Archive for the ‘Education Books’ Category

50 Myths & Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education by David C. Berliner, Gene Glass, and Associates

Monday, June 13th, 2016
50 Myths

50 Myths & Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education by David C. Berliner, Gene Glass, and Associates takes on many myths that have support amongst reformers and the media. This is a must read for anyone fighting the madness of our current test-and-punish school reform system. Give a copy to any policy maker you know.

Myths, Hoaxes, and Outright Lies

  • “America’s public schools are being hijacked and destroyed by greed, fraud, and lies.” James Meredith – 1st black students at the University of Mississippi 10/1/1961. This quote sums up the purpose of this book. The authors limited themselves to only 50 and hope that readers will send in some more that do not appear herein. Myths are beliefs in things that may or may not be true. They fill in the void left by ignorance. The focus here is on myths that are untrue and that are having unhappy consequences. Hoaxes are different in that the person pushing them knows them to be dubious or untrue, but also knows that they will greatly benefit the pusher. Liars are different in that they don’t even believe what they are saying. Once again the lies are promoted for someone’s self-interest. The overridding myth is that America’s public schools have failed. The authors do an excellent job showing that this is not the case.

Myths and Lies About Who’s Best: Charters, Privates, Maybe Finland?

  • The focus here are the international tests where the US usually ends up in the middle of the pack. This is where we have been since the first efforts at country sorting where made in the 1960’s so it’s not like we have gone downhill. If you sort out the poor kids our scores are at the top with countries like Finland where poverty is 5%. The fact that the tests are in different languages and use the metric system makes them less valid. Never the less, reformers have used these scores to promote unproven reforms.
  • The same test scores are used to show that private schools are better than public schools, but once you take socioeconomic the status of the students into consideration, public schools do better. Private school students are wealthier and whiter. Teachers have more autonomy, better resources, and few students with disabilities and English language learners. They also have less violence and discipline problems as they can control who they accept and who they get rid of. While charter schools are actually public schools, they share many of the same qualities as operators can game the system to control their population. While comparing publics to charters is difficult, the evidence we do have indicates that publics do better. The big reason in my mind is that when compared to public school teachers, charter school teachers are less experienced, less likely to be certified, less well paid, and have higher turnover rates.
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A New Culture Of Learning: What will define the 21st Century

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

In this book by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown, we find that the kind of learning that will define the 21st century will not take place in a classroom. It is happening all around us and it is powerful The growing digital network gives us nearly unlimited resources, while is connects us with others. Learning often takes place without books, teachers, or classrooms. Classrooms and teachers may not be obsolete, but the authors make a case that they must change.

  • © 2011 by Thomas and Brown ISBN-13: 978-1456458881
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    Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses

    Thursday, June 30th, 2011

    This book by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa draws on their extensive research. It shows that many undergraduates learn little or nothing when it comes to critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing ability. The main reasons are generally poor academic preparation prior to college, and low expectations and demands in college. Rather than close the gap between high and low performing students, a case can be made that colleges increase the disparity.

    Academically Adrift

    • Limited Learning on College Campuses
    • by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa
    • ©2011, University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Illinois
    • Summary by Douglas W. Green, EdD
    • DGreen@STNY.RR.Com
    • If you like this summary, buy the book.

    Arum and Roksa

    • Richard Arum is a professor in the Department of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. He is also director of the Education Research Program of the Social Science Research Council and the author of Judging School Discipline: The Crisis of Moral Authority in American Schools. Josipa Roksa is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.
    • The book addresses the question of how much undergraduates learn once they get to college. The answer here is not much. Richard and Josipa draw on their own research and many other sources to make their point. They find that a significant proportion of students do not improve when it comes to critical thinking, complex reasoning, or writing ability. This comes as no surprise to many who see students distracted by socializing and employment. They also see an institutional culture that puts undergraduate learning near the bottom of the priority list.

    1. College Cultures and Student Learning

    • Arum and Roksa cite the worry of middle-class parents over return on investment and concerns about quality by businesses as they look at college cultures that today feature more social activity and less time studying. Too many enter college with high ambitions and no clear plans for reaching them. They know little of their chosen occupations in terms of requirements of demands. They are essentially academically adrift. While study time is down to less than what they spent in high school, grades and progress toward degrees have seen little impact. Students preferentially enroll in classes where instructors grade leniently. For their part, faculty members allow students to get by with less effort. This brings better student evaluations and opens more time for research. Such evaluations are not good indicators of learning. Faculty are also rewarded for seeking external funding of which there is never enough at the expense of undergraduate attention. Administrators must also share the blame. An increase in student service positions has driven faculty percentage of professional staff down to 53%. At the same time, salaries of presidents, provosts, and deans has gone way up in spit of the fact that they are much less able to influence institutional climate than top executives in businesses.
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    Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure by Tim Harford

    Monday, August 19th, 2013

    Adapt: Why SUccess Always Starts with Failure by Tim Harford offers an inspiring and innovative alternative to traditional top-down decision making. Tim deftly weaves together psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, physics, and economics along with compelling stories of hard won lessons from the real world. He makes a passionate case for the importance of adaptive trial and error to deal with problems both global, personal, and everything in between. Click at the bottom of any page to purchase this breakthrough handbook for surviving and prospering in an ever-shifting world.

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    All Hands On Deck – Culture Trumps Strategy – Joe Thy

    Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

    This book by Joe Tye uses a fictional format to explain why organizational culture is so important and how you can get the people you lead to help you create the kind of culture you want. My summary deals with the key concepts, but you need the book to access the compelling story and valuable appendix. This would be a good read for your entire team to discuss.

    Click here to see my summary of All Hands On Deck.

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    Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other

    Monday, August 15th, 2011

    Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other(© 2011, Basic Books: New York, NY) is Sherry Turkle’s third book that explores our lives on the digital terrain. Sherry has conducted hundreds of interviews to gather her data. She explores how the technology that lets us do anything anywhere with anyone can drain us as we try to do everything everywhere and are always on call. She looks at how relentless connections lead to a new solitude and impacts our emotional lives. She also sees hope as people seek to sustain direct human connection.

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    Always On: How the iPhone Unlocked the Anything-Anytime-Anywhere Future and Locked Us In

    Friday, July 29th, 2011

    Always On: How the iPhone Unlocked the Anything-Anytime-Anywhere Future and Locked Us In by Brian X. Chen (© 2011, Da Capo Press: Cambridge, MA), is an insightful look at technology’s all-in-one revolution and its consequences. Will we give more control to individual companies and sacrifice privacy and freedom in the process? This is the first book to take on the possible future that products like the iPhone may portend. Brian writes the regular Apple column for Wired Magazine. In order to write this book, Chen interviewed many of the top technology thinkers, innovators, and researchers.

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    AP: A Critical Examination of the AP Program Harvard Ed. Press

    Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

    The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program has grown significantly since the mid 1990’s as policy makers have added courses for students who are for the most part not ready. In AP: A Critical Examination of the Advanced Placement Program, a new release from The Harvard Education Press, seventeen authors share their research. The main point is that an AP course for an unprepared student is at best a waste of time and resources. It is clear from this work that more effort needs to be directed to earlier grades rather than simply raising expectations at the top.

    Click here to see the summary of this book.

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    APE: How To Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki & Shawn Welsh

    Thursday, December 13th, 2012

    APE: How To Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welsh (©2012) As the digital world has created a revolutionary opportunity for writers to become their own publishers, a new self-publishing infrastructure has emerged. This book offers a guide to this new publishing universe with details and inspiration. After you read this you are unlikely to let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t, wouldn’t, or couldn’t write a book. The APE in the title stands for Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur, and Guy and Shawn devote sections of this book to each part of the process. It makes for a great read and a better reference as you bring your book to life. Be sure to click the icon at the bottom of any page to support this stellar self-published effort.

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    Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa

    Monday, October 13th, 2014

    Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa is a follow up to their landmark Academically Adrift that made the case for how many college students end up learning very little, end up unemployed or under employed, and living at home. Now they follow this same college cohort two years after graduation and see that many found a difficult transition to adulthood. Together these works should challenge students and colleges to rethink the aims, approaches, and achievements of higher education. Click here to read my summary of Academically Adrift.

    Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa

    • Richard is a professor in the Department of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. He is a senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the author of Judging School Discipline: The Crisis of Moral Authority in American Schools. Josipa Roksa is associate professor of sociology and education and associate director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the University of Virginia.

    1. The Study

    • This book is based on research that tracks more than 1,600 students (emerging adults) through their senior year at twenty-five diverse four-year colleges and universities, and approximately 1,000 college graduates from this sample for two years following their graduation in 2009. They also did in-depth interviews with a subset of 80 graduates in 2011 in order to find how post-college outcomes were associated with collegiate experiences and academic performance. Like their previous study, they used the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) to measure critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written communication around the time of their graduation.
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