What Is Authentic Educational Reform?: Pushing Against the Compassionate Conservative Agenda

1st Edition

Helen L. Johnson, Arthur Salz

Published May 13, 2016
Reference - 256 Pages
ISBN 9781138987050 - CAT# Y209884

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"In response to the nationwide attacks on education in the name of educational reform packaged in No Child Left Behind, general analyses and local accounts of these attacks, as well as arguments on behalf of 'authentic educational reform' are badly needed.... This volume offers a useful combination of specific case studies, theory, and policy."
- Gerald Coles, educational psychologist, US

Challenging the compassionate conservative agenda for educational reform -- an agenda which seeks to improve American education through a business model focused on scripted lessons, lock-step approaches to teaching, high stakes-testing, and rigid accountability measures -- this book critiques the assumptions of this agenda, examines the problems that have riddled its implementation in schools, and suggests constructive alternatives. Educational theorists and researchers including Joel Spring, Sonia Nieto, Bill Ayers, and Susan Ohanian, classroom teachers, and parents, offer a mix of perspectives on:

  • the social and political contexts of current educational reform initiatives;
  • the impact of the compassionate conservative agenda on educational policies and practices;
  • the ways in which children and teachers are affected by this agenda and its policies; and
  • approaches that hold out hope for implementing authentic education reform.

Intended for education professionals, students, and scholars, What Is Authentic Educational Reform? poses more questions than it answers, but taken together, these questions constitute a foundation for a more informed and thoughtful public conversation about how to refocus reform efforts in a direction that will truly strengthen American public education for all children and their families.


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