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Response Memo

1. David Labaree argues that the primary problem with American education is a political one in which education is increasingly defined as a private, rather than public good.

1a. Do you agree with Labaree’s general thesis?

1b. How does Labaree’s argument about education as a “private good” relate to Professor Arum’s discussion of Weber and social stratification?

1c. What questions would you ask that critically engage the reading?

2. The goals for schooling change based on the historical context. Evidence of this can be seen in Horace Mann’s “Twelfth Annual Report” to the Massachusetts Legislature (1848),and then in the change from the Committee of 10 Report in 1893 to the Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education in 1918.

What goals for public schooling are advocated in these primary sources?

How do these goals fit into Labaree’s framework for thinking about education as a public or private good?

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