"Visions of Schooling" by Rosemary C. Salomone

Visions of Schooling Conscience, Community, and Common Education Rosemary C. Salomone

Publication date:
10 Sep 2002
Yale University Press
352 pages: 229 x 152mm

At no time in the past century have there been fiercer battles over our public schools than there are now. Parents and educational reformers are challenging not only the mission, content, and structure of mass compulsory schooling but also its underlying premise—that the values promoted through public education are neutral and therefore acceptable to any reasonable person. In this important book, Rosemary Salomone sets aside the ideological and inflammatory rhetoric that surrounds today’s debates over educational values and family choice. She offers instead a fair-minded examination of education for democratic citizenship in a society that values freedom of conscience and religious pluralism. And she proposes a balanced course of action that redefines but does not sever the relationship between education and the state.

Salomone demonstrates how contemporary conflicts are the product of past educational and social movements. She lays bare some of the myths that support the current government monopoly over education and reveals how it privileges those of economic means. Through a detailed case study of recent controversy in a suburban New York school district, the author explores the legal and policy issues that arise when widely disparate world views stand in the way of political compromise on educational materials, techniques, and programs. Salomone builds a case for educational governance that places the developmental needs of the child at the center of family autonomy. She advances a plan that respects diverse values and visions of schooling while preserving the core commitments that bind our nation.

Rosemary C. Salomone is professor of law at St. John’s University School of Law and a fellow of the Open Society Institute.

?Salomone, fully appreciating the dangers posed by the statists on the one hand and the radical individualists on the other, makes her own proposal a model of fairness and balance.??John F. Coons, University of California at Berkeley School of Law

?A consummate account, historical and contemporary, of the surging legal and political school wars that pit family autonomy and religious conscience against civic and communal demands?together with the author?s creative proposal for peace.??John G. Simon, Augustus Lines Professor of Law, Yale Law School 

"How do we ensure common values in a pluralist society?and how do we protect individual freedom and self-determination in activities that the state controls? Rosemary Salomone gives sober and thorough guidance on these issues in the crucial context of schooling. Her treatments of school choice, children?s needs, parental rights, and intergroup conflict are remarkably fair, clear and useful. This book should be read by parents and political leaders as well as scholars and students."?Martha Minow, Professor of Law, Harvard University (author of Making All the Difference: Inclusion, Exclusion and American Law; Only for Myself: Identity, Politics and Law between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History After Genocide and Mass Violence)

?Rosemary Salomone has written an extremely helpful book on the value conflicts that have marked and increasingly characterize American public education. Clearly some common visions and assumptions that brought together parents, children and students are no longer operative. This book is an excellent guide to the conflicts we cannot avoid in the process of education.??Nathan Glazer, Harvard University 

?Many readers could learn a lot from Rosemary Salomone?s Visions of Schooling, another new volume that endorses school vouchers. What?s refreshing about Salomone?s book is the route she takes getting there.??Stephen D. Sugarman, Law and Politics Book Review

?[Salomone] could cause concerned citizens to ?think outside the box? and to begin a process that could create a more harmonious environment in public schools.??Library Journal

?Salomone supports and advocates single-sex education with sound theories and also corrects many current misconceptions.??NEA Today