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Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Reviews Editorial reviews. Publisher Synopsis Reform versus Dreams provides a genuine example of how problem solving happens best in public education. User-contributed reviews Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Be the first. Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Linked Data More info about Linked Data. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions. Remember me on this computer. Cancel Forgot your password? Rosalind LaRocque. Print book : English View all editions and formats. View all subjects. Similar Items. ForewordPreface Acknowledgments Chapter 1.


18 Reasons the U.S. Education System is Failing

These analyses by Tyack and Cuban make it clear that the large-scale frenetic adoption of quickly conceived proposals, some old and some new, has become the mainstream of current school reform. One of the great strengths of the authors' analysis of recent school reform is a regular referral to where teachers stand as the winds of school reform blow around them from sources as removed from the understanding of schooling and its daily practice as the president of the United States, the fifty governors, and numerous corporate CEOs.

These parties, of course, are mostly mired in the mistaken views of A Nation At Risk. Many of the insights the authors identify about the roles of teachers, parents, and students come from a relatively new breed of education researchers, who spend time in schools and classrooms rather than seeking generalizations about schooling by interpreting national data streams — a useful addition to the analysis of schooling.

Because this book combines the wisdom of its authors with a thoughtful review of the prior research of many others, its thirty pages of endnotes are particularly valuable: they constitute a gold mine for future doctoral students in education. The authors make these endnotes easy to use by printing the page numbers of the corresponding text at the top of each endnote page. Another notable strength of the book is its conciseness. Readers of Tinkering Toward Utopia regularly benefit from succinct statements that summarize the authors' views on complex issues.

Any good book does this, but my reading of the prose in this brief volume makes me see the expressive powers of its writers as unusually vivid and precise.

My dream died, now what? - Lynette Lewis - TEDxRaleigh

In the realm of writing about education, this aspect of the book is a rare occurrence, as education, in my experience, runs close to sociology in its capacity to generate turgid prose. Although I have no quarrels with the findings of Professors Tyack and Cuban, I wish they had given more space to two matters.

The first issue is the impact and future prospects of racial and cultural issues in U. The second issue is the rapidly growing interest of school reformers in shifting their ground from a somewhat narrow concern for schooling to a recognition that a child's education is only partly in schools, and a belief that other agencies can join with schools to fashion an education that recognizes that a child's time in school from birth to age eighteen constitutes less than 10 percent of his or her time during those years. Each of these areas of concern has developed a massive literature of social science on the one hand and moral advocacy on the other, and each reaches back many years to a history dominated by ideological thinking rather than rational analysis.

Although Tyack and Cuban discuss these issues in several parts of this book, they don't get the attention they might.

Dream Act 2017: Summary and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

At a time when our federal government is considering the dismantling of its already inadequate safety net for children, youth, and poor families and the abandonment of school desegregation, we very much need the kind of clarity on these matters that Professors Tyack and Cuban bring to other highly complex issues. Could it be that they see these matters as large, external social policy issues without immediate consequences for the classroom? I doubt it. No doubt these two assertions would qualify in the spirit of this book as elements of utopia.

If so, so be it.


But don't these thoughts raise the question of whether utopia might be a useful entity to have around, even if we know we can't fully attain it? Quite clearly this book says just that. Its message about "tinkering" isn't entirely negative. Much of the slow progress our schools have made in the last hundred years is a by-product of tinkering by reformers.

18 Reasons the U.S. Education System is Failing - The Edvocate

The chapters on "How Schools Change Reforms" and "Why the Grammar of Schooling Persists" are wonderfully wise analyses to undergird our posture toward school reform. If we can learn to understand what schools are really like, this study says to us between the lines, we might even learn to tinker more effectively.

Finally, I want to speculate further about the potential of the imaginative title of this book. My guess is that its meaning can be legitimately extended to all issues that democratic societies face. Inevitably, reaching for social or economic change is a slow and complex process. Isn't the message these two professors from Stanford have brought us under the banner of Tinkering Toward Utopia very much the same message as that of Robert Browning, which is so often quoted: "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?

Reform Versus Dreams : Preventing Student Failure

By Kevin G. Welner and Jeannie Oakes.