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Misguided Education Reform

Debating the Impact on Students

Nancy E. Bailey

Misguided Education Reform: Debating the Impact on Students argues for reforms that will help, not hurt, America’s public school students. Early childhood education, testing, reading, special education, discipline, loss of the arts, and school facilities, are all areas experiencing reform in the wrong direction. This book says “no” to the reforms that fail, and challenges Americans to address the real student needs that will fix public schools and make America strong. « less more »
R&L Education
Pages: 160Size: 6 3/8 x 9 1/2
978-1-4758-0356-3 • Hardback • July 2013 • $58.00 • (£39.95)
978-1-4758-0357-0 • Paperback • July 2013 • $30.00 • (£19.95)
978-1-4758-0358-7 • eBook • July 2013 • $28.00 • (£18.95)
Nancy Bailey is a former special education teacher and principal and has a Ph.D. in educational administration from Florida State University. She has been a Title I Grant Manager in a program for troubled teens, the recipient of a Learning Disabilities Innovation in Teaching Grant, and an advocate for safe school facilities.
Chapter 1 What Happened to Early Childhood?
The Assault on Early Childhood
The Importance of Past Research
Kindergarten—The Children’s Garden
The Common Core State Standards for Kindergarten
Head Start’s Struggle
Privatizing Head Start
Universal Preschool
What is a Good Preschool?
The Elimination of Recess
Supporting Good Early Childhood Education
Chapter 2 The Trouble With Testing and Common Core Standards
The Effects of High-Stakes Testing on Students
Ignoring Instead of Celebrating Differences
Blaming Public Schools
Lowering Class Size is a Better Solution
High School and General Testing Controversy
Students with Disabilities, Testing and High School Diplomas
High-Stakes Cheating—Students
High-Stakes Cheating—Adults
Common Core State Standards
Talking Pineapples and Testing Pushback
Testing to Benefit Students—Formative Assessment
Parent and Teacher Activism Concerning Tests
Chapter 3 The Politics of Reading
The Problems with Reading Instruction
The History of Reading, Phonics and Whole Language
Flawed Reading Recommendations
Reading First: Conflict of Interests and Unproven Science
Getting a
Reading First Grant
Dr. Cupp’s Readers and Other Reading Programs
What Happened to
Reading First ?
Antiquated School Libraries or No Libraries at All
Teaching Children to Love Reading
Chapter 4 Special Education—Abandoned Commitment
The Cost of Education for All
Burton Blatt’s Book and Special Education History
The Regular Education Initiative or Getting Rid of Special Education
The Reauthorizations of Public Law 94-142
The Problem With Inclusion—UDL, Technology, RTI and DIBELS
Students, Testing and Cognitive Disabilities
Privatizing Special Education
Giftedness Ignored
The Significance of Special Olympics
Chapter 5 The Dangers of Criminalizing Students
Student Behavior in Public Schools
Poverty and Discipline in Urban Schools
Zero Tolerance
Corporal Punishment
Teaching and Students with Problem Behavior
School Resource Officers
Student Surveillance
Uniforms—Dressing Alike—In a Democracy
The School Counselor’s Role
Schools that Care About Students
Chapter 6 The Elimination of the Arts
Stealing The Arts From Children—Especially the Poor
Testing and the Arts
Where the Arts Have Been Stolen
How the Arts Improve Scores in Other Subjects
Student Artists of All Backgrounds
The Importance of Certified Art Teachers
The Arts Job Market and Saving the Arts in Our Public Schools
Chapter 7 The Public School Building Problem
Poor School Facilities
Poor Rural and Native American Schools
High Achievers and Ramshackle Schools
Dangerous and Toxic Schools
The Costs of Poorly Maintained Schools
Schools—Earthquakes and Tornadoes
Overcrowded Schools
The Importance of School Facilities to Achievement
Public Schools or Charter Schools Facility Funding?
Supporting Good School Facilities for All Children
“The Trouble with Testing and Common Core State Standards” chapter alone, is worth the price of the book. The author clearly substantiates the nonsense, abuses and frauds associated with the high-stakes testing movement. The discussion about the Common Core State Standards clearly illustrates how non K-12 individuals devised the core to belittle teachers and the public schools. The author notes that no formative evaluation has ever been part of any of the testing movements. And, then notes the total lack of pilot testing on the current vogue of achievement tests. This is must read chapter by all educational policy makers.
Donald C. Orlich, professor emeritus, Washington State University; coauthor “Teaching Strategies: A Guide to Effective Instruction”

“The Dangers of Criminalizing Students” chapter provides a thoughtful and accessible analysis of challenges that ought to be at the very heart of our conversations about educational reform today. Before we can improve what we do, we need to work together to reject interested messages that are designed to confuse and distract, saturating communication channels with sound-bites about teachers, counselors, and students that make it more difficult for us to see, let alone understand, the forces transforming our schools. I applaud the efforts here to unpack and clarify the dangers manifest in the many ways we are criminalizing our students.

Bill Lyons, professor and director for conflict management, political science, University of Akron; coauthor “Punishing Schools: Fear and Citizenship in American Public Education”

This book reveals the many aspects outside of school that affect student achievement, including an almost unprecedented recognition of the well documented consequences of lead poisoning on children’s learning and behavior. Knowledge of the consequences of lead poisoning have been well documented in the public health community for decades but few educators have shown an awareness of dealing with those consequences among their students.
Michael T. Martin, research analyst for the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA), author of the ASBA Online Report: “A Strange Ignorance: The Role of Lead Poisoning in Failing Schools”

Nancy Bailey raises questions about school reform everyone should be asking.
Julia Wilkins, research associate, Clemson University, National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities; author “Group Activities to Include Students With Special Needs: Developing Social Interactive Skills”

The chapter concerning public school facilities presents a very powerful argument – and in my view one that is sustained by facts. This is certainly a story that needs telling.
Alex Molnar, research professor, publications director, National Education Policy Center, University of Colorado

Detailing the negative effects of current education reforms on kids, parents, teachers, and schools, Bailey, a former teacher and principal, argues that "we must reject the 'one size fits all' mentality." She presents evidence that education reform is really about privatization and that education reformers are diverting public school funds into new charter schools run by outside organizations. Some of the problem areas she explores include Common Core State Standards, the dangers of criminalizing students, the elimination of the arts, and run-down public school buildings. The author recommends that reform begin with addressing students' mental, emotional, and behavioral problems.
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