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The Politics of the PTA (New Studies in Social Policy) Hardcover – July 22, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0765800848 ISBN-10: 0765800845

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charlene K. Haar is president of the Education Policy Institute and a research associate at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University. She is a coauthor of The NEA and AFT: Teacher Unions in Power and Politics (with Myron Lieberman and Leo Troy, 1994), and is the author or coauthor of numerous published articles on teacher unions and PTA issues
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Product Details

  • Series: New Studies in Social Policy (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (July 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765800845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765800848
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,496,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Haar's research is unrivaled. While the PTA name is commonly associated with the many hard-working local groups at US schools (even though more than 75% of those groups are no longer associated with the official PTA organization), Haar paints a tough picture of a central bureaucracy increasingly disconnected from its member groups. A must-read for anyone trying to get past the bake sale reputation of PTA and into the actual goings-on behind the scenes of this organization.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard P. Phelps on August 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Former school teacher and senatorial candidate, and current President of the Education Policy Institute, Charlene Haar, relates a thorough and fascinating story of an organization we all thought we knew, but probably did not. Haar traces the origins of The National Congress of Parents and Teachers (PTA) to the first assemblage of the National Congress of Mothers at the end of the 19th century, a time when schooling, and the status of women, were strikingly different than they are now. She then follows the evolution of the organization as parents, and later teachers, and still later the teachers' unions, are added to the mix.
Haar demonstrates how the better organized and more powerful elements of the coalition - the teachers' unions - were able to steer the organization's mission over time along a path they preferred, as was, perhaps, inevitable. Haar reminds us, however, that teacher and parent interests do not always coincide and, indeed, seem to have grown more divergent over time. Ironically, however, the PTA's continuing steadfast support of the public education status quo has generated only meager success, for example, in terms of favorable legislation passed in the U.S. Congress, where the PTA has spent a substantial proportion of its resources in lobbying efforts. Meanwhile, parent membership in the PTA continues steadily to decline.
The Politics of the PTA is meticulously well-written and very well-organized.
Richard P. Phelps is the author of Kill the Messenger: The War on Standardized Testing
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave the book 5 stars because it is so well written and laid out chronologically. The path from "good intentions" poor results is logically explained. The facts presented are easily found in other sources on the net.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful By OccamsRazor on February 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Warning:This is a a self-published, right wing advocacy attack on teachers unions written by a Republican lobbyist from Washington D.C. Here's a sampling:" Given the way PTAs are governed, it is virtually impossible for parents to dissent from the views of the teachers' unions. A parent who attempts an open discussion of school choice or teacher tenure at a PTA meeting could cost her child a varsity position or a lead in the school play." Scary, isn't it?
The premise of this book is very simple, if not crude: Teachers unions tend to be dominated by liberal- minded teachers; right wing education professionals were unable to gain control of the unions; ergo: unions must be destroyed. This swift-boating blueprint has been used on countless other unions by Republicans eager for power. This lobbyist fully reaped the benefits of collective bargaining protected education and employment through out her life. And now, in the twilight of her years, fully protected by generous union-negotiated retirement benefits, she uses the Republican dime to sacrifice the system on the altar of political expediency. Et tu, Brute?
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