A Lesson in School Reform from Great Britain

Brookings Institution Press
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Now, in this firsthand look at school reform in Great Britain, John E. Chubb and Terry M. Moe show how the landmark Education Reform Act of 1988 imposed a radically new framework on British education—a framework built on the same types of reforms that American activists have been proposing for years: school-based management, choice, and accountability. The authors assess the sucess of the British experience with school choice and contends that it can well serve as a model for American school reform.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2010
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Pages
64
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ISBN
9780815717256
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Comparative
Education / Educational Policy & Reform / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Amanda Ripley
How do other countries create “smarter” kids? What is it like to be a child in the world’s new education superpowers? The Smartest Kids in the World “gets well beneath the glossy surfaces of these foreign cultures and manages to make our own culture look newly strange....The question is whether the startling perspective provided by this masterly book can also generate the will to make changes” (The New York Times Book Review).

In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they’ve never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy. Inspired to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embed­ded in these countries for one year. Kim, fifteen, raises $10,000 so she can move from Oklahoma to Finland; Eric, eighteen, trades his high-achieving Minnesota suburb for a booming city in South Korea; and Tom, seventeen, leaves a historic Pennsylvania village for Poland.

Through these young informants, Ripley meets battle-scarred reformers, sleep-deprived zombie students, and a teacher who earns $4 million a year. Their stories, along with groundbreaking research into learning in other cultures, reveal a pattern of startling transformation: none of these countries had many “smart” kids a few decades ago. Things had changed. Teaching had become more rigorous; parents had focused on things that mattered; and children had bought into the promise of education.
Pasi Sahlberg
The first edition of Finnish Lessons won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Education in 2013. It was featured inThe New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, The Guardian, CNN, Education Week, The Huffington Post, and Dan Rather Reports and has been translated into 16 languages.

Now, with Finnish Lessons 2.0, Pasi Sahlberg has thoroughly updated his groundbreaking account of how Finland built a world-class education system during the past four decades. In this international bestseller, Sahlberg traces the evolution of Finnish education policies and highlights how they differ from the United States and much of the rest of the world. Featuring substantial additions throughout the text, Finnish Lessons 2.0 demonstrates how systematically focusing on teacher and leader professionalism, building trust between the society and its schools, and investing in educational equity rather than competition, choice, and other market-based reforms make Finnish schools an international model of success. This second edition details the complexity of meaningful change by examining Finland’s educational performance in light of the most recent international assessment data and domestic changes.

This second edition details the complexity of meaningful change by illustrating Finland’s educational performance in light of the most recent international assessment data, including PISA 2012, TIMSS 2011, PIAAC 2013, and TALIS 2013.

In the midst of continuous local reforms and global changes, Finnish Lessons 2.0 encourages educators, students, and policymakers to look beyond their own borders as they seek successful solutions for their education systems, districts, and schools.

“Reminds us that a nation can consciously build an admirable school system if it pays close attention to the needs of children; if it selects and prepares its educators well; and if it builds educational communities that are not only physically attractive but conducive to the joys of teaching and learning.”
—From the Foreword by Diane Ravitch, author of Reign of Error

“Solidifies Sahlberg’s reputation as the most thoughtful international educational researcher of our generation.”
—David Berliner, Regents' Professor Emeritus, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University

“Whether or not you have read Finnish Lessons, you should read and ponder this new edition right away.”
—Howard Gardner, author of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed

Terry M. Moe
Why are America's public schools falling so short of the mark in educating the nation's children? Why are they organized in ineffective ways that fly in the face of common sense, to the point that it is virtually impossible to get even the worst teachers out of the classroom? And why, after more than a quarter century of costly education reform, have the schools proven so resistant to change and so difficult to improve?

In this path-breaking book, Terry M. Moe demonstrates that the answers to these questions have a great deal to do with teachers unions—which are by far the most powerful forces in American education and use their power to promote their own special interests at the expense of what is best for kids.

Despite their importance, the teachers unions have barely been studied. Special Interest fills that gap with an extraordinary analysis that is at once brilliant and kaleidoscopic—shedding new light on their historical rise to power, the organizational foundations of that power, the ways it is exercised in collective bargaining and politics, and its vast consequences for American education. The bottom line is simple but devastating: as long as the teachers unions remain powerful, the nation's schools will never be organized to provide kids with the most effective education possible.

Moe sees light at the end of the tunnel, however, due to two major transformations. One is political, the other technological, and the combination is destined to weaken the unions considerably in the coming years—loosening their special-interest grip and opening up a new era in which America's schools can finally be organized in the best interests of children.

John E. Chubb
The achievement gap between white students and African American and Hispanic students has been debated by scholars and lamented by policymakers since it was first documented in 1966. The average black or Hispanic secondary school student currently achieves at about the same level as the average white student in the lowest quartile of white achievement. Black and Hispanic students are much less likely than white students to graduate from high school, acquire a college or advanced degree, or earn a middle-class living. They are also much more likely than whites to suffer social problems that often accompany low income. While educators have gained an understanding of the causes and effects of the education achievement gap, they have been less successful in finding ways to eliminate it—until now. This book provides, for the first time in one place, evidence that the achievement gap can be bridged. A variety of schools and school reforms are boosting the achievement of black and Hispanic students to levels nearing those of whites. Bridging the Achievement Gap brings together the findings of renowned education scholars who show how various states, school districts, and individual schools have lifted the achievement levels of poor and minority students. The most promising strategies include focusing on core academic skills, reducing class size, enrolling students in more challenging courses, administering annual achievement assessment tests, creating schools with a culture of competition and success, and offering vouchers in big-city school districts. While implementing new educational programs on a large scale is fraught with difficulties, these successful reform efforts offer what could be the start of widespread effective solutions for bridging the achievement gap.
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