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Raymond Callahan's lively study exposes the alarming lengths to which school administrators went, particularly in the period from 1910 to 1930, in sacrificing educational goals to the demands of business procedures. He suggests that even today the question still asked is: "How can we operate our schools?" Society has not yet learned to ask: "How can we provide an excellent education for our children?"
Raymond Callahan's lively study exposes the alarming lengths to which school administrators went, particularly in the period from 1910 to 1930, in sacrificing educational goals to the demands of business procedures. He suggests that even today the question still asked is: "How can we operate our schools?" Society has not yet learned to ask: "How can we provide an excellent education for our children?"
"This thought-provoking discourse on the unquestioned pursuit of efficiency reveals how the discussion of efficiency in the delivery of public goods, such as education and health care, has risen to prominence in postindustrial society. Stein's provocative argument, reminiscent of the thinking of Lewis Mumford, demonstrates that efficiency can too often be a cloak for political agendas, and that pressure for efficiency can actually be a detrimental rather than a positive force. Citizens in public schools, community clinics, and hospitals are shown engaging directly with such agendas, redrawing the face of the state as they impose new ways of delivering public goods. Stein demonstrates how they are calling not only for efficiency but for accountability and choice as they confront the dilemmas of democratic processes in a global age."
The movement to privatize K–12 education is stronger than ever. Samuel Abrams examines the rise of market forces in public education and reveals how a commercial mindset that sidesteps fundamental challenges has taken over. Nevertheless, public schools should adopt lessons from the business world, such as raising teacher salaries to attract talent.
Now in paperback! "The most comprehensive and exhaustive treatise available on the imperative to change the ways we test and assess student performance...it will become a major reference work for supporters of student-centered assessment." --Educational Leadership "A 'must' book for the on-going debate on American school reform." --Theodore R. Sizer, chairman, Coalition of Essential Schools What is assessment and how does testing differ from it? Why are performance tests, by themselves, not an adequate system of student assessment? How might we better "test our tests" beyond current technical standards? And why won't increased national testing offer the accountability of schools we so sorely need? In Assessing Student Performance, Grant P. Wiggins explores these questions and clarifies the limits of testing in an assessment system. He analyzes problematic practices in test design and formats that prevent students from explaining their answers. By showing us that assessment is more than testing and intellectual performance is more than right answers, Wiggins leads us to new systems of assessment that more closely examine students' habits of mind and provide teachers and policy makers with more useful and credible feedback.

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