This is an important book because its focus is critical, and its aim is to demystify the prevailing ideology of school reform. Perhaps never has the argument been greater than w for democracy and the restoration of human subjectivity and agency, two very important aspects of this collection of critical essays. The introductory essay is excellent in its elucidation of the world political ecomy of the 1980s and current educational reforms. It sets a clear direction for the remainder of the book, which is teworthy for its organiational, conceptual, and written clarity. Topics include education reform and work, teacher education, continuing education, and equity. In its attempt to present alternative ways of seeing and interpreting educational/social phemen, this book is one of the best to appear. The text is refreshingly free of a lot of jargon; thus the reader is better able to understand the complexities of educational and social critique. Highly recommended for upper-level undergraduate and graduate reading as well as academic library acquisition. Choice This is the first comprehensive scholarly critique of the recent literature on school reform. The essays critically analyze the three major issues that have been the focal point of reform efforts: the restructuring of teacher education programs, the reconceptualization of the social function of American high schools and colleges, and the redefinition of the educated individual. The New Servants of Power brings together the work of an emerging group of revisionist scholars in this field, enlarging the scope of contemporary debate about school and educational reform. The essays critically assess national educational reports, books, and related policy statements that set the parameters from which much of the contemporary education debate proceeds. The work considers the contemporary school reform debate as a reflection of a conflict between dominant ecomic interest groups about the most efficient means of rebuilding labor productivity and American ecomic power. Next, the concept of work and the schools as reflected in school reform literature is addressed. A section about how groups and individuals who are traditionally less well-served fare under school reform follows. Included are specific implications for constituents, critical questions about continued inequitable distribution of resources, and recommended alternative policies. Finally, the treatment of aims, attitudes, skills, and disciplines embodied in specific curriculum proposals is analyzed. The New Servants of Power is an excellent resource for educators and students on courses such as current issues in education, school and society, and sociology of education.
CHRISTINE SHEA is currently a center fellow at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching. Her research area is the history of twentieth-century school and social reform movements. She is currently completing work on a social history of the Progressive-era mental hygiene movement. PETER SOLA is Associate Professor of Foundations of Education at Howard University, Washington, D.C. ERNEST KAHANE is presently a training consultant for a number of leading computer and high tech firms along the Boston beltway. Dr. Kahane is also an adjunct professor at Boston University.