School Board Policy As a Control Mechanism in Curriculum Challenges.Reportar como inadecuado

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Journal of Research for School Executives, v2 p101-10 Win 1992-93

This journal article examines how school board policies are used to control the controversies that often surround curriculum challenges. Specific key provisions of model policies and actual policies from California are analyzed to suggest ideal policy provisions. In a longitudinal study, over 42 percent of the 1,000-plus school districts in California responded to a 1990 survey, and more than 37 percent responded in 1991. The districts also provided a total of 227 relevant policies. In 1991, 77 percent of the districts reported having a policy for dealing with curriculum challenges. Over 30 percent of the policies had not been reviewed or revised within the past 5 years. Model policies should contain the following provisions: (1) require that challenges be made in writing using a specified form; (2) begin the process at the school site; (3) conduct a study of the challenged material by a review committee; (4) allow materials to be used during the challenge process; (5) delineate a clear appeals process; (6) standards used by the committee to review the challenged material must be specified in the policy; (7) establish a standard stating how ofter a challenged item will be reviewed within a specific period; (8) establish guidelines for selection of review committee members; and (9) allow alternative asignments to be given to the challenger's child. Following a brief review of court cases, tips are provided for proper policy content and management. A conclusion is that when no policy exits, or when it is not used, there is no assurance that due process procedures will be followed. Districts have to strike a delicate balance between the challenger's right to petition their government and the public interest in providing a well-rounded education; between parents' rights to direct their children's education upbringing and the rights of other parents and children to be exposed to a wide range of ideas and information; and between the religious sensibilities of the challengers and the professional judgments of educators. This requires the use of well-thought-out procedures that are expressed in clear board policies. Contains 29 references. (LMI)

Descriptors: Board of Education Policy, Boards of Education, Censorship, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Court Litigation, Due Process, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Parent Rights, Public Relations, School Districts

Autor: Adler, Louise


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