Governance And the Public Good (S U N Y Series, Frontiers in Education)


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The central thrust of the book is that these are forces that will continue to sustain transformative dynamics in the future. Hopefully we have provided a map with which to roam across this ever-changing landscape. Reading the map is no easy task—the pace of change being what it is in the information field—but the map is there and we take pride in having brought it into fruition.


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DIGITAL: Of, relating to or based on calculations and logical operations with quantities represented as digits, commonly in the binary number system. This includes but is not limited to : computers, telecommunication systems, broadcasting mediums, multi-media convergence, etc. KEY: A table, gloss, or cipher that allows the user to decode or interpret data. SINGH With the steamship, the electric telegraph, the newspaper, the wholesale engines of war, With these and the world-spreading factories he interlinks all geography, all lands; What whispers are these O lands, running ahead of you, passing under the seas?

Are all nations communing? Is there but going to be one heart of the globe? Is humanit y forming en-masse? For lo, t yrants tremble, crowns grow dim, The earth, restive, confronts a new era, perhaps a general divine war, No one knows what will happen next, such portents fill the days and night; —Walt Whitman, Songs of Parting It is somewhat ironic, and a tad unpoetic, to note that in as Walt Whitman conjectured about the whispers passing under the seas, across the Atlantic in Paris the industrializing Western powers met to found the International Telegraph Union.

For this reason, the authors return to the bricks and mortar of political science: power and governance. Ref lecting a view offered by many international relations researchers, they grapple with the way the spread of information technologies is shifting power and the locus of authorit y away from the state. The intent and contribution of the book are to show how this conclusion is valid with respect to information technologies by examining several issue-areas.

The overall context of the volume is, of course, what information technologies have now wrought—global information networks. Networking, entailing communication and information exchange, is changing both the way power is exercised and governance is organized in global politics. Information technologies in this volume refer to all technologies that help to produce, gather, distribute, consume, and store information. These may include, though are not limited to, print and broadcast media, telecommunications telephone, fax, Internet, World Wide Web, etc.

Except for Aronson chapter 2 and Rosenau chapter 11 , the authors focus on specific information technologies and issue-areas. This chapter puts the rest of this volume in a theoretical and, where necessary, a historical, perspective. The chapter first discusses how the rise of information net works is facilitated by changes in technology.

The chapter then turns to the changing scope of power. The argument is that the locus of authorit y, order, and legitimacy are shifting away from the state toward pluralism and actor advocacy. Information technologies and global politics have been studied before, and there are a few classics in the field Zacher with Sutton ; Sandholtz ; Krasner ; Cowhey ; Aronson and Cowhey ; Gilpin However, debates continue on basic questions such as the impact of the information networks on the identities of actors, and what these actors do unto each other in areas such as power, authorit y, and governance.

By critically analyzing issues of power and governance, and by building on conclusions offered by international relations scholarship, it is hoped that a few in-depth answers may be provided on the relationship between information technologies and global politics. In one form or another, scholars of various hues refer to these networks in speaking of the actors that international relations scholars study. Rosecrance refers to the virtual state; Deibert and Arquila and Ronfeld to networked securit y; Spar with Bussgang to networked marketplaces; Gereffi to networked transnational enterprises; Mathews and Keck and Sikkink to NGO-based advocacy net works; and all forms of net worked organizations as preeminent in world political economy are referred to by Aronson chapter 2 , Keohane and Nye , and Castells , , The effects of networking on states, businesses, and international organizations transcend any kind of technologically deterministic logic.

Nonetheless, two developments are important for understanding how technologies proposed the rise of net works that replaced earlier organizational forms. These developments are: digitization and the fall in marginal costs. Skeptics of the effects of information technology often question, not just the effects, but also the technological changes that facilitate them.

It is thus important to understand technology as well as its effects on power and governance in the context of this volume. Digital technology changed the way information industries were organized. The vertical dimension of Figure 1. Vertically integrated industries developed different pipelines for different functions needed to deliver information. Aronson discusses similar processes by referring to conduits in the next chapter.

In a few national markets, telecommunications providers were specifically barred from providing any services other than telephony in return for monopoly privileges. Similarly, cable television later distributed its content on a network capable of handling high bandwidths, but not particularly capable of switching it as in telephony , because of the separation of industry t ypes. Analog technology thus helped to separate voice, text, image, data and video industries. Digital technology has undone the technological logic behind separate industry t ypes and pipelines. This in turn has also spurred multimedia interactive instruments and fiber-optic cables capable of carrying all t ypes of messages at high speeds and low costs including over the local loop.

New technology allows information to be encoded in streams of binary digits digitization which can be sent efficiently and at relatively low cost over long distances. Digitization impacts all aspects of the information industry allowing various t ypes of media voice, text, image, data, and video to be digitized and sent over the same pipeline and accessed by a single instrument. As shown in figure 1. Even though the telecommunications industry is still catching up with this horizontal integration, multimedia interactive devices are already a trillion-dollar industry.

The vertical and horizontal integration of pipelines due to digitization is expanding and deepening information networks. The expansion is coming as different types of vertical pipelines merge. For example, the fact that cable networks can now accommodate telephony and vice versa allows for better and expanded geographic coverage. Deepening occurs due to horizontal integration, allowing for a variety of functions to be performed over the same network with the use of a multimedia device.

It is this vertical and horizontal integration, whose genesis lies in digitization, that is leading to the oft-discussed information superhighway. Kim and Hart chapter 6 ref lect the former concern in noting the battle over intellectual property rights and Aronson chapter 2 explains the transactions in terms of what he labels conduit and content issues. The second technological feature of importance is the way technological innovation pushes down the unit cost of products. For example, a computer disk, once produced, can be reproduced a million times over at negligible cost.

Success for information age products derives in large measure from the abilit y to rapidly generate large volumes of demand in a short time. It helps to explain the push by firms like Microsoft to develop global standards and intellectual propert y rights in their favor.

Superior and better microprocessing chips are also helping to do increasingly complicated tasks at faster and cheaper rates. A poor country with access to some capital can, if it has the political will, leapfrog the technological frontier by using inexpensive satellite based terminals and bringing a variet y of multimedia services to remote areas. Furthermore, network distance matters less and less. Consumers in the United States are familiar with this logic through the one-rate long distance plans which replaced distance sensitive plans of the past. But the extent to which net working comes about, and the global impact it has, cannot be measured by technological developments alone.

The fundamental points made in this volume about the impact of information technologies are thus rooted in the political, economic, and cultural context of their deployment and analyzed through the lens of the changing scope of power and governance. This section explores how these three t ypes of power may be understood in relation to information technologies. Information technologies, or any technology for that matter, are then forces that enhance these capabilities.

Information technology enhances the capabilities of traditional global actors, like states and firms, but it also empowers other actors like transnational social movements or terrorist groups and may even offer a few surprising insights into who is getting empowered and disempowered in global politics. Early conceptualizations of the impact of technology on power, in scholarship and public policy, revolved around notions of instrumental power. These concerns were initially sidetracked, as the infrastructure was deemed too important for national securit y to warrant an investigation.

Powerful ministries such as MITI Ministry of International Trade and Industry got involved as the economic implications of information technologies became important Aronson and Cowhey The French noted explicitly by the late s that unless they enhanced their information infrastructure, they would be left behind politically and economically. Instrumental power concerns were most obvious in the s in national debates about economic competitiveness. The case of France was mentioned earlier.

The competitiveness concerns in the United States reached a crescendo in the late s with the growing fears about competitiveness in key sectors like automobiles and steel Tyson ; Tyson and Zysman ; Hart These concerns spilled over into infrastructural development Aronson Reports pointed out deficiencies in the U.

Even laissez-faire minded Reagan boosted federal funding for Sematech in Texas to thwart the decline of competitiveness in the semiconductor industry. Vice President Gore years later touted schemes for a National Information Infrastructure, a broadband initiative. The Telecommunications Act of , now considered a failure, was designed to help expand the information infrastructure.

Instrumental concerns about economic power and technologies were joined by traditional concerns like securit y and political change by the end of the century.

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Conceptions of securit y changed in t wo ways. Second, protecting national information infrastructres against varied threats became a regular concern of states. Instrumental power advocates focused on enhancing capabilities to protect these infrastructures. While recognizing that central control by states over decentralized net works is improbable, instrumental notions of another sort are apparent in the solutions. How this other t ype of central coordination can be effected beyond acts of moral suasion is not apparent. Political change was also inf luenced by information net works. The country had come round a full circle, from being an infrastructural laggard to possessing an information advantage.

The instrumental features of information technologies, of course, extend beyond state concerns. The way that these technologies empower less privileged groups is especially important in recognizing the promise of technology in instrumental contexts. While Litfin chapter 3 and Braman chapter 4 go beyond merely positing instrumental contexts, both of them do acknowledge how technology may empower NGOs Litfin and result in defense technologies enabling civil groups Litfin, Braman or even terrorist groups Braman.

Chapter 10 offers a counterintuitive result f lowing from instrumental notions of technology and underprivileged groups. Contrary to current wisdom, developing countries came away with significant concessions from developed countries during the recent WTO telecommunications negotiations. First, we need to go beyond a focus on states and firms. State capabilities are no longer dependent, for example, on merely using these technologies, but also from working in concert with a host of actors in enhancing their power.

Second, the ways in which nonstate actors are privileged is important. There is ground for optimism as human rights practices improve, democracy spreads, and the underprivileged make gains. However, the latter argument must not be overstated. States and firms have better access to information technology and information than others. Hackers, terrorist groups and nations engaging in acts of information warfare are also difficult to control.

That instrumental power can have negative as well as positive consequences unhinges the original positive connotation of instrumental power. By definition, structural power is concerned with the constraints and the fit of particular activities with given institutions, or the abilit y to change the institutions rather than with notions of empowerment. Structural power issues, like their instrumental counterparts, used to be about states and firms. In many ways, they continue to be so. But information technologies are making us appreciate the ways in which information, knowledge and ideas shape these structures and, in turn, human behavior.

Cox borrows from Gramscian thought to note that material and institutional structures cannot be examined without reference to ideational hegemonic contexts. The reciprocal relationship bet ween technology and structures is noted in three ways. First, technology inf luences the structures of securit y or economic affairs. Second, existing structures or institutions shape technologies themselves. The case of technology shaping structures is made foremost in radical scholarship. Unlike Faustian instrumental versions, Winner presents a technological Frankenstein—technology out of control of human agency Singh Ends no longer follow from the means.

Capitalism here directly affects media contexts, sustaining the market system, generating a range of tensions and potential contradictions. Network interconnections, countermovements, and interdependencies lead to a hierarchical positing of structural power with limited choice for human agency.

A slightly different notion of structural power comes from those who see existing structures constraining the use of information technology. Structure determines what technology can or cannot do, instead of vice versa. Rosenau emphasizes this when he notes in chapter 11 that technology is neutral but that its use is shaped by the environment in which it finds itself. The propert y rights literature in general has examined how rules or rights governing propert y lead to different uses of technology.

Why is it that England took the lead in deploying technology that originated on the continent? There are thus contexts in which technology and structures, or political-economic institutions, adapt to each other. Again, information technology can claim older counterparts. Since then, there have been several best fit arguments noting how particular technologies falter or are adapted because of the institutional mix in place Hart ; Best ; Sabel Comparative analysts examine how and why it is easier for a few countries to expand their information infrastructures while others lag behind.

Types of states and other institutions are examined to posit levels of infrastructural provision Singh ; Levy and Spiller ; Wellenius et al. Kim and Hart chapter 6 cite similar literature to show how the institutional mix in the United States might be best suited to take advantage of Wintelist information technologies, epitomizing in the synthesis existing between Microsoft Windows and Intel.

Analysts also note that information networks are decentralized organizations ill suited for institutional contexts that try to centralize or control information f lows. Frequent media accounts abound about Singapore or China controlling information f lows.

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There are also subtler variations. In summary, three notions of structural power have been noted—one where technologies shape institutions, one where institutions determine technological use, and lastly the best fit scenarios where institutions and technology shape each other. In each case, information technologies may not increase the structural power of traditionally powerful actors.

META-POWER Technologies not only impact existing actors and issues but, as an increasing body of knowledge notes, networked interaction itself constitutes actors and issues in global politics. Networking is highly interactive. Meta-power thus refers to how net works reconfigure, constitute, or reconstitute identities, interests, and institutions. These authors also note that as ideas, interests and institutions are reconstituted, power shifts away from the original powerholders. The very nature of power itself and the actors who wield it is also changed. The distinction bet ween meta-power and instrumental or structural power made earlier is now increasingly recognized by those working within and outside traditional international relations scholarship.

Interestingly enough, even neorealists implicitly recognized the notion of meta-power early on. However, while recognizing these transformations, Gilpin does not deviate much from the instrumental notions of power. Krasner refers directly to meta-power when noting post-colonial Third World advocacy. Meta-power would allow these states to steer the structure and rules of the market-based liberal international economy toward an authoritatively distributive structure.

He then returns to a familiar conclusion—meta-power itself depends on capabilities, the Third World must suffer what it must. It can not reconstitute the system. A few neoliberals, too, come close to delineating a notion of meta-power. Keohane and Nye point out the ascendance of soft power, or power through persuasion and attraction rather than force, as a new salient feature of global politics when information net works proliferate.

The cognitive and interpretative insights offered by other neoliberal scholars also address issues of interest and preference formations Haas ; Sell ; Odell Nonetheless, most neoliberal and neorealist analysts, with few exceptions, take their cues from rational choice analyses, in which the identities and interests of actors, mostly nation-states, are posed ex-ante.

They share a cognitive, intersubjective conception of process in which identities and interests are endogenous to interaction, rather than a rationalist-behavioral one in which they are exogenous. Keohane , years earlier, had called these traditions ref lectivist. But it also follows that, among them, only those recollections subsist that in every period societ y, working within its present-day frameworks, can reconstruct. The real issue is how, from what, by whom, and for what. All forms of knowledge then reveal micro-power relations carrying subtle means of co-opting or marginalizing individuals.

Orientalism, then, is knowledge of the Orient that places things Oriental in class, court, prison, or manual for scrutiny, study, judgment, discipline, or governing. Indeed, while the constructivist turn is somewhat new in international relations scholarship, conceptually it stands to benefit from constructivist claims made elsewhere. To refine the concept of meta-power, this is a valuable exercise. The constitution of identities and interests in global politics may be related to similar conceptualizations by other social theorists.

The link bet ween information net works and constructivism can now be made explicit. The collective meanings that actors hold about themselves, or meanings imposed upon them, are shaped by networks and in turn inf luence networks. But the constitution and effects of such identit y formation remain contested among scholars. A few theorists see technology as merely playing a catalytic role in accelerating or reinforcing extant or incipient processes. Others see technologies as allowing for new t ypes of identit y and collective meanings.

Litfin chapter 3 offers a nuanced empirical case of the complicated, and somewhat serendipitous, processes governing network effects. This, however, is not technological determinism. Media thus propose conditions of organization that are realized through societal interactions. McLuhan would probably argue that information networks are cool interactive media, albeit where the possibilities of conf lict and cooperation are endless as we come together into a global village McLuhan and Powers Electric writing and speed pour upon him instantaneously and continuously the concerns of all other men.

He becomes tribal once more. Benedict Anderson, while not a medium theorist, is appreciative of the transformative features of media. First and foremost, they created unified fields of exchange and communication below Latin and above the spoken vernaculars. Second, print-capitalism gave a new fixit y to language, which in the long run helped to build that image of antiquit y so central to the subjective idea of the nation.

Technology helps modernizing Europe organize territory and time. Ideas of securit y centered around nations or states are unlikely to endure in interconnected information networks. Gilpin had argued that developments in military technology allowed states to not think of territorial expansion as the only means and end of power. However, physical territory itself, as epitomized geographically in nation-states, continued to be of importance.

Deibert and others are now positing constitutive contexts where territorialit y no longer governs human interaction. The world of hyperspace challenges the idea of territorial space as the only kind of space, especially defined by nation-states. Information technology net works in particular show how the collective social epistemes are shifting away from hierarchical authoritative contexts privileging nation-states.

Interconnected net works may f latten hierarchies, or transform them altogether, into new t ypes of spaces where territorialit y itself becomes extinct. Luke offers an alternative view. While discarding the linear perspectivism offered by modernit y, he is less sanguine about empowerment of marginal actors. It seems to require continuous coproduction by those with access to behind the screens and those without access before the screens. Individuals recreate themselves continuously in the permissive coding of individual self-management. Braman chapter 4 proposes a conservative, yet revealing, precedent.

Genetic power thus changes the very stuff of other forms of power. She cautions us about thinking that the only technologies that create information bases to transform identities and agendas are information technologies. More importantly, that such technologies possess information bases adds a crucial element to our understanding of how meta-power works. The constructivist turn in international relations scholarship, that supports the basis for what this volume terms meta-power, in its strongest version, is not merely supplementing, but also replacing traditional notions of power and authorit y.

Nonetheless, it is hard to see how power based on capabilities, as in instrumental and structural variants, can be overlooked even in transformed contexts. For Wendt , while state interests may be reconstituted, they can also be taken as given in the short run. Similarly, this volume argues for noticing the changing scope of power in all three conceptualizations discussed above. Governance involves authorit y, concerted action, and the resultant institutions.

Information networks themselves are governance net works.

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They allow for diffused forms of authorit y to emerge, for concerted action to take place, and for institutional creation or reinforcement. A major theme in this volume is how the locus of authorit y is shifting away from the state because of the rise of networks. Governance can hardly be uncomplicated or purely path dependent in a multi-actor, multi-issue world, in a state of f lux. Governance takes place at both informal and formal levels and may be top-down, bottom-up or both. First, governance of specific issue-areas, from securit y to economic to cultural, is changing because of information net works.

Information is deemed, in scholarship and popular opinion, to make governance less hierarchical and more plural and democratic. Therefore, governance both involves information technologies in particular issue-areas and it is about information technologies regarding the rules that shape information net works.

As noted earlier, governance may also be affected by the t ype of media in use. The rise of information net works thus impacts patterns of governance in three distinct ways: 1 states are no longer the only actors in technological matters globally, 2 we now speak more of technological pluralit y than of a technological order, and, 3 global advocacy net works, especially among underprivileged groups, are undermining the legitimacy of existing centers of authorit y.

The state thus ref lected the industrial age technological compact. Krugman explicitly likens them to mercantilist policies. Similar considerations applied even where business was purportedly free. British industrial strength and its imperial designs went together; the East India Company is an obvious example. Industry in general received many special privileges from the state.

They helped the states strengthen administrative control over existing territories domestic and colonial and were often instrumental in opening new frontiers. Railroads proliferated in America, sometimes through state subsidies. Industry remained protectionist until its increasing international competitiveness finally allowed trade barriers to be lifted beginning with the late nineteenth century.

Industrial strength also came from state support given to scientific and engineering research beginning with the Merrill Land Grant Colleges Act of Universities specializing in applied research existed in the United States by the end of the nineteenth century Nelson and Wright , First, states no longer solely promote technologies nationally and internationally.

International organizations, advocacy groups, and powerful individuals are often involved. Examples include: technical standards promoted by organizations such as the United Nations or the European Union; competing global standards fostered by international businesses; promotion of information networks by domestic and international NGOs; and proliferating use of the Internet by individuals beyond the control of political authorities. Second, whereas industrial age businesses looked for state protection, postindustrial businesses increasingly petition states for free trade.

The difference is related to technology costs. As noted earlier, post-industrial technologies are more demanding in terms of geographical space and populations. Businesses can also increasingly ignore national regulations by offering products over the World Wide Web through electronic commerce. As the latter expands, the state will be further marginalized in international transactions. It is technology, in short, that has fostered an interdependence of local, national, and international communities that is far greater than previously experienced.

The issue here is not whether the state is a dominant political actor, which it is, but the extent to which its authorit y is undermined by competing domestic and international inf luences. While the state may still possess instruments of coercion, its legitimacy and authorit y may be declining. In terms of issue-areas, Deibert chapter 5 shows that state attempts to regulate securit y from its viewpoint are no longer sustainable. Information technology does not serve either the purposes of the state or that of the nation.

This includes data securit y and information of importance to firms and consumers, important actors in the current global political economy. Kim and Hart chapter 6 show that the state now plays second fiddle to global business. Instead, Comor speaks to the major theme dealing with a focus on both the changing and ongoing characteristics of power in the emerging global political economy. Zacher chapter 8 shows how the rules governing telecommunications were dictated by state actors alone in the nineteenth century, whereas they involve many other actors now.

In a multiple actor world, the power of traditionally powerful states decreases, allowing weak states to effect a few favorable outcomes. The notion of this order, a set of streamlined circumstances facilitated by the extant technologies, is implicit in most writings. Technocentric ideas of progress informed by the Enlightenment revolve around this notion Meltzer et al.

Classical and neoclassical political economy implicitly refer to an order. This elegant world view derives its sanction from the prevalent moral philosophy, that promoted the virtue of individual work applied to greater good. Such views culminate in neoclassical economics with its conception of general equilibrium and perfect competition. The concept of sovereignt y, then, was merely the doctrinal counterpart of the application of single-point perspectival forms to the spatial organization of politics.

It is also important to understand how this political space avoided conf lict, anarchy or disorder. The state being the dominant political actor, it either actively promoted a particular technological viewpoint as in planned economies or became the venue of conf lict arbitration itself. The scenario changes in the post-industrial era of information networks precisely because of the fragmentation of socioeconomic life at micro and macro levels. No longer do these actors wish to be part of an order defining their existence.

At the grassroots level, the formation of social movements is related to their desire to be free of this order. The positions taken in this volume with respect to NGOs Litfin, chapter 3 , individuals Rosenau, chapter 11 , and societal actors Aronson, chapter 2 are consistent with the actor empowerment argument. What happens to global governance processes when the goals of multiple actors in global politics conf lict with those of others, including those of traditionally powerful states? While the process of this conf lict resolution or escalation is just emerging, it is not always settled according the dictates of a state fiat alone as used to be the case.

Aronson chapter 2 , Zacher chapter 8 , and Singh chapter 10 provide an outline of some of the bargaining processes underlying global politics. Weak actors are often pitted against other actors who occupy dominant socioeconomic status, such as the state or transnational businesses. But, it is important that we view the conf lict not just in terms of winners and losers but also in terms of the process itself which continues to instruct us on the emerging forms of authorit y relations. Yet the fairs contributed significantly to the demise of feudal authorit y relations.

Often the goals of these multiple actors are tied to their desire for autonomy. But information technology also reveals the fragmentation of individual and group lives. Taken together, technological pluralism may be replacing the erstwhile technological order. The basic point is this: a technological order existed because powerful interests were legitimized through state instruments.

The politics of technology in the industrial era are often the politics of the construction of this legitimacy. States are supplemented by other actors in the process of this construction and the notion of legitimacy itself is weakened when actors at various levels joust for control and inf luence. In a world of technological pluralit y, with networks empowering various actors, it is more appropriate to conceptualize technological advocacy than legitimacy.

Legitimacy, even when it rests on a narrow support base, implies domination and obedience from the populations. In technological pluralism, competing or multiple technologies often have distinct, competing, or intersecting bases of support. The competing technological agendas—whether put forth by the Wintelist strategy Kim and Hart, chapter 6 or NGOs Litfin, chapter 3 —can be better viewed in terms of technological advocacy.

Where such advocacy strengthens in constituent support, it may be described as authoritative advocacy. Whether this is grounds for describing it as legitimate is debatable. Nonetheless, texts speaking to advocacy politics with respect to information technologies keep increasing. Thus, instead of technology helping to determine state legitimacy, increasing advocacy by different groups may be distinguished as nonauthoritative or authoritative depending on the bases of support.

Thus, there was a connection between industrial technology and the nation-state and also between industrialization and the Enlightenment and technocratic beliefs in progress. But, as industrialization also created masses of urban poor along with wealthy capitalists, structural ideas of power began to supplement, and at times, contradict instrumental understandings. Utopian socialists, Marxists, and people like Thorstein Veblen contributed to this intellectual project. While the old ones are still extant, information technology is helping to bring about new politics and new intellectual configurations.

These include the following. First, the nation-state must now confront, support, or coexist with other international actors. Second, our understanding of instrumental and structural powers, both resting on notions of capabilit y, must be reconfigured to account for digital technologies. Power may now be accruing to NGOs, international organizations, businesses, transnational social movements, and to weak nationstates. Third, most importantly, information technologies are helping to reconstitute identities and issues.

If preferences of actors are defined by how they interact, information networks are fundamentally interactive. Similarly, identit y formation is undergoing a shift. These actors and their interactions are also reconstituting time and space. The temporal shift comes from the speed of human interactions coming from growing network interdependencies, impacting everything from military readiness to global electronic economic transactions and cultural f lows. Spatially, cyberspace must coexist with territorial space.

Securit y, economics, culture are transformed as a result. Finally, the promises and perils of information technology need to be understood with reference to digitization and cost dynamics. The nonprofit Association for Progressive Communications provides 50, NGOs in countries access to the tens of millions of Internet users for the price of a local call. While information technologies might be responsible for fundamental transformations, the latter so far are not clearly understood in international relations scholarship.

Particular effects in specific issue-areas and subfields are least understood. Many scholars also caution us against reading too much into such effects. We are still trying to figure out how and if nations are communing, if a global heart is developing, if humanit y is forming en-masse, and which t yrants are trembling and crowns are dimming. In the works just mentioned, no author deals specifically with transformational issues. Krasner takes a statist line while Aronson and Cowhey, Sandholtz, and Cowhey take a neo-liberal position. Zacher with Sutton synthesize neo-liberal and neo-realist analyses.

Gilpin is not explaining regimes, but his analysis remains limited to state-power and the effects of technology on this. This section borrows from Sheth and Singh 4. Behind such optimism are the technological processes underscored in this subsection. Figures quoted from Sheth and Singh , 4—5. For an excellent introduction to the cost economics and the marketing issues facing information products, see Shapiro and Varian Milner , Keohane , Gilpin, Gilpin is a later example where the costbenefit calculations of power holders, including imperial reach, are related to the technological capabilities of states.

Machlup noted that the rate of growth of the information sector in the economy was much faster than that of agriculture or industry. There were dissenters. Many objected to the supply-centric arguments. While correct on the economics, Krugman overlooked politics. Nations compete not because they see themselves as corporations but because of concerns about national power, well-known from Thucydides to Kennedy This is not to say that competitiveness obsessions are desirable.

This is not to dismiss suasion altogether. Instrumental notions of technology in fact have their origins in Western liberal thought Meltzer et al. The idea that technology is intimately tied to empowerment of the less privileged epitomizes such thinking. An extreme version is the notion that all social problems can be reduced to technological ones. For a critique, see Sarewitz For an application of Coxian framework to information technologies, see Sinclair He argues that the financial credit rating structure, sustained by a global electronic network, regulates the behavior of organizations and individuals.

What liberal political thought is to instrumental notions of technology, radical political thought may be to its structural variant. Most structural variations of technology, even the neoclassical ones, borrow from radical scholarship. See Schumpeter, ; Archibugi and Michie, According to Polanyi , , laissez-faire was more of an organizing principle than a free for all system. Also see North , Postmodernists and gender theorists, whose work overlaps with this tradition, include Weber , Peterson , Walker , Enloe , Der Derian and Shapiro For an application to communication media, see Singh Comor chapter 7 borrows from Berger and Luckmann to point out how the capitalist institution of consumption gets socially constructed, or how individuals are socialized to consume.

Fishlow provides an excellent introduction to how railways helped to meet the demands of the antebellum U. The emergence of private authorit y in global politics is now increasingly noted. See Cutler et al. Separately, I have argued Singh b that bargaining increasingly favors weaker actors in a multiple-issue, multiple-actor world as their alternatives become better. This discussion draws from Borgatta and Borgatta , — on legitimacy.


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  7. See Simpson for the connection bet ween technology and modernit y and Meltzer et al. Well-known works, apart from ones listed earlier, include Castells , , , Sapolsky et al. London: Routledge. Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities. London: Verso. Archibugi, Daniele, and Jonathan Michie, eds. Technology, Globalization and Economic Performance.

    Cambridge: Cambridge Universit y Press. Arquila, John, and David Ronfeldt. Rand: National Defense Research Institute. Telecommunications Infrastructure and U. International Competitiveness. Institute for Information Studies. The Aspen Institute. Aronson, Jonathan D. The American Enterprise Institute. Bell, Daniel. In most schools, compulsory education is divided into three levels: elementary school , middle or junior high school , and high school. Children are usually divided by age groups into grades , ranging from kindergarten 5—6-year olds and first grade for the youngest children, up to twelfth grade 17—18 years old as the final year of high school.

    There are also a large number and wide variety of publicly and privately administered institutions of higher education throughout the country. Post-secondary education , divided into college , as the first tertiary degree, and graduate school , is described in a separate section below. Higher education includes elite private colleges like Harvard University , Stanford University , MIT , and Caltech , large state flagship universities, private liberal arts schools, historically-black colleges and universities, community colleges, and for-profit colleges like the University of Phoenix.

    College enrollment rates in the United States have increased over the long term. According to a report published by the U. The United States spends more per student on education than any other country. The Programme for International Student Assessment coordinated by the OECD currently ranks the overall knowledge and skills of American year-olds as 31st in the world in reading literacy, mathematics, and science with the average American student scoring Colonial New England encouraged its towns to support free public schools funded by taxation.

    In the early 19th century Massachusetts took the lead in education reform and public education with programs designed by Horace Mann that were widely emulated across the North. Teachers were specially trained in normal schools and taught the three Rs of reading, writing, and arithmetic and also history and geography. Public education was at the elementary level in most places. After the Civil War — , the cities began building high schools. The South was far behind northern standards on every educational measure and gave weak support to its segregated all-black schools.

    However northern philanthropy and northern churches provided assistance to private black colleges across the South. Religious denominations across the country set up their private colleges. States also opened state universities, but they were quite small until well into the 20th century.

    In , the Reverend Samuel Read Hall founded the first normal school , the Columbian School in Concord, Vermont , [26] [27] aimed at improving the quality of the burgeoning common school system by producing more qualified teachers. In the midth century, the rapidly increasing Catholic population led to the formation of parochial schools in the largest cities. Theologically oriented Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Jewish bodies on a smaller scale set up their own parochial schools.

    There were debates over whether tax money could be used to support them, with the answer typically being no. From about , thirty-nine states passed a constitutional amendment to their state constitutions, called Blaine Amendments after James G. Blaine , one of their chief promoters, forbidding the use of public tax money to fund local parochial schools. States passed laws to make schooling compulsory between Massachusetts and Mississippi. They also used federal funding designated by the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Acts of and to set up land grant colleges specializing in agriculture and engineering.

    By , every state had free elementary schools, [28] albeit only in urban centers. According to a study in the Economic Journal , states were more likely to adopt compulsory education laws during the Age of Mass Migration — if they hosted more European immigrants with lower exposure to civic values.

    Washington , — , who was himself a freed slave. His movement spread, leading many other Southern states to establish small colleges for "Colored or Negro" students entitled "A. Before the s, there were very few black students at private or state colleges in the North, and almost none in the South. Responding to the many competing academic philosophies being promoted at the time, an influential working group of educators, known as the Committee of Ten and established in by the National Education Association , recommended that children should receive twelve years of instruction, consisting of eight years of elementary education in what were also known as "grammar schools" followed by four years in high school "freshmen," "sophomores," "juniors," and "seniors".

    Gradually by the late s, regional associations of high schools, colleges and universities were being organized to coordinate proper accrediting standards, examinations, and regular surveys of various institutions in order to assure equal treatment in graduation and admissions requirements, as well as course completion and transfer procedures.

    By , 72 percent of children were attending school. Private schools spread during this time, as well as colleges and — in the rural centers — land grant colleges also. Between and the high school movement resulted in a rapid increase in public high school enrollment and graduations. By , percent of children were attending school [ citation needed ] excluding children with significant disabilities or medical concerns.

    By there was a movement to bring education to six years of elementary school, four years of junior high school, and four years of high school. During World War II , enrollment in high schools and colleges plummeted as many high school and college students—and teachers—dropped out to enlist or take war jobs. The National School Lunch Act , which is still in operation, provided low-cost or free school lunch meals to qualified low-income students through subsidies to schools, based on the idea that a "full stomach" during the day supported class attention and studying. The Supreme Court case Brown v.

    Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas made racial desegregation of public elementary and high schools mandatory, although white families often attempted to avoid desegregation by sending their children to private secular or religious schools. Johnson 's War on Poverty , provided funds for primary and secondary education 'Title I funding'. Title VI explicitly forbade the establishment of a national curriculum. In , the Education for All Handicapped Children Act established funding for special education in schools.

    The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of made standardized testing a requirement. The Education for All Handicapped Children Act EHA required all public schools accepting federal funds to provide equal access to education and one free meal a day for children with physical and mental disabilities. The National Commission on Excellence in Education report, famously titled A Nation at Risk , touched off a wave of local, state, and federal reform efforts, but by the country still spent only 2 percent of its budget on education, compared with 30 percent on support for the elderly.

    The No Child Left Behind Act , passed by a bipartisan coalition in Congress provided federal aid to the states in exchange for measures to penalize schools that were not meeting the goals as measured by standardized state exams in mathematics and language skills. Supreme Court diluted some of the century-old "Blaine" laws upheld an Ohio law allowing aid to parochial schools under specific circumstances.

    The Great Recession of —09 caused a sharp decline in tax revenues in all cities and states. The response was to cut education budgets. In terms of sponsoring innovation, however, Obama and his Education Secretary Arne Duncan pursued K education reform through the Race to the Top grant program. In the competition, points were awarded for allowing charter schools to multiply, for compensating teachers on a merit basis including student test scores, and for adopting higher educational standards.

    There were incentives for states to establish college and career-ready standards, which in practice meant adopting the Common Core State Standards Initiative that had been developed on a bipartisan basis by the National Governors Association , and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The criteria were not mandatory, they were incentives to improve opportunities to get a grant. Most states revised their laws accordingly, even though they realized it was unlikely they would win a highly competitive new grant. Race to the Top had strong bipartisan support, with centrist elements from both parties.

    It was opposed by the left wing of the Democratic Party, and by the right wing of the Republican Party, and criticized for centralizing too much power in Washington. Complaints also came from middle-class families, who were annoyed at the increasing emphasis on teaching to the test, rather than encouraging teachers to show creativity and stimulating students' imagination. In the s, student loan debt became recognized as a social problem.

    In , Of these, 72 percent aged 12 to 17 were considered academically "on track" for their age, i. Of those enrolled elementary and secondary schools, 5. Over 85 percent of the adult population have completed high school and 27 percent have received a bachelor's degree or higher. Census Bureau. In , there were roughly , homeless students in the United States , but after the Great Recession this number more than doubled to approximately 1. The test scores of students attending U.

    Out of 21 industrialized countries, U. Formal education in the U. Most children enter the public education system around ages five or six. Children are assigned into year groups known as grades. The American school year traditionally begins at the end of August or early in September, after a traditional summer vacation or break.

    Children customarily advance together from one grade to the next as a single cohort or "class" upon reaching the end of each school year in late May or early June. Depending upon their circumstances, children may begin school in pre-kindergarten , kindergarten or first grade. Education is mandatory until age 16 18 in some states. In the U. Typical ages and grade groupings in contemporary, public and private schools may be found through the U. Department of Education.

    There is considerable variability in the exact arrangement of grades, as the following table indicates. Students completing high school may choose to attend a college or university, which offer undergraduate degrees such as Associate's degrees or Bachelor's degrees baccalaureate. Community college or junior college typically offer two-year associate degrees, although some community colleges offer a limited number of bachelor's degrees.

    Some community college students choose to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree. Community colleges are generally publicly funded usually by local cities or counties and offer career certifications and part-time programs. Four-year institutions may be public or private colleges or universities.

    Some counties and cities have established and funded four-year institutions. Some of these institutions, such as the City University of New York , are still operated by local governments. Others such as the University of Louisville and Wichita State University are now operated as state universities. Private institutions are privately funded and there is a wide variety in size, focus, and operation. Some private institutions are large research universities, while others are small liberal arts colleges that concentrate on undergraduate education.

    Some private universities are nonsectarian and secular , while others are religiously-affiliated. While most private institutions are non-profit, a growing number in the past decade have been established as for-profit. Curriculum varies widely depending on the institution. Typically, an undergraduate student will be able to select an academic "major" or concentration , which comprises the main or special subjects, and students may change their major one or more times.

    Some students, typically those with a bachelor's degree, may choose to continue on to graduate or professional school , sometimes attached to a university. Graduate degrees may be either master's degrees e. Programs range from full-time, evening and executive which allows for flexibility with students' schedules. These include medical , law , business , education , divinity , art , journalism , social work , architecture , and engineering schools.

    In K—12 education, sometimes students who receive failing grades are held back a year and repeat coursework in the hope of earning satisfactory scores on the second try. High school graduates sometimes take a gap year before the first year of college, for travel, work, public service, or independent learning. Many undergraduate college programs now commonly are five-year programs. This is especially common in technical fields, such as engineering.

    The five-year period often includes one or more periods of internship with an employer in the chosen field. Some undergraduate institutions offer an accelerated three-year bachelor's degree, or a combined five-year bachelor's and master's degrees. Many graduate students do not start professional schools immediately after finishing undergraduate studies, but work for a time while saving up money or deciding on a career direction.

    Schooling is compulsory for all children in the United States, but the age range for which school attendance is required varies from state to state. Some states allow students to leave school between 14—17 with parental permission, before finishing high school; other states require students to stay in school until age Most parents send their children to either a public or private institution. According to government data, one-tenth of students are enrolled in private schools.

    School districts are usually separate from other local jurisdictions, with independent officials and budgets. They taught a total of 55,, students, who attended one of , schools. Most children begin elementary education with kindergarten usually five to six years old and finish secondary education with twelfth grade usually 17—18 years old. In some cases, pupils may be promoted beyond the next regular grade. Parents may also choose to educate their own children at home ; 1. Around 3 million students between the ages of 16 and 24 drop out of high school each year, a rate of 6.

    Around 60 percent of black dropouts end up spending time incarcerated. States do not require reporting from their school districts to allow analysis of efficiency of return on investment. The Center for American Progress commends Florida and Texas as the only two states that provide annual school-level productivity evaluations which report to the public how well school funds are being spent at the local level.

    This allows for comparison of school districts within a state. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says that this is due to focusing on the low end of performers. All of the recent gains have been made, deliberately, at the low end of the socioeconomic scale and among the lowest achievers.

    The country has been outrun, the study says, by other nations because the US has not done enough to encourage the highest achievers. About half of the states encourage schools to make their students recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag daily. Teachers worked from about 35 to 46 hours a week, in a survey taken in They spend 1, hours a year on their work, just below the national average of 1, hours for all workers. Transporting students to and from school is a major concern for most school districts. School buses provide the largest mass transit program in the country, 8.

    Non-school transit buses give 5. This flight had other, non-educational ramifications as well. Integration took place in most schools though de facto segregation often determined the composition of the student body. By the s, most areas of the country had been released from mandatory busing. School start times are computed with busing in mind. It assumed a model where the average driver drove 80 miles per day.

    While elementary school started earlier, they also finish earlier, at , middle schools at and high schools at Schools use several methods to determine grade placement. One method involves placing students in a grade based on a child's birthday. Cut off dates based on the child's birthday determine placement in either a higher or lower grade level. For example, if the school's cut off date is September 1, and an incoming student's birthday is August 2, then this student would be placed in a higher grade level.

    Preschool refers to non-compulsory classroom -based early-childhood education. Preschool education may be delivered through a preschool or as a reception year in primary school in certain parts of the UK. The Head Start program , the federally funded early childhood education program for low-income children and their families founded in prepares children, especially those of a disadvantaged population, to better succeed in school. However, limited seats are available to students aspiring to take part in the Head Start program.

    Many community-based programs, commercial enterprises, non-profit organizations, faith communities, and independent childcare providers offer preschool education. Preschool may be general or may have a particular focus, such as arts education, religious education, sports training, or foreign language learning, along with providing general education.

    Only 69 percent of 4-year-old American children are enrolled in early childhood development programs. Pre-Kindergarten age ranges from 4 to 5 years old. The curriculum for the day will consist of music, art, pretend play, science, reading, math, and other social activities.

    Both preschool as well as pre-k programs emphasize on inquiry base learning, however pre-k dives deeper into preparing kindergarten readiness. Historically, in the United States, local public control and private alternatives have allowed for some variation in the organization of schools. Elementary school includes kindergarten through sixth grade or sometimes, to fourth grade , fifth grade or eighth grade. Basic subjects are taught in elementary school, and students often remain in one classroom throughout the school day, except for specialized programs, such as physical education , library , music , and art classes.

    There are as of about 3. Typically, the curriculum in public elementary education is determined by individual school districts or county school system. The school district selects curriculum guides and textbooks that reflect a state's learning standards and benchmarks for a given grade level. The most recent curriculum that has been adopted by most states is Common Core. This description of school governance is simplistic at best, however, and school systems vary widely not only in the way curricular decisions are made but also in how teaching and learning take place.

    Some states or school districts impose more top-down mandates than others. In others, teachers play a significant role in curriculum design and there are few top-down mandates.

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    Curricular decisions within private schools are often made differently from in public schools, and in most cases without consideration of NCLB. Public elementary school teachers typically instruct between twenty and thirty students. A typical classroom will include children with a range of learning needs or abilities, from those identified as having special needs of the kinds listed in the Individuals with Disabilities Act IDEA to those that are cognitively, athletically or artistically gifted.

    At times, an individual school district identifies areas of need within the curriculum. Teachers and advisory administrators form committees to develop supplemental materials to support learning for diverse learners and to identify enrichment for textbooks. There are special education teachers working with the identified students.

    Many school districts post information about the curriculum and supplemental materials on websites for public access. In general, a student learns basic arithmetic and sometimes rudimentary algebra in mathematics , English proficiency such as basic grammar , spelling , and vocabulary , and fundamentals of other subjects. Learning standards are identified for all areas of a curriculum by individual States, including those for mathematics, social studies, science, physical development, the fine arts, and reading.

    Students are usually given more independence, moving to different classrooms for different subjects, and being allowed to choose some of their class subjects electives. It usually includes seventh and eighth grades and occasionally also includes one or more of the sixth, ninth, and very occasionally fifth grades as well. High school occasionally senior high school includes grades 9 through Students in these grades are commonly referred to as freshmen grade 9 , sophomores grade 10 , juniors grade 11 and seniors grade At the high school level, students generally take a broad variety of classes without specializing in any particular subject, with the exception of vocational schools.

    Students are generally required to take a broad range of mandatory subjects, but may choose additional subjects "electives" to fill out their required hours of learning. High school grades normally are included in a student's official transcript, e. Each state sets minimum requirements for how many years of various mandatory subjects are required; these requirements vary widely, but generally include 2—4 years of each of: Science, Mathematics, English, Social sciences, Physical education; some years of a foreign language and some form of art education are often also required, as is a health curriculum in which students learn about anatomy , nutrition , first aid , sexuality , drug awareness , and birth control.

    In many cases, however, options are provided for students to "test out" of this requirement or complete independent study to meet it. These are special forms of honors classes where the curriculum is more challenging and lessons more aggressively paced than standard courses. Honors, AP or IB courses are usually taken during the 11th or 12th grade of high school, but may be taken as early as 9th grade. Some international schools offer international school leaving qualifications, to be studied for and awarded instead of or alongside of the high school diploma, Honors, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate.

    Regular honors courses are more intense and faster paced than typical college preparatory courses. Tracking is the practice of dividing students at the primary or secondary school level into classes on the basis of ability or achievement. One common use is to offer different curricula for students preparing for college and for those preparing for direct entry into technical schools or the workplace. In schools in the United States children are assessed throughout the school year by their teachers, and report cards are issued to parents at varying intervals.

    Generally the scores for individual assignments and tests are recorded for each student in a grade book, along with the maximum number of points for each assignment. End-of-term or -year evaluations are most frequently given in the form of a letter grade on an A-F scale, whereby A is the best possible grade and F is a failing grade most schools do not include the letter E in the assessment scale , or a numeric percentage. The Waldorf schools , [91] [92] most democratic schools , [93] and some other private schools, give often extensive verbal characterizations of student progress rather than letter or number grades.

    Some school districts allow flexibility in grading scales at the Student information system level, allowing custom letters or symbols to be used though transcripts must use traditional A-F letters. The act also required that students and schools show adequate yearly progress. This means they must show some improvement each year. When a student fails to make adequate yearly progress, NCLB mandated that remediation through summer school or tutoring be made available to a student in need of extra help.

    Academic performance impacts the perception of a school's educational program. Rural schools fare better than their urban counterparts in two key areas: test scores and drop-out rate. First, students in small schools performed equal to or better than their larger school counterparts. During high school, students usually in 11th grade may take one or more standardized tests depending on their post-secondary education preferences and their local graduation requirements. In theory, these tests evaluate the overall level of knowledge and learning aptitude of the students.

    A student may take the SAT, ACT, both, or neither depending upon the post-secondary institutions the student plans to apply to for admission. Most competitive post-secondary institutions also require two or three SAT Subject Tests formerly known as SAT IIs , which are shorter exams that focus strictly on a particular subject matter.

    However, all these tests serve little to no purpose for students who do not move on to post-secondary education, so they can usually be skipped without affecting one's ability to graduate. Standardized testing has become increasingly controversial in recent years. Creativity and the need for applicable knowledge are becoming rapidly more valuable than simple memorization.

    Opponents of standardized education [99] have stated that it is the system of standardized education itself [] that is to blame for employment issues and concerns over the questionable abilities of recent graduates. In recent years, grade point averages particularly in suburban schools have been rising while SAT scores have been falling. Suggestions for improving standardized testing include evaluating a student's overall growth, possibly including non-cognitive qualities such as social and emotional behaviors, not just achievement; introducing 21st century skills and values; and making the tests open-ended, authentic, and engaging.

    A major characteristic of American schools is the high priority given to sports, clubs and activities by the community, the parents, the schools and the students themselves. Extracurriculars at the high school age 15—18 [] can be anything that doesn't require a high school credit or paid employment, but simply done out of pleasure or to also look good on a college transcript. These sorts of activities are put in place as other forms of teamwork, time management, goal setting, self-discovery, building self-esteem, relationship building, finding interests, and academics.

    These extracurricular activities and clubs can be sponsored by fund raising, or by the donation of parents who give towards the program in order for it to keep running. Students and Parents are also obligated to spend money on whatever supplies are necessary for this activity that are not provided for the school sporting equipment, sporting attire, costumes, food, instruments [] These activities can extend to large amounts of time outside the normal school day; home-schooled students, however, are not normally allowed to participate.

    Student participation in sports programs, drill teams , bands , and spirit groups can amount to hours of practices and performances. Most states have organizations that develop rules for competition between groups. These organizations are usually forced to implement time limits on hours practiced as a prerequisite for participation. Many schools also have non-varsity sports teams; however, these are usually afforded fewer resources and less attention. Sports programs and their related games, especially football and basketball , are major events for American students and for larger schools can be a major source of funds for school districts.

    In addition to sports, numerous non-athletic extracurricular activities are available in American schools, both public and private. Activities include Quizbowl , [] musical groups, marching bands, student government , school newspapers , science fairs , debate teams , and clubs focused on an academic area such as the Spanish Club or community service interests such as Key Club. Commonly known as special classes , are taught by teachers with training in adapting curricula to meet the needs of students with special needs.

    On January 25, , the Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education issued guidance, clarifying school districts' existing legal obligations to give disabled students an equal chance to compete in extracurricular sports alongside their able-bodied classmates. The federal law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IDEA requires states to ensure that all government-run schools provide services to meet the individual needs of students with special needs , as defined by the law.

    Schools meet with the parents or guardians to develop an Individualized Education Program that determines best placement for the child.

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    Students must be placed in the least restrictive environment LRE that is appropriate for the student's needs. Public schools that fail to provide an appropriate placement for students with special needs can be taken to due process wherein parents may formally submit their grievances and demand appropriate services for the child. In , nationwide At-risk students those with educational needs that are not associated with a disability are often placed in classes with students with minor emotional and social disabilities.

    Some research has refuted this assertion, and has suggested this approach increases the academic and behavioral skills of the entire student population. In the United States, state and local government have primary responsibility for education. The Federal Department of Education plays a role in standards setting and education finance, and some primary and secondary schools, for the children of military employees, are run by the Department of Defense. K—12 students in most areas have a choice between free tax-funded public schools , or privately funded private schools.

    Public school systems are supported by a combination of local, state, and federal government funding. Because a large portion of school revenues come from local property taxes, public schools vary widely in the resources they have available per student. Class size also varies from one district to another. Curriculum decisions in public schools are made largely at the local and state levels; the federal government has limited influence.

    In most districts, a locally elected school board runs schools. The school board appoints an official called the superintendent of schools to manage the schools in the district. Local property taxes for public school funding may have disadvantages depending on how wealthy or poor these cities may be. Some of the disadvantages may be not having the proper electives of students interest or advanced placement courses to further the knowledge and education of these students.

    Cases such as these limit students and causes inequality in education because there is no easy way to gain access to those courses since the education system might not view them as necessary. The public education system does provide the classes needed to obtain a GED General Education Development and obtain a job or pursue higher education. The largest public school system in the United States is in New York City , where more than one million students are taught in 1, separate public schools.

    Admission to individual public schools is usually based on residency. To compensate for differences in school quality based on geography, school systems serving large cities and portions of large cities often have magnet schools that provide enrollment to a specified number of non-resident students in addition to serving all resident students.

    This special enrollment is usually decided by lottery with equal numbers of males and females chosen. Some magnet schools cater to gifted students or to students with special interests, such as the sciences or performing arts. Private schools in the United States include parochial schools affiliated with religious denominations , [] non-profit independent schools, and for-profit private schools.

    Private schools charge varying rates depending on geographic location, the school's expenses, and the availability of funding from sources, other than tuition. For example, some churches partially subsidize private schools for their members. Some people have argued that when their child attends a private school, they should be able to take the funds that the public school no longer needs and apply that money towards private school tuition in the form of vouchers.

    This is the basis of the school choice movement. Average school size was There were , teachers. The number of students per teacher was about Private schools have various missions: some cater to college-bound students seeking a competitive edge in the college admissions process; others are for gifted students, students with learning disabilities or other special needs, or students with specific religious affiliations. Some cater to families seeking a small school, with a nurturing, supportive environment. Unlike public school systems, private schools have no legal obligation to accept any interested student.

    Admission to some private schools is often highly selective. Private schools also have the ability to permanently expel persistently unruly students, a disciplinary option not legally available to public school systems. Unless specifically designed to do so, private schools usually cannot offer the services required by students with serious or multiple learning, emotional, or behavioral issues. Although reputed to pay lower salaries than public school systems, private schools often attract teachers by offering high-quality professional development opportunities, including tuition grants for advanced degrees.

    According to elite private schools themselves, this investment in faculty development helps maintain the high quality program that they offer. The charter school movement began in and have spread rapidly in the United States, members, parents, teachers, and students to allow for the "expression of diverse teaching philosophies and cultural and social life styles.


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    In , approximately 1. Department of Education first started keeping statistics. This was 2. As of spring , there are 2. It is appearing that homeschooling is a continuing trend in the US with a 2 percent to 8 percent per annum over the past few years [] Many select moral or religious reasons for homeschooling their children. The second main category is unschooling , those who prefer a non-standard approach to education. The Demography for homeschoolers has a variety of people; these are atheists, Christians, and Mormons; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high-income families; black, Hispanic, and white; parents with PhDs, GEDs, and no high-school diplomas.

    One study shows that 32 percent of homeschool students are Black, Asian, Hispanic, and others i. Opposition to homeschooling comes from varied sources, including teachers' organizations and school districts.

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