Synopses & Reviews
Goyal a 20 year old education reform activist and the 2013 recipient of the Freedom Flame Award criticizes America's traditional schools with their heavy focus on grades and standardized testing and argues in favor of educational apprenticeships maker schools that emphasize project based learning and democratic free schools that reject grades and required classes in favor of "play and self directed learning." Goyal convinces readers that American students are stressed out overworked subjected to extreme standardized testing and disengaged from learning but some of his proposed alternatives don't seem tenable. The workshop or maker programs implemented in schools libraries and museum across the U.S. seem to be economically and racially diverse but the high price tag on some of the "free schools" with one charging as much as 18000 a year for preschool and another more than 25000 a year for K 12 places them out of reach for many families. Goyal argues that traditional schools increase bullying and depression because students' creativity—and their voices—have been squelched out of the classroom. Depressingly for a book that argues about the need to hear from students Goyal's work includes few comments from students of color (the students most likely to be victimized by schools' strict disciplinary policies). Ultimately the book's meticulous research and detailed examination of the history of the American educational system drown out the words of those affected most: the students. (Feb.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."