Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Recommended Reading

Ravitch recommends three books for anti-reformers in this Washington Post article:

Now that the Obama administration has invited the states to compete for $5 billion in stimulus funds, the winners will not be those that come up with the best reform ideas, but those that agree to do what the administration wants: create privately managed charter schools, evaluate teachers by their students' test scores, and close low-performing schools. Since so much power and money are arrayed on one side of the issue, it is useful to consider some dissenting views. These three books have the power to change the national discussion of what now passes for "school reform."

Here's my list of recommended reading (and viewing) from my school reform web site (www.tilsonfunds.com/Personal/SchoolReform):

Recommended Reading

These are my favorite books on school reform:

1) Cheating Our Kids: How Politics and Greed Ruin Education, Joe Williams (Joe is Executive Director of Democrats for Education Reform)

2) Work Hard, Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America, Jay Mathews

3) Crazy Like a Fox: One Principal's Triumph in the Inner City, by Ben Chavis

4) Escalante: The Best Teacher in America, by Jay Mathews

5) Education Myths: What Special Interest Groups Want You to Believe About Our Schools--And Why It Isn't So, Jay Greene

6) No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning, by Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom

Further book recommendations are here.

Recommended Viewing

These are my favorite TV shows/segments on school reform:

1) One of the key milestones in KIPP's development was when Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes did a segment on KIPP in August 2000. Don and Doris Fisher, founders of the Gap, saw it and shortly thereafter offered to bankroll KIPP's expansion -- and the rest, as they say, is history.  KIPP was also profiled in a PBS special called Making Schools Work.  Links to both are here.

2) Stupid in America.  This 40-minute 20/20 special dramatically highlights our schools' failures (click here to read the transcript).

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