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We Must Take Charge! - Chester E., Jr. Finn

Paperback Published: 19th June 1993
ISBN: 9780029102763
Number Of Pages: 384

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According to leading education analyst Chester Finn, a paradox lies at the heart of our educational trouble. While Americans commonly acknowledge that public schools in general are a disaster, polls consistently show that most parents, teachers, and administrators think their local schools and their own children are doing just fine. The implications of this self-congratulation are profound. For if people believe their own schools and children are succeeding, why should they feel compelled to change things? Yet, if we don't, we will continue to watch the destruction of a system that already lacks accountability and quality control, and is beset by a teaching profession compromised by bad ideas, fads, buck-passing, dubious theories, and stodgy practices.

Fin proposes radical changes which he insists must be championed by all Americans if this atrophy is to be reversed. First and most importantly, he calls on us to reorganize education in relation to the results we want from it. This means establishing a clearcut standard of intellectual achievement that we will oblige all of our schools to enforce and our children to meet. To define this standard, we will need to rebuild instruction around, a national curriculum of core subjects - history, science, geography, math, literature and writing. And we must demand a more detailed flow of useful information, including reliable testing, about how our children are performing in relation to this standard.

Finn calls on us to give our children as much time, as many options, and as broad an array of resources as possible. As he points out, learning can take place as easily in July as it does in march, as easily in a museum as it does in a classroom. And if parents have choices in deciding which schools and programs best fit the needs of students, they will have an added incentive in helping their children succeed. He urges us to revitalize the means of delivering education from the bottom up, by vesting as much authority as possible with educators in each individual school and holding them accountable for their performance.

For Finn, the implementation of these radical measures is essential to produce not only a knowledgeable twenty-first century work force that will keep our nation competitive, but an informed and reasoning citizenry capable of participating fully in a democracy. Challenging and candid, this book will point the way for all those insisting on the best that our schools can offer.

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Reform Is Not Enoughp. xiii
A Nation Still At Riskp. 1
Asleep at the Wheel: A Society Loses Its Mindp. 5
Schooling in a No-Fault Culturep. 20
Band-Aids for Battle Wounds: Reforms of the 1980sp. 35
Educational Perestroikap. 52
American Education Is to Education What the Soviet Economy Is to Economyp. 71
"How About a Marshall Plan for the Schools?" and Other Talk-Show Explanations of Educational Meltdownp. 75
The Lake Wobegon Effect: Ignorance Is Someone Else's Problemp. 94
Rational Fools: What's in It for Me?p. 112
Journey Without a Destinationp. 128
A System Without Accountabilityp. 144
The War on Testing: A Dead Messenger Brings No Bad Newsp. 159
Paralyzed by Design?p. 179
Bad Ideas Whose Time Has Comep. 203
Taking Charge: Revolutionizing Education from the Outside Inp. 235
A New Constitution for American Educationp. 239
Schools Where Learning Matters: A Guided Tourp. 250
All the Children: Ten Tentative Truthsp. 274
A Four-Front Warp. 293
Notesp. 313
Indexp. 355
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780029102763
ISBN-10: 0029102766
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 19th June 1993
Publisher: FREE PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.37 x 15.29  x 2.44
Weight (kg): 0.59
Edition Number: 1

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