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article or essay
Article or Essay

What counts as a good school? A conversation with Larry Cuban

Rafael Heller
Published In
Phi Delta Kappan
Published Date
October 2020



Kappan’s editor talks with education historian Larry Cuban about the various ways Americans have judged the quality of schools and the success of various efforts to improve schools. For much of the 20th century, efficiency was the watchword, as schools adopted scientific management techniques from the business sector. By the mid-1960s, that goal was subsumed by a focus on effectiveness, which required that schools find ways to measure the outcomes of their efforts. At the same time, alternative models have emerged, challenging the idea that there’s only one “best” way of doing school.