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Renowned education journalist Ronald A. Wolk--the founder and former editor of "Education Week" and "Teacher Magazine"--skewers the conventional wisdom of the day about education reform and illuminates a way forward to higher student achievement. Learn why so many assumptions guiding political and educational leaders--standards and testing, longer school days/years, pushing advanced math classes--have little prospect of achieving results. And explore a new strategy forward following promising innovations such as individualizing instruction, performance assessments, and restructuring public education. This book is divided into two parts. Part I, Flawed Assumptions, includes the following chapters: (1) The "Get-Tough" Policy; (2) All Standards for All Students; (3) If It Moves, Test It; (4) Make Them Take Algebra; (5) Wanted: Great Teachers; (6) The Quest for the Supreme Leader; (7) The Dropout Epidemic; (8) Time for What?; (9) Never Enough Money; and (10) a New Strategy of New Schools. Part ii, a Second, Parallel Strategy, includes the following chapters: (11) One Student at a Time; (12) Many Pathways to Success; (13) Life to Text; (14) It's the Work That Counts; (15) Start Them Early; (16) a New Role for Teachers; (17) a Matter of Choice; (18) Schools for Digital Natives; and (19) Conclusion: Can We Get There from Here?. Preface, introduction, references, related ascd resources and a study guide for this book are also included.
With all the talk of failing schools these days, we forget that schools can fail their brightest students, too. We pledge to "leave no child behind," but in American schools today, thousands of gifted and talented students fall short of their potential. In Genius Denied, Jan and Bob Davidson describe the "quiet crisis" in education: gifted students spending their days in classrooms learning little beyond how to cope with boredom as they "relearn" material they've already mastered years before. This lack of challenge leads to frustration, underachievement, and even failure. Some gifted students become severely depressed. At a time when our country needs a deep intellectual talent pool, the squandering of these bright young minds is a national tragedy. There are hundreds of thousands of highly gifted children in the U.S. and millions more whose intelligence is above average, yet few receive the education they deserve. Many school districts have no gifted programs or offer only token enrichment classes. Education of the gifted is in this sorry state, say the Davidsons, because of indifference, lack of funding, and the pernicious notion that education should have a "leveling" effect, a one-size-fits-all concept that deliberately ignores the needs of the gifted. But all children are entitled to an appropriate education, insist the authors, those left behind as well as those who want to surge ahead. The Davidsons show parents and educators how to reach and challenge gifted students. They offer practical advice based on their experience as founders of a nonprofit organization that assists gifted children. They show parents how to become their children's advocates, how to win support for gifted students within the local schools, and when and how to go outside the school system. They discuss everything from acceleration ("skipping" a grade) to homeschooling and finding mentors for children. They tell stories of real parents and students who overcame poor schooling environments to discover the joy of learning. Genius Denied is an inspiring book that provides a beacon of hope for children at risk of losing their valuable gift of intellectual potential.
What's gone wrong at our colleges and universities—and how to get American higher education back on track A quarter of a million dollars. It's the going tab for four years at most top-tier universities. Why does it cost so much and is it worth it? Renowned sociologist Andrew Hacker and New York Times writer Claudia Dreifus make an incisive case that the American way of higher education, now a $420 billion-per-year business, has lost sight of its primary mission: the education of young adults. Going behind the myths and mantras, they probe the true performance of the Ivy League, the baleful influence of tenure, an unhealthy reliance on part-time teachers, and the supersized bureaucracies which now have a life of their own. As Hacker and Dreifus call for a thorough overhaul of a self-indulgent system, they take readers on a road trip from Princeton to Evergreen State to Florida Gulf Coast University, revealing those faculties and institutions that are getting it right and proving that teaching and learning can be achieved—and at a much more reasonable price.
The Promise of Integrated and Multicultural Bilingual Education presents the results of a long-term ethnographic study of the integrated bilingual Palestinian-Jewish schools in Israel that offer a new educational option to two groups of Israelis--Palestinians and Jews--who have been in conflict for the last one hundred years. Their goal is to create egalitarian bilingual multicultural environments to facilitate the growth of youth who can acknowledge and respect "others" while maintaining loyalty to their respective cultural traditions. In this book, Bekerman reveals the complex school practices implemented while negotiating identity and culture in contexts of enduring conflict. Data gathered from interviews with teachers, students, parents, and state officials are presented and analyzed to explore the potential and limitations of peace education given the cultural resources, ethnic-religious affiliations, political beliefs, and historical narratives of the various interactants. The book concludes with critique of Western positivist paradigmatic perspectives that currently guide peace education, maintaining that one of the primary weaknesses of current bilingual and multicultural approaches to peace education is their failure to account for the primacy of the political framework of the nation state and the psychologized educational perspectives that guide their educational work. Change, it is argued, will only occur after these perspectives are abandoned, which entails critically reviewing present understandings of the individual, of identity and culture, and of the learning process.
Why we need to stop wasting public funds on education Despite being immensely popular--and immensely lucrative—education is grossly overrated. In this explosive book, Bryan Caplan argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students' skill but to certify their intelligence, work ethic, and conformity—in other words, to signal the qualities of a good employee. Learn why students hunt for easy As and casually forget most of what they learn after the final exam, why decades of growing access to education have not resulted in better jobs for the average worker but instead in runaway credential inflation, how employers reward workers for costly schooling they rarely if ever use, and why cutting education spending is the best remedy. Caplan draws on the latest social science to show how the labor market values grades over knowledge, and why the more education your rivals have, the more you need to impress employers. He explains why graduation is our society's top conformity signal, and why even the most useless degrees can certify employability. He advocates two major policy responses. The first is educational austerity. Government needs to sharply cut education funding to curb this wasteful rat race. The second is more vocational education, because practical skills are more socially valuable than teaching students how to outshine their peers. Romantic notions about education being "good for the soul" must yield to careful research and common sense—The Case against Education points the way.
An explosive new look at the pressures on today's teachers and the pitfalls of school reform, Confessions of a Bad Teacher presents a passionate appeal to save public schools, before it's too late. When John Owens left a lucrative job to teach English at a public school in New York City's South Bronx, he thought he could do some good. Faced with a flood of struggling students, Owens devised ingenious ways to engage every last one. But as his students began to thrive under his tutelage, Owens found himself increasingly mired in a broken educational system, driven by broken statistics, finances, and administrations undermining their own support system-the teachers. The situation has gotten to the point where the phrase "Bad Teacher" is almost interchangeable with "Teacher." And Owens found himself labeled just that when the methods he saw inspiring his students didn't meet the reform mandates. With firsthand accounts from teachers across the country and tips for improving public schools, Confessions of a Bad Teacher is an eye-opening call-to-action to embrace our best educators and create real reform for our children's futures.
Easy-to-apply, scientifically-based approaches for engaging students in the classroom Cognitive scientist Dan Willingham focuses his acclaimed research on the biological and cognitive basis of learning. His book will help teachers improve their practice by explaining how they and their students think and learn. It reveals-the importance of story, emotion, memory, context, and routine in building knowledge and creating lasting learning experiences. Nine, easy-to-understand principles with clear applications for the classroom Includes surprising findings, such as that intelligence is malleable, and that you cannot develop "thinking skills" without facts How an understanding of the brain's workings can help teachers hone their teaching skills "Mr. Willingham's answers apply just as well outside the classroom. Corporate trainers, marketers and, not least, parents -anyone who cares about how we learn-should find his book valuable reading." —Wall Street Journal

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