Skip to main content

News and Media

Open Main MenuClose Main Menu

Segall Writes Book on School Reform

Friday, April 21, 2006

After spending 42 years as a teacher – 37 of them at Oklahoma State University – William Segall knew he had to write a book on a trend that troubled him about our nation’s schools.

Segall’s book, “School Reform in a Global Society,” was published this spring by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
        According to Segall, an elite upper class in the U. S. waited until the end of the 20th century to transform American education. They wanted schools to reflect the economic and social values of the Victorian Age – that is, the time in our history when capitalism was unregulated.

        “The major reason I wrote this book is today’s schools are being forced to change dramatically. And the more they change, the more they are removed from the influence of parents and taxpayers,” said Segall, a professor of teaching and curriculum leadership in the OSU College of Education. “Schools are being treated as if they are private corporations or businesses.”

        Today, students are continually tested to see if they are learning what the business world wants them to know. All businesses want schools to do is teach students to become good workers, he said, and schools are supposed to supply corporations the workers they need.

        But it is not just American schools that are being reformed. “Corporate and government policies, in the name of globalization, are forcing even developing countries to accept this form of schooling,” Segall said. “There is a total disregard for cultures, whether in the U.S. or abroad.”

        This social history of schools, corporations, and colonialism shows how the powerful are willing to gamble away the lives of American youth in order to satisfy their dreams of economic glory, Segall said.

        “The reason parents send their children to school is they want them to have better lives,” Segall said. “Today’s corporations are not interested in how parents and young people value their education. They just want better workers.”

        According to Segall, the underlying purpose of the No Child Left Behind Act is to pressure schools to teach students that corporate success, not personal success, should be their only value.

        “We should not confuse what corporations want schools to teach with vocational education,” he said. “Vocational education, as most teachers know, is opposed to creating docile workers who do not think or create.”

        In his book, he has outlined what has happened, why it is happening, and to whom it is happening from an educational, economic, and historical perspective.

        “I remember President Kamm’s final speech to the OSU faculty prior to his retirement. He spoke at length about how, in the future, universities and schools could lose their independence. He foresaw a time when schools would become responsible to forces beyond the campus and not to the students they serve,” he said.

        Change has crept up, he noted. “President Kamm was right,” Segall said.  “The future he recognized decades ago is the today in which we live.”

        This is Segall’s fourth book. It was introduced at the American Educational Research Association in San Francisco this month, and is now available in bookstores throughout the country.


Back To Top
SVG directory not found.