Greenwood’s Battleground series examines areas of conflict in American life. Thus far, the series has explored controversies in business, the environment, the media, criminal justice and gender issues. However, few areas of American culture have proven more perennially controversial than our education system. Almost everything about it is subject to interpretation and dispute. The qualifications and accountability of teachers; the evaluation of student needs, skills and performance; the nature and purpose of the curriculum; access, organization and funding; and many other aspects of education have been subjected to great scrutiny and debate. In almost every case, these issues, including desegregation, academic freedom, the place of sports and even homework, are never fully resolved. The ebb and flow of professional and public opinion contributes to constant changes in educational policy and practice and encourages continuing controversies. In this encyclopedia, 118 experts focus on 93 controversial subjects in American schools. The topics selected are of historical importance and range from the introduction of compulsory education and the teaching of evolution to the use of school uniforms and E–learning. In addition to illuminating different views on each issue, most articles also provide an historical perspective of the controversy, with summaries of important court cases, legislation, events and theories that have influenced the practice of education. Teaching practices are evaluated in entries on class size, gifted and talented programs and standardized testing. The organization of education systems, schools and students are examined. Legal questions, the place of schools in society, specialized curricula, the encouragement of individual social development and issues involving teachers are other areas of emphasis. From alternative schools, bullying and discipline to textbooks, tracking and youth activism, this guide provides a scholarly but accessible introduction to numerous widely debated issues in American public schools.