Our School Law professor gave us this assignment:
Social forces exist not only at the national level. Very often, schol policy, which directly affects our educational system are most heavly felt at the local board level. While observing a board meeting, analyze what social forces are affecting policy making and consider the pros and cons of social force being exerted.
I don't understand what to write about the social forces. Most of the content of the school board meeting was the new building construction issues and the board approval for teacher conferences and field trips. Could you provide me with hypothetical examples?
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I imagine it is hard to see social forces at a meeting like that...
I would think that the most obvious social force that tends to work at a school board meeting would be the desire of parents to push for the best education they can get for their children. I would think that this force would tend to show itself in demands for extra programs and buildings and in a somewhat selfish desire for benefits to be funneled towards schools in the area of the most vocal (probably well-off) parents.
I imagine another possible social force would be resistance to taxes, especially from those who have no children in the school system. These people would be more likely to argue for austerity.
Do you think that is the sort of social forces that your professor means?
Essentially, this question is asking what happens at a school board meeting when social agendas dominate advocacy at the school board levels. For example, if a school board is discussing technological advancements in a school district and some of the questions refer back to issues of equitable access and "fair playing grounds," one can make the argument that the policy of wealth redistribution is finding its way into the discourse. Another such example could be the discussion of standards based educational reform and how a school district responds to it. If a board discussion centers on how to maximize production and achievement using a specific program, some level of advocacy or even collusion between school boards and educational companies might be present. Discussions of taxes and taxation policy can refer back to the Classically Liberal view of taxes or a more inteventionist approach to it. In the larger scheme, the assignment is asking you to use your knowledge of social philosophies and see how they make their way into school board discussions and articulation of district goals.
Thank you for you response. I am guessing that is what he wants as well. Unfortunately, there were only building requests for sports sign ups. There was one gentleman from town who did have a tax complaint. I guess this is the sort of social force he is referring to.
Thanks very much
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