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What's Wrong with Our Schools: and How We Can Fix Them Paperback – Jun 28 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: R&L Education (June 28 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607091585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607091585
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 15 x 22.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By hope on Nov. 22 2010
Format: Paperback
First a caution. Although there is no financial involvement, I did provide advice during the writing of this book. However, I would not have done so had I not been very impressed by the initial version.

This is indeed a common sense guide to current elementary and secondary education in North America. It calmly - there is no hyperbole - addresses current issues and illustrates the right and wrong way to go, all consistent with the research where applicable - there are many major issues with which research cannot deal. The book is particularly valuable for parents, many of whom will agree with the authors' conclusions, but fear to raise them with educators. The book will also be useful for those teachers who are not enamored with Deweyan progressivism and the continual sequence of reforms whose main function is to lower educational standards.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By GreggB on Sept. 9 2010
Format: Paperback
I was shocked to hear in the news what is going on in our schools and didn't want to believe it was happening in my daughters. But then I found out that they had a no fail policy and a no mark deduction policy for late/missing assignments. Then they wanted to remove percent grades from reports cards in favour of nebulous assessments. I went to the PTA meeting armed with this book and made it clear that I was going to fight for a good education for my daughter.

This book is full of good ideas and arguments against the dumbing down of our educational system and has clear, concise language that cuts through the edu-babble that confuses parents and makes no sense (it turns out it really doesn't make sense!). This is definately worth your while if you are concerned about your child's education and future.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bryce on March 7 2012
Format: Paperback
Although touted as heralds for the next wave of school policy reform, Michael Zwaagstra and his co-authors present a model for education that is remarkably traditional and conservative. This book appeals to popular opinion and common sense to the exclusion of solid research and academic study. Their focus on standards and academic rigor attest to the conservative swing of the education pendulum occuring right now. This book of opportunity takes the message of de-formative reform to the public.

My criticisms are many.

1. "Case Studies" are fake, misleading, and offensive. At the beginning of each chapter, the authors present a hypothetical situation to illustrate their point. Here, they lean the ridiculous suggestions and blatant hyperbole to sway the emotions, rather than the minds, of their readers. They frequently paint teachers, administrators, and policy-makers as incompetent and lazy, implying that teachers are not motivated by the best-interests of their students. When the situation doesn't pack enough punch, the authors rely on cheap tactics to make their reader side with them. For example, when talking about Student-Led Conferences, the authors make sure that we are aware that the mother is uncomfortable in the small chair because her skirt is too short, subtlely implying that the conference is the cause of the mother's loss of innocence (and unnecessarily invoking the sexual modesty of their largely conservative readers). In the same story, the authors make sure that we know that the teacher was a bit late. If the argument is valid, you should not rely on such low-grade tricks to convince your audience.

2. The policies presented are ridiculous.
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