1st Edition

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





ISBN 9781138987050
Published May 13, 2016 by Routledge
256 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

"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.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword. Preface. Introduction: A. Salz, What Is Authentic Educational Reform? Part I: Compassionate Conservatism: Current Myths of Educational Reform. J. Spring, No Child Left Behind as Political Fraud. S. Nieto, H.L. Johnson, The Sociopolitical Context of No Child Left Behind: Hard Times and Courageous Responses. Part II: The Impact of Compassionate Conservatism on Educational Policies and Practices. F. Samson, C. Belfield, The Privatization of America’s Schools. P.B. Johnson, High Stakes Testing: Inauthentic Educational Reform. M. Malow-Iroff, M. Benhar, S. Martin, Educational Reform and the Child With Disabilities. Part III: Reports From the Field: The Impact of Compassionate Conservatism on Teaching and Learning. R. Meyers, Leaving Sanity Behind: How Scientific Are the Scientific Phonics Programs? M. Baghban, H. Li, "I Thought I Was a Professional": Teachers’ and Parents’ Reactions to NCLB in New York City. M. Zarnowski, A. Backner, L. Engel, What Ever Happened to the Rest of the Curriculum? S. Kirch, M. Hunter, The Campaign for Fiscal Equity. L. Scott, A. Love, The Impact of Community on Educational Reform. P. Hammrich, M. Meyers, Equity in the Science Classroom. Part IV: Authentic Educational Reform: What Is to Be Done? B. Ayers, Educational Reform. S. Ohanian, In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act. Conclusion: H.L. Johnson, Finding the Missing Child in NCLB: Pushing Against the Compassionate Conservative Agenda.         

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Reviews

"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