The latest from the school of education "reform" at Walton U.
A new study by Manhattan Institute scholar Jay P. Greene and Brian Kisida and Jonathan Butcher, research associates in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, analyzes the trends in U.S. public school names in 7 states, representing 20 percent of all public school students, before 1948 to present day. The study shows a sharp decline in naming of public schools after prominent public figures and an increase in naming schools after natural features. The authors discuss potential causes for this shift in school names. They argue that this raises serious questions about how well schools are performing the civic mission of public education.
Key findings include:
· In each state the authors examined, there has been a decline over time in the likelihood that schools will be named after people and, in particular, presidents.
· In Florida, only 5 schools are named after George Washington, compared with 11 named after manatees.
· In Minnesota, the naming of schools after presidents declined from 14% of schools built before 1956 to 3% of schools built in the most recent decade.
·In New Jersey, naming schools after people dropped from 45% of all schools built before 1948 to 27% of schools built since 1988.
·In Arizona, public schools built in the last 20 years were almost 50 times more likely to be named after a natural object—like a mesa or a cactus—than after a leader of the U.S.
The authors offer solutions to reverse these trends. They conclude that public schools should restore their civic mission and spend the political capital to name
schools after people who exemplify desirable values that students should emulate.
This is not a joke. (Link fixed.)