The successes of America's public schools are unrivaled throughout the globe providing an opportunity for every American to graduate from high school. Graduation rates have soared, test scores are better than at anytime, and immigrants and African Americans are reaching new successes. The percentage of graduating high school students including minorities attending college is at an all time high. Despite all these successes, the media, politicians, and big business attack public schools and their teachers with inaccuracies that threaten the equal opportunities provided by public education.
Big business moguls seem determined to dismantle public schools in the name of a market driven system of educating children via vouchers and charter schools. No Child Left Behind contributes to this business-model and penalizes children and teachers with unrealistic expectations and expensive unnecessary testing. Research indicates that NCLB, charter schools, and vouchers do not improve students' learning or help educators teach better. The facts presented herein are evidence of public school successes and provide reasons to honor public school educators and support public schools across America.
Dave F Brown —
Dave F. Brown, Ed. D. is an educational researcher, consultant, and professor in the College of Education at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He taught in public schools for 13 years from 4th through 8th grade in the Midwest and Virginia, and is the co-author of What Every Middle School Teacher Should Know and author of Becoming A Successful Urban Teacher.
Brown, Dave F. Why America's public schools are the best place for kids: reality vs. negative perceptions. Rowman & Littlefield, 2012. 269p index afp; ISBN 9781610483575; ISBN 9781610483582 pbk; ISBN 9781610483599 e-book. Reviewed in 2012aug CHOICE.
This book is essential reading for would-be teachers and other educators, and anyone confused by the endless flow of negative opinions about public schools and teachers. Writing with unabashed partiality and passion, Brown (West Chester Univ. of Pennsylvania) leaves no false claim standing as he delivers a stinging rebuttal to critics of US public schools while arguing that public schools are, indeed, the best place for kids. Critics, pundits, and policy makers who dominate public discussion about public schools are faulted for their lack of credentials, relevant experience, and failure to support their controversial opinions with research findings. Criticisms made familiar through media repetition are taken in turn and found lacking. Research and statistics are marshaled to illustrate the success of public schools in the US, to explain why public schools are better than charter and private schools, to demonstrate how certified teachers deliver better outcomes than noncertified teachers, and to show the value of teachers with master's degrees and experience. Public schools are successful despite high levels of student poverty (when compared to other industrialized nations). America's standing on the international achievement tests is placed in much-needed context. Business interests as drivers of education policy are also discussed.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduate and graduate collections. -- J. House, Western Illinois University