Organization and Bureaucracy in Schools

2839 Words Mar 13th, 2008 12 Pages
Running Head: Organization and Bureaucratization: Strengths Weaknesses and Risks

Organization and Bureaucratization:
Strengths, Weaknesses and Risks

The organization of schooling in the United States has been a topic of great controversy for many years. We compare ourselves to other nations weighing the pros and cons of alternative organization of education. We see the benefits of the centralized school system used in many developed European and Asian nations, but we are hesitant to move from the decentralized school system we currently have in fear that we will change elements in our system so that, "the cost of remedying the weaknesses of U.S. Education may be in the risk of undermining what have been historically regarded as it's
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Centralized nations exercise a "central state control" (Hurn, 1993, p. 22). For example, most European nations create an environment for teachers in which they "are not at the beck and call of local community opinion because teachers are not paid by the local community" (Hurn, 1993, p.23). Teachers in these nations are employees of the state and therefore receive equal pay and work under the same conditions in the workplace (Hurn, 1993, p.23). Teachers are "insulated from community politics" (Hurn, 1993, p.23), and "teachers who find themselves unpopular with local community opinion can often transfer elsewhere" (Hurn, 1993, p.23). A value for uniformity and national culture are factors that influence the centralization of schools (Hull, 1993, p.23). Uniformity is also reflected in the curriculum of centralized school systems where, "all children of the same age study a uniform curriculum throughout the country are evaluated by the same national examinations" (Hurn, 1993, p.23).
Hurn explains that "the distinctive organization of U.S. schooling shapes its educational outcomes" (1993, p.27). Opportunities for a diverse population of students, teacher freedom in the classroom, and range of subject matter are a few of the strengths that can be evaluated in the decentralized school systems of the United States (Hurn, 1993, pp.27-28). However, diverse opportunities, teaching methods, and curriculum can contribute to less desirable traits in our…