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American Educator
Spring 1987


Table of Contents

Shared Decision Making at the School Site
Moving Toward a Professional Model
An interview with Patrick O'Rourke

In Hammond, Indiana, the hierarchical structure of authority typical of most school districts is on its way out. With more and more decisions being turned over to school-based committees, teachers are having a say in all matters that affect them and their students.

The Myth of the 'Great Principal'
By Sharon F. Rallis and Martha C. Highsmith

Can principals be both good managers—keeping all the machinery of a school running smoothly—and effective instructional leaders? It's not realistic, say the authors, who suggest that the latter role is best filled from within the ranks of teachers.

Are Administrators Ready to Share Decision Making with Teachers?
By Patrick Welsh

The biggest battles teachers may soon be waging, says the author, will be not over money but over their right to control their own profession.

The Texas Teacher Appraisal System: What Does It Really Appraise?
By Harriet Tyson-Bernstein

During a forty-five-minute observation period, Texas teachers must demonstrate their abilities on a long checklist of "performance indicators." This approach, like its sister systems cropping up in other states, is based on a narrow, standardized, and superficial view of teaching.

The 'Exceptional' Micro
Using Computers to Assist Handicapped Children
By Susan Elting and Nell Bailey

The increasing availability of assistive devices is opening up the magical world of computer technology to more and more handicapped children.

Wait Time
Slowing Down May Be a Way of Speeding Up
By Mary Budd Rowe

When teachers give students just a few seconds more to think about and formulate their answers to questions, there are pronounced improvements in the quality of the response and in students' and teachers' attitudes and expectations.

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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