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A "vivid, unpredictable, fair, balanced and . . . very entertaining" look at how education reforms have changed one typical American elementary school over the course of a year (Jay Mathews,The Washington Post)The pressure is on at schools across America. In recent years, reforms such as No Child Left Behind have created a new vision of education that emphasizes provable results, uniformity, and greater attention for floundering students. Schools are expected to behave more like businesses and are judged almost solely on the bottom line: test scores.To see if this world is producing better students, Linda Perlstein immersed herself in a suburban Maryland elementary school, once deemed a failure, that is now held up as an example of reform done right. Perlstein explores the rewards and costs of that transformation, and the resulting portraitdetailed, human, and truly thought-provokingprovides the first detailed view of how new education policies are modified by human realities.
Linda Perlstein spent six years covering education for The Washington Post and is the author of the acclaimed Not Much Just Chillin?: The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers. She speaks nationwide to educators and parents. She grew up in Milwaukee and now lives with her husband in Baltimore, Maryland, and western Virginia.
Table of Contents
A Note to the Reader
Prologue: Ain't No Stopping Us Now
America's Schools Will Be on a New Path of Reform
Am I Going to Be a Bad Teacher?
A Bank Teller Could Pick Up the Lesson
Was It a Big Scratch or a Little Scratch?
Chapter Books Are Not Bad, People
This Is Just Like the Real Test
Market Discipline Is the Key
You Gotta Be Tough
What Gets Taught Is What Gets Tested
I Didn't Even Know That Was an Option
Where's the Sand Table?
I'm Giving Him Everything He Can Get
I See Motivation All Over This
Some People Are Selling Snake Oil
We Must Leave Them No Choice
I Used to Be a Nice Person
The Whole Scenario Can Change
Never Give Up Trying
We Celebrate the Bottom
It Feels Like a Different School
Teaching Might Be Fun Next Year?
Don't They Look Good?
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