chapter  36
14 Pages

Packwood/Moynihan Bill E. G. WEST

T he late 1970s are witnessing a flurry of new activity to revitalize American education. The required new stimulus, it is widely believed, can come only through the increase of educational choices, the reduction of the monolithic bureau­ cracies in education, the encouragement of genuine competi­ tion, and the acceptance of innovation and greater flexibility. Parents have been using their own initiative to seek legal alternatives to public schools that would not infringe upon the compulsory education statutes. The latest reports to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare suggest that in some towns the public schools and high schools are the most dangerous places for young people to be. Not waiting for such official pronouncements, parents have for many months been taking their own actions. This new mood among many parents has given rise to a rash of “learning exchange net­ works,” travel study programs, independent home-study courses, tutorial instruction, and small, nonpublic “family” schools.