
Joel Spring is Professor Emeritus at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, USA.
"I have used American Education for decades in my Foundations of Education course. I think Dr. Spring’s attention to equity and justice, and critical perspective on schooling in the United States is valuable for students of education. Dr. Spring’s style of writing and the language he uses is accessible, especially for newcomers to the field."
— Richard Neumann, Professor of Education, San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus
"American Education is comprehensive and introduces students to a wide range of topics in a fairly systematic way. I really appreciate that the book helps students situate schooling and education within a political landscape."
—Amy Damrow, Assistant Professor of Cultural Foundations and Education, Kent State University
"I began using Dr. Spring’s text in its 13th edition. Dr. Spring addresses the issues that my students will encounter in public education. The conversations in my classroom are enhanced by the book’s introduction of theories, legislation, court cases, and historic and contemporary practice in American education."
—Mary Burke Givens, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology Studies, University of Alabama
"Overall, this is a good book to introduce students to topics and issues in education. Dr. Spring tries to show multiple sides of issues which is an excellent way to encourage critical thinking."
— Teressa A. Jackson, Adjunct Instructor of Education, Coastal Pines Technical College
"Dr. Spring provides a good look into the teaching and learning within a public-school system in a broader democratic society by engaging the reader in brief historical and political viewpoints as they relate to the community school system. American Education does a good job describing the struggle schools have had in their attempt to balance these views to best serve the interests of their communities and more broadly, national interests."
— Teresa Coffman, Professor of Education, University of Mary Washington