Diane Ravitch’s important new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, will surely stir controversy, exactly as she intends. Simply stated, she believes it should recapture the strengths of the traditional public school system, incorporate a vigorous common curriculum and renounce many of the theories, practices, policies and programs that have constituted America’s major education-reform emphases in recent years.
In recent decades, public-private partnerships (PPPs) and private providers have emerged as major forces in education in the less-developed and developing worlds, often supplying the lion’s share of education services where scarce resources have crippled state-run schooling. A new book from the World Bank, edited by Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Harry Anthony Patrinos, and Quentin Wodon, puts this growing phenomenon under the microscope.
Alternative Routes to Teaching; When Mayors Take Charge; From A Nation at Risk to No Child Left Behind; Inside Urban Charter Schools; The Role and Impact of Public-Private Partnerships in Education; The Latino Education Crisis
The Beautiful Tree; The Street Stops Here; Reforming Boston Schools, 1930-2006; The Leader in Me; Changing the Odds for Children at Risk
So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools Charles M. Payne (Harvard Education Press) Payne, a sociologist at the University of Chicago, here sets out to explain “the sociology of failure” of urban reform. Drawing primarily on his experiences in Chicago, Payne considers the effects of social context, poverty, race, […]
Lessons Learned: What International Assessments Tell Us about Math Achievement Tom Loveless, editor (Brookings Institution Press) While math scores are bandied about in the modern era, how much do we really know about what they mean or what they can teach about practice and policy? In this dense but thought-provoking volume, Brookings scholar Tom Loveless […]
The Educational Morass: Overcoming the Stalemate in American Education. Myron Lieberman (Rowman and Littlefield). The equal-opportunity, granddaddy longlegs of all curmudgeons, Myron Lieberman, manages in one volume to savage teachers unions, education schools, the Education Writers Association, the New York Times, the Washington Post, education research, egalitarian school-choice proponents, and conservatives Diane Ravitch, Terry Moe, […]
Pay-for-Performance Teacher Compensation: An Inside View of Denver’s ProComp Plan. Phil Gonring, Paul Teske, and Brad Jupp (Harvard Education Press). The authors have delivered a straight-shooting, inside account of the design, politics, and implementation of the much-discussed Denver ProComp teacher pay plan—a plan the Denver Post termed “the nation’s most ambitious.” Widely regarded as the […]
Cutting Through the Hype: A Taxpayer’s Guide to School Reforms. Jane L. David and Larry Cuban (Education Week Press). Silver bullets come not here. In this slender, readable volume, veteran educators Jane David (now head of the Bay Area Research Group) and Larry Cuban (emeritus education professor at Stanford) conduct a breakneck tour of almost—but […]
Common Sense School Reform by Frederick M. Hess (Palgrave Macmillan). Common sense suggests that educators, like everyone else, are more effective when given the flexibility to innovate and held accountable for their performance. Unfortunately, as our own executive editor Frederick Hess demonstrates, common sense is a tool rarely used in school reform. Much of what […]
Education Myths: What Special Interest Groups Want You to Believe about Our Schools—And Why It Isn’t So. Jay P. Greene, with Greg Forster and Marcus A. Winters. Foreword by James Q. Wilson. (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.) Buried within this book is a powerful if familiar argument: the American education system is worse than we […]
Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind? Michael Eric Dyson. (Basic Books). As part of a diatribe against a beloved, thoughtful television personality, the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania incessantly misleads the reader about the country’s schools. Contrary to what Michael Dyson asserts, […]