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Educational Courage: Resisting the Ambush of Public Education

by

Educational Courage: Resisting the Ambush of Public Education Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ten years after the passage of No Child Left Behind, high-stakes testing, national standards, and turn-around policies remain highly controversial. In the same period, we have seen the rise of mayoral control of schools, charter schools, and other initiatives that are viciously opposed by the American Federation of Teachers. But even among well informed people, these issues can seem abstract. Educational Courage presents the human side of the consequences of these policies by bringing readers the voices of the teachers, students, parents, and school officials who are directly affected by changes in public education.

The book begins by outlining the increasingly pervasive assaults on democratic public education and focuses on peoples' negative experiences as public schools have become more "market-driven," taking the heart out of teaching. In the face of widespread discouragement, people are hungry for alternatives. The second and third sections of the book illustrate what students, teachers, and parents have done to reists these policies — from writing op-eds to refusing to "teach to the test," to a community organizing to change testing policies that discriminate against English-language learners — and to successfully teach and learn in spite of these obstacles. Educational Courage concludes with a vision for how we can collectively work to promote progressive, multicultural, democratic schools.

So often in the debate over school reform, the voices of those who are affected by these policies are silenced. The conversation tends to be dominated by ed-school academics and policy-makers, but the "real experts" — those actually teaching and raising children — are left out. Many of the contributors to this volume, while not well known, do bring ties to national organizations with online presence. At the same time, the authors' introductions to the book as well as each section will position the essays as part of a larger movement devoted to resisting destructive educational policies and dedicated to defending an egalitarian, democratic ideal in the sphere of public education.

*70,000 words

To view a video of Macario Guajardo, whose story is told in Educational Courage, explaining why he became a conscientious objector against the Texas state standardized tests, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCI8qgcdwQ4

Review:

"With this earnest compilation of essays and exposés, teachers and activists Schniedewind (Open Minds to Equality) and Sapon-Shevin (Because We Can Change the World) aim impassioned, statistic-tipped arrows at the political and corporate forces responsible for endangering the American public education system, and encourage readers to learn more about these forces. Through themes of disbelief, outrage, cooperative resistance, and activism, the authors introduce firsthand accounts from educators, parents, lawmakers, and students. The book sheds new light on this 'ambush of public education' and the opportunities for poor students living in at-risk school districts, seen here as direct results of dysfunctional policies and institutions (No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Teach for America, corporate-funded charter schools) supposedly designed to integrate a socially just system for students and teachers. Standout contributors include a master's degree candidate who had been denied her high school diploma because of a lone failing test score, and a public school teacher who, in a moment of hopelessness, accidentally became the leader of a grassroots campaign for reform. Though there's much to bemoan about the current state of public education, we also learn there's much that can be done. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Lost amid the debate over educational policies are the stories of the educators, parents, and students who are most affected by legislation such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. In Educational Courage, veteran educators and activists Nancy Schniedewind and Mara Sapon-Shevin bring together the voices of those who are resisting market-driven initiatives such as high-stakes testing, charter schools, mayoral control, and merit pay. The diverse narrators who write in this volume confront the educational agendas that undermine teachers’ judgment and knowledge, ignore the different backgrounds of students and parents, and debase the learning process. Yet these educators, parents, and activists also offer stories of resistance and hope as they fight to uphold the ideals of democratic public education.

About the Author

Nancy Schniedewind teaches in the master’s program in humanistic/multicultural education at the State University of New York-New Paltz. Among her publications are Open Minds to Equality and Women: Images and Realities.

Mara Sapon-Shevin is professor of inclusive education at Syracuse University. Her publications include Because We Can Change the World and Widening the Circle

Table of Contents

Foreword

Deborah Meier

Preface

Introduction

Part I

Introduction: “Is This What We Call ‘Education’?”

1. A Short History of the Ambush of Public Education

Nancy Schniedewind

2. One Teacher’s Cry

Susan J. Hobart

3. Rachel’s Plea

Wendy J. Goodman

Part II

Introduction: “I Won’t Be a Part of This!”—Educators, Parents,

Students, and Community Members Resist

4. Voices of Students with Disabilities

Kids As Self Advocates (KASA)

5. Debunking the Case for National Standards

Alfie Kohn

6. Resisting the State Test: The Story of an Eleven-Year-Old,

Niño Rebelde

Francisco Guajardo

7. There Is No Rubric for Imagination: Organizing against a Charter School Gone Corporate 49

Nate Walker

8. “No”: The Power of Refusal

Doug Christensen and Chris W. Gallagher

9. Why I Quit Teach For America to Fight for Public Education

Neha Singhal

10. Exit Strategies: Confronting Faulty Graduation Tests

Latricia Wilson

11. Tú Eres Mi Otro Yo/You Are My Other Self

Curtis Acosta

Part III

Introduction: Resisting by “Working in the Cracks”—Creating Spaces to Teach Authentically

12. Deepening the Cracks to Infuse Mathematics for Social Justice

Ellen Davidson

13. Test Prep and the War

Jessica Klonsky

14. Alligator-Crocodile

Felipa Gaudet

15. You Can’t Be Driven by Fear: A Portrait of Public School

Tom Roderick

Part IV

Introduction: “Not My Voice Alone”—Organizing to Reclaim Public Education

16. “You Want to Pay Me for What?!?” Resisting Merit Pay and the Business Model of Education

Sam Coleman and Edwin Mayorga

17. The Curie 12: A Case for Teacher Activism

Katie Hogan

18. The Struggle against Mayoral Control in Milwaukee

Bob Peterson

19. We Are Not the Backlash: We Are the Resistance!

Juanita Doyon

20. “Just Parents” Challenge Mayor Daley, Arne Duncan, and Renaissance 2010

Julie Woestehoff

21. From Seeds to Fruition: The Making of a Resistance Movement

Don Perl

22. Making a Difference

Jane Hirschmann, Ujju Aggarwal, and Donna Nevel

23. What Endures: Meaningful Assessment for the Long Haul

Chris W. Gallagher and Doug Christensen

24. Voices of Activism

Kim Dominguez, Bob Peterson, Stephanie Walters, Kathy M.

Xiong, Sarah Knopp, Gillian Russom, and Brian Jones

25. Another World Is Possible/Another Education Is Necessary

Bill Ayers

Postscript

For Further Reading

Acknowledgments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807032954
Author:
Schniedewind, Nancy
Publisher:
Beacon Press (MA)
Author:
Sapon-Shevin, Mara
Subject:
Educational Reform
Subject:
Education-School Reform & Controversy
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.48 x 5.51 x 0.7 in 0.72 lb

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Product details 240 pages Beacon Press (MA) - English 9780807032954 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With this earnest compilation of essays and exposés, teachers and activists Schniedewind (Open Minds to Equality) and Sapon-Shevin (Because We Can Change the World) aim impassioned, statistic-tipped arrows at the political and corporate forces responsible for endangering the American public education system, and encourage readers to learn more about these forces. Through themes of disbelief, outrage, cooperative resistance, and activism, the authors introduce firsthand accounts from educators, parents, lawmakers, and students. The book sheds new light on this 'ambush of public education' and the opportunities for poor students living in at-risk school districts, seen here as direct results of dysfunctional policies and institutions (No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Teach for America, corporate-funded charter schools) supposedly designed to integrate a socially just system for students and teachers. Standout contributors include a master's degree candidate who had been denied her high school diploma because of a lone failing test score, and a public school teacher who, in a moment of hopelessness, accidentally became the leader of a grassroots campaign for reform. Though there's much to bemoan about the current state of public education, we also learn there's much that can be done. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , Lost amid the debate over educational policies are the stories of the educators, parents, and students who are most affected by legislation such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. In Educational Courage, veteran educators and activists Nancy Schniedewind and Mara Sapon-Shevin bring together the voices of those who are resisting market-driven initiatives such as high-stakes testing, charter schools, mayoral control, and merit pay. The diverse narrators who write in this volume confront the educational agendas that undermine teachers’ judgment and knowledge, ignore the different backgrounds of students and parents, and debase the learning process. Yet these educators, parents, and activists also offer stories of resistance and hope as they fight to uphold the ideals of democratic public education.
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