League of Industrial Democracy Speech: I.S. 201
In light of a recent campaign for greater parent and community authority in school administration for a public school, I.S. 201, in Harlem, Al Shanker discusses the various attempts at school reform in New York City. He hits on the desire by I.S. 201 parents to select textbooks, to require a certain racial makeup in the school staff and administration, and the idea of handing over administration of schools to universities or community groups rather than the government. He also discusses a voucher proposal and a plan which attempts to achieve greater integration by having students attend each school for longer periods of time. He explains why he thinks all these tactics are ineffective and puts forward instead his ideas for school reform which include training of new teachers through internships with current teachers, expanding the pool for potential teacher hires to the entire country to generate competition, supervisors elected by the tenured faculty, the creation of alternative schools for emotionally disturbed students, the creation of summer programs that would integrate classes and races, and a focus on early childhood education.
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