California in a Time of Excellence: School Reform at the by James Andrew LaSpina

By James Andrew LaSpina

Follows California's efforts at reforming the general public institution procedure from 1983 to the current.

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Extra resources for California in a Time of Excellence: School Reform at the Crossroads of the American Dream

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In his second term the department was reorganized again to further advance the superintendent’s goals. What spurred Honig to run for superintendent was Riles’s proposal to fund a vigorous expansion of a vocational curriculum for high school that would emphasize manual training and technical job skills instead of an academic curriculum (Stowe 1975, 93). But the real catalyst for Honig was Riles’s decision to push for the department to develop a standard K–12 social studies program of study. When Honig learned of Riles’s social studies proposal in which the study of history played a minimal role, he entered the race.

If one accepts the idea of culture as a way of life, then its awakening is merely the first stage in a lifelong process of acculturation in which the socialization processes of K–12 public education are but one stage. These processes are wholly situated within a complex milieu of public and private spheres of influence to which the state has only tenuous access at best. Yet the Warren court landmark decision plainly suggests it is only considering the public school’s role in support of civic culture.

When Honig learned of Riles’s social studies proposal in which the study of history played a minimal role, he entered the race. Honig launched his campaign in 1980. The study of history in the schools was a central plank in his campaign platform. For two years he stumped the state telling anyone who would listen that lasting reform of California’s public schools could be done only by a return to “traditional 36 California in a Time of Excellence education” (Honig 1985, 41). That meant a core academic curriculum, with more attention given to the humanities and the sciences.

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