Child benefit theory

A legal doctrine that emerged from a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions in church-state conflicts. The cases all involved the spending of public funds to provide services to children enrolled in parochial schools. Although the Court has consistently ruled that government may not use public funds to support a religion or a religious school, under the child benefit principle, government may provide aid to children in religious schools if the aid only benefits the children and not the school or its religion.
As early as 1930, the Court ruled in Cochrane v. Louisiana Board of Education that a Louisiana school district had not violated the Constitution by purchasing textbooks for the teaching of secular subjects and lending them to students in parochial schools. The unanimous decision stated that the books were of benefit only to the students and not the parochial schools or the religions that they espoused. In 1947, the Court issues a similar ruling in Everson v. Board of Education, upholding a New Jersey law that reimbursed parents with state funds for expenses of busing their children to private and religious schools, because the funds were spent directly on students and not on schools. Twenty years later, in Board of Education of Central School District v. Allen, the Court upheld a New York State law requiring local school boards to purchase textbooks and lend them free of charge to students in private and parochial schools. Citing Everson as precedent, the Court ruled that lending textbooks to students was a secular act that “neither advances nor inhibits religion,” because no funds were actually granted to the schools themselves.

Children and Their Primary Schools (Plowdon Report)

One of the most influential studies in the modern history of English education and of considerable influence on American public school education.

Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE)

A standardized battery of tests used by several hundred private, American INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS to test verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, mathematics proficiency and writing skills.

Intelligent design

A theory that an as-yetunidentified guiding force directed the development of all living organisms, including humans.

A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform

A 65-page report on the quality of American public education prepared in 1983 by the NATIONAL COMMISSION ON EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION.

Graduate university

A university devoted exclusively to graduate school education, with no affiliated undergraduate colleges.

William B. Smith (1727–1803)

Scottishborn colonial educator whose visionary curricular plan provided the basis for college studies in colonial America and the United States for more than a century. 

Committee on College Entrance Requirements

A NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION group formed in 1895 to develop a standardized high school curriculum to prepare students for college.

Remediation program

A broad-based instructional program to correct multiple deficiencies in a student’s educational development.

Year-round school

A school that operates a 12-month-a-year academic program to ensure maximum utilization of school facilities and accommodate a larger number of students without investing in plant expansion. 

Agricultural education

A complex curriculum whose roots lie in the training of farmers and future farmers to obtain maximum productivity from their land and maximum profits from their products at market.