In America's "Failing" Schools, W. James Popham provides parents and teachers explanations of No Child Left Behind as a whole, walking them through the implications for standardized testing in particular, in language that is uncomplicated and straightforward. Popham offers definitions of the law and its key terms, explanations of what it really means when a school is labeled "failing," and concrete suggestions for what can be done in response.
"Popham's is as evenhanded a presentation as I've seen of the most important parts of NCLB. Indeed, Part I, which lays out the basic features of the law, is both clear and sensible--something that can't always be said for some of the law's requirements...Perhaps you don't find the prospect of professional reading an appealing one for whiling away those vacation hours at the seashore or in the mountains? Fair enough. Then get a copy of America's "Failing" Schools right now, and read it before you leave town. You won't regret it." -- Phi Delta Kappan
"This is a valuable resource for parents and teachers struggling to understand the new school-reform policy." -- Booklist
"This book is a wake-up call to the fact that the quality of state tests will determine how your schools will be labeled. The clarion call is clear--do not judge your school by No Child Left Behind--rather judge it by your child's experience. Test scores do not an education make." -- Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director, National School Boards Association
"Jim Popham's new book performs a vital service for educators, policy makers, journalists, and, critically, parents. He reminds us that the success or failure of the No Child Left Behind Act rests on having both good tests and good teaching and he arms readers with the knowledge they'll need to evaluate both. That he does so in a clear, convincing and entertaining style is a welcome bonus, unexpected in a book that conveys so much information." -- Richard Lee Colvin, Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, Teachers College, Columbia University
"What I really like about the approach Popham takes in this book is his straightforward framing of the issues. This allows those on both sides of the argument--proponents and opponents--to better ground the debate in information rather than perception, as is so often the case with such emotionally charged issues." -- Vicki Phillips, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education