Education reform is the ongoing process of improving the public education. Historic issues have ranged from funding, to integration, and the merits of public versus private education for the millions of children in America’s elementary and high school system.
Playing such an important role in our society, it’s no wonder that it is a hot topic for debate on the political level as well as in classrooms and school boards. Education reform aims to make the highest quality public education available to as many citizens as possible, but with varying opinions, classes, cultures and needs to be considered, finding the best solution is no easy task.
In contribution to the education reform debate, we at Questia are sharing the top five most researched books on education reform from our library. And all of them are librarian-selected and research paper-approved. Enjoy!
Dewey’s Dream: Universities and Democracies in an Age of Education Reform: Civil Society, Public Schools, and Democratic Citizenship
Authors: Lee Benson, Ira Harkavy and John Puckett
This timely, persuasive, and hopeful book reexamines John Dewey’s idea of schools, specifically community schools, as the best places to grow a democratic society that is based on racial, social, and economic justice. The authors assert that American colleges and universities bear a responsibility for-and would benefit substantially from-working with schools to develop democratic schools and communities. Dewey’s Dreamopens with a re-appraisal of Dewey’s philosophy and an argument for its continued relevance today.
Author: Chester E. Finn Jr.
Chester Finn tells how his experiences have shaped his changing views of the three major strands of postwar school reform: standards-driven, choice-driven, and profession-driven. Of the three, Finn now believes that a combination of choice and standards has the greatest potential, but he favors this approach more on pragmatic than ideological grounds, arguing that parents should be given more options at the same time that schools are allowed more flexibility and held to higher performance norms. He also explains why education reforms of all kinds are so difficult to implement, and he draws valuable lessons from their frequent failure.
Author: Timothy A. Hacsi
In the first book to bring together the recent history of educational policy and politics with the research evidence, Timothy Hacsi presents the illuminating, often-forgotten stories of these five controversial topics. He sifts through the complicated evaluation research literature and compares the policies that have been adopted to the best evidence about what actually works. He lucidly explains what the major studies show, what they don’t, and how they have been misunderstood and misrepresented. Hacsi shows how rarely educational policies are based on solid research evidence, and how programs that sound plausible simply do not satisfy the complex needs of real children.
Editors: Beth C. Rubin and Elena M. Silva
School reform of one kind or another is a priority for education systems the world over. Yet the voices of students – those most affected by, and most pivotal to, the success or failure of any program of school reform – are rarely heard on this topic. This is the first book to look at school reform from the perspective of the students.
Author: June Edwards
Recounts the remarkable achievements of women who dared to defy customs, break legal barriers, and endure hardship and discrimination in order to provide education for girls, young children, female teachers, homemakers, disabled students, the immigrant poor, and African American youth–the people excluded from traditional institutions of their day. Excerpts from the women’s own writings are provided as well as discussion of their unique teaching methods.
Visit Questia for even more research on educational standards in the U.S.
What are some of the biggest educational concerns facing your community? Let us know in the comments below.