Synopses & Reviews
Fifteen years ago, a U.S. high school diploma was a ticket to the middle class. No longer. The skills required to earn a decent income have changed radically. The skills taught in most U.S. schools have not. Today the average 30-year-old person with a high school diploma earns $20,200, and the nation faces a future of growing inequality and division. andlt;Iandgt;Teaching the New Basic Skillsandlt;/Iandgt; shows how to avoid such a future. By telling stories of real people in real businesses and real schools, the book shows the skills students need to get decent jobs and how schools can change to teach those skills. andlt;BRandgt; Richard Murnane and Frank Levy begin by describing the hiring processes of best practice firms like Northwestern Mutual Life and Honda of America. In today's competitive economy, these firms search for applicants with the New Basic Skills -- the mix of hard and soft skills that all high-wage employers now require. Murnane and Levy then shift their analysis to schools, asking how they can more effectively teach these New Basic Skills. By using case studies the authors show that popular school reform proposals -- higher standards, school choice, national standards, charter schools, more money -- can only be the first half of a solution to the nation's school problem. When they work as advertised, they force a school to change the way it does business. But each of these reforms needs a second half, a strategy for guiding schools toward the changes that raise student skills. andlt;BRandgt; The authors show how that strategy rests on five management principles that focus a school on student achievement. These principles grow out of the experiences of real schools doing the dirty work of educational reform: an elementary school in East Austin, Texas organizing low-income Hispanic parents around higher educational performance, an affluent New England community retraining its teachers, the state of Vermont devising new ways to measure the math skills employers require, a Boston high school creating incentives for low-income minority students to devote more time and attention to schoolwork. andlt;BRandgt; Superintendents, governors and business leaders agree on the importance of this book as evidenced in the forewords by Robert Galvin, Chairman of Motorola, and Thomas Payzant, school superintendent of Boston. For those who care about the success of U.S. schools, andlt;Iandgt;Teaching the New Basic Skillsandlt;/Iandgt; is an optimistic guide to the future and a must read.
Ed Richardson State Superintendent of Education, Alabama As an educator in the midst of educational reform, I especially enjoyed your fifth principle of perseverance and the lack of a "magic bullet"...Thorough and common sense books like yours will assist us in our efforts.
State Superintendent of Education, Alabama
As an educator in the midst of educational reform, I especially enjoyed your fifth principle of perseverance and the lack of a "magic bullet"...Thorough and common sense books like yours will assist us in our efforts.
Roy Romer Governor, State of Colorado andlt;Iandgt;Teaching the New Basic Skillsandlt;/Iandgt; provides compelling arguments -- using lessons from the private sector -- about what will need to change in the classroom and in schools if more students are to reach higher standards...This book will be a useful tool for its readers.
Linda Darling-Hammond 1995-1996 President of American Educational Research Association The book illustrates that improvements in our schools will not come easily, but that real progress is possible when teachers, students, and parents persevere in making schools places where all children learn.
John S. Reed Chairman, Citicorp This is an important book. It is an optimistic book and can make a difference. It should be read by anyone interested in what is going on in our country today...by those of us who are parents, teachers, administrators, or others who care about our schools...and importantly by business people who will better understand how to link the needs of the workplace with the changes that need to take place in our schools.
William F. Weld Massachusetts This book will serve as an important guide in the creation of a school-to-work continuum that prepares all students for success. The New Basic Skills here defined are the fundamental tools necessary to compete in our global economy.
Dr. Rudolph F. Crew Chancellor, New York Public Schools andlt;Iandgt;Teaching the New Basic Skillsandlt;/Iandgt; provides important ideas for helping all schools, including those in New York City, better prepare students to prosper in a changing economy. Educators will resonate with the descriptions of problems in today's schools and be heartened by the case studies showing that schools can improve markedly. The authors' Five Principles provide a powerful framework around which to organize strategies for improving our schools.
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;Richard J. Murnaneandlt;/Bandgt; is a Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. andlt;Bandgt;Frank Levyandlt;/Bandgt; is the Daniel Rose Professor of Urban Economics at MIT. Both authors live in Newton, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Bandgt;Contentsandlt;/Bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Foreword by Thomas W. Payzantandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Foreword by Robert W. Galvin and Edward W. Balesandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Acknowledgmentsandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Bandgt;Part I. Introductionandlt;/Bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Chapter 1. Preparing to Meet the Futureandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Bandgt;Part II. Firms and Skillsandlt;/Bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Chapter 2. Skills for a Middle-Class Wageandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Chapter 3. Five Principles for Managing Frontline Workersandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Bandgt;Part III. Schoolsandlt;/Bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Chapter 4. The First Principle: Agree on the Problemandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Chapter 5. The Second Principle: Provide the Right Incentives and Opportunitiesandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Chapter 6. The Third Principle: Train the Frontline Workersandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Chapter 7. The Fourth Principle: Measure Progress Regularlyandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Chapter 8. The Fifth Principle: Persevere and Learn from Mistakes; There Are No Magic Bulletsandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Chapter 9. Getting from Here to Thereandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Iandgt;Endnotesandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Indexandlt;/Iandgt;