Land of fair promise : politics and reform in Los Angeles schools, 1885-1941 /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Raftery, Judith Rosenberg, 1939-
Imprint:Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1992.
Description:x, 284 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.
Subject:Education -- California -- Los Angeles -- History.
Public schools -- California -- Los Angeles -- History.
Educational change -- California -- Los Angeles -- History.
Educational change.
Public schools.
California -- Los Angeles.
Format: Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:0804719306 (alk. paper) : $35.00
Notes:Includes bibliographical references (p. [247]-262) and index.
Review by Choice Review

Raferty traces the development of schools in Los Angeles from 1885 to 1941 and provides a case study of policy change and school reform. After detailing Los Angeles's historical development, the author discusses progressivism's gradual movement into the schools. A prevalent idea of progressivists was that schools could be catalysts for rapid assimilation. Using the ideas of John Dewey and Jane Addams, like-minded reformers began shaping the schools of Los Angeles. These reformers were interested in maintaining and spreading middle-class Protestant values. As the women of Los Angeles were empowered by suffrage, many became educational reformers, and movement from volunteerism to professionalization transpired. This case study details the development of four services: after-school playgrounds; kindergartens; health care; and penny lunches. Women teachers began working in kindergartens; neighborhood women were hired to serve the penny lunches; nurses and female doctors worked in the Health Department; and not only did women sit on the school board, but Los Angeles hired a woman superintendent. Thus, schools became the premier institution for assimilation and social reform. Raferty's case study explores a variety of cultural and political questions involved in the development of a western US city. Some of the power of this case is lost because the author fails to draw out the parallels from the progressivists' reforms and the issues impacting large city schools today. Graduate students; faculty; professionals. P. A. Cordeiro; University of Connecticut

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review