The One Best System presents a major new interpretation of what actually happened in the development of one of America's most influential institutions. At the same time it is a narrative in which the participants themselves speak out: farm children and factory workers, frontier teachers and city superintendents, black parents and elite reformers. And it encompasses both the achievements and the failures of the system: the successful assimilation of immigrants, racism and class bias; the opportunities offered to some, the injustices perpetuated for others.
David Tyack has placed his colorful, wide-ranging view of history within a broad new framework drawn from the most recent work in history, sociology, and political science. He looks at the politics and inertia, the ideologies and power struggles that formed the basis of our present educational system. Using a variety of social perspectives and methods of analysis, Tyack illuminates for all readers the change from village to urban ways of thinking and acting over the course of more than one hundred years.
David B. Tyack (1930-2016) was Vida Jacks Professor of Education, Emeritus, and Professor of History, Emeritus, at Stanford University.
PROLOGUE PART I: THE ONE BEST SYSTEM IN MICROCOSM: COMMUNITY AND CONSOLIDATION IN RURAL EDUCATION The School as a Community and the Community as a School 'The Rural School Problem' and Power to the Professional PART II: FROM VILLAGE SCHOOL TO URBAN SYSTEM: BUREAUCRATIZATION IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY Swollen Villages and the Need for Coordination Creating the One Best System Teachers and the Male Mystique Attendance, Voluntary and Coerced Some Functions of Schooling PART III: THE POLITICS OF PLURALISM: NINETEENTH-CENTURY PATTERNS Critics and Dissenters Configurations of Control Lives Routinized yet Insecure: Teachers and School Politics Cultural Conflicts: Religion and Ethnicity A Struggle Lonely and Unequal: The Burden of Race PART IV: CENTRALIZATION AND THE CORPORATE MODEL: CONTESTS FOR CONTROL OF URBAN SCHOOLS, 1890-1940 An Interlocking Directorate and Its Blueprint for Reform Conflicts of Power and Values: Case Studies of Centralization Political Structure and Political Behavior PART V: INSIDE THE SYSTEM: THE CHARACTER OF URBAN SCHOOLS, 1890-1940 Success Story: The Administrative Progressives Science Victims without "Crimes": Black Americans Americanization: Match and Mismatch Lady Labor Sluggers" and the Professional Proletariat EPILOGUE: THE ONE BEST SYSTEM UNDER FIRE, 1940-1973 NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX