Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952408 | Print ISBN: 9781412904094 | Online ISBN: 9781412952408| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
AMERICAN PUBLIC education has been a battleground for opposing political viewpoints since the mid-1950s, and became more intense in the 1980s. Although mainstream views have prevailed for the most part, conservatives have made significant progress in instituting their educational agendas. All conservatives are not religious. Nor are all liberals anti-religious. Nevertheless, educational battle lines have been drawn with the right supporting religious education in both private and public schools, and the left insisting on separation of church and state. Ronald Reagan entered the White House in 1981 with the intention of restoring prayers to public schools and obtaining funding for private Christian schools. Despite Supreme Court decisions that ban prayer in public schools, conservatives have continued to work toward reinstating student-led prayers, if not those led by school officials. Advocates of school prayer offer polling data to support their position. They contend that large majorities are in favor of prayer ...