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Why America's Public Schools Are the Best Place for Kids

Reality vs. Negative Perceptions

Dave F. Brown

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.
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R&L Education
Pages: 288Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-1-61048-357-5 • Hardback • December 2011 • $76.00 • (£49.95)
978-1-61048-358-2 • Paperback • December 2011 • $38.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-61048-359-9 • eBook • December 2011 • $36.00 • (£24.95)
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.
1. Public Schools—Successful Graduates
2. Is the Public School in Your Community a “Good” School?
3. How America’s Schools Outshine Other Nations’ Schools
4. The Value of Public School Teachers
5. Inaccuracies and Absurdities Delivered by the Press, Pundits, and Politicians
6. When Government and Big Business Get Cozy: More Lies and An Expensive Agenda
7. Advantages of Attending Public Schools
8. Charter Schools and Vouchers: Tax Dollars Down The Drain
9. No Child Left Behind: Damaging Public Education
10. Urban Schools: More Successful Than We HearAbout the Author
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.

In, Why America’s Public Schools Are The Best Place For Your Children, Dave Brown is on a mission to inform the public about our schools. Making the point that every school in the nation is someone’s community school, Brown’s message is both research based and community based. The book is enriched by Brown’s own experience teaching public school in four different states. Parents will applaud his list of eight attributes of a good school, in which he puts a child's happiness and security and a teacher’s demonstration of caring about students at the top. Pointing out that democracy is at stake, Brown points a finger at those attacking public schools, and decries the hyperacademics that purport to prepare children for the Global Economy, At once explicit and affirmative, Brown offers an up-close view of why our schools matter—and why we should feel pretty good about them.

Susan Ohanian, educator, activist, and author of "What Happened to Recess and Why Are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten?"

"Dave Brown in America's Public Schools presents a well-written and thoughtful analysis of one the greatest democratic institutions in America—our public schools. While masterfully examining the purpose of American public schooling, many of the negative myths about our public education system are confronted and dispelled in a straightforward, easily readable presentation of the facts. This is a must-read for everyone."

Vincent A. Anfara, Ph.D, Professor and Department Head of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; The University of Tennessee; College of Education, Health, and Human Services

Dave Brown passionately defends public schools and offers insights into why they work the way they do. You’ll be outraged by some of his statements (and may disagree with him about whom to vilify), but you’ll come away from this book knowing why public school advocates are so angry. And after reading this book, maybe you will have a renewed faith that public schools are good for most students—and can get better if we support them more wholeheartedly.

Marge Scherer, Editor in Chief, Educational Leadership Magazine, ASCD

Dave Brown pulls no punches as he confronts those poorly informed pundits and mistaken critics who continually jab away at public education in America and at the core American values of creativity, individualism, and democracy that our system of public education for all embodies and preserves. Brown scores points with his readable analyses of historical events, figures and trends that have shaped the attack on public education. Then, with thoroughly researched data and quotations from true experts in the field, he counter punches holes in the pseudo-evidence proffered by those seeking to control and privatize our public schools – business leaders and politicians whose profit motives outweigh their social conscience. Every concerned citizen, be they a parent of school-aged children or not, needs to read this book and then join Dr. Brown in the fight to save and strengthen public education.

Mark Springer, teacher, author Soundings: A Democratic, Student-Centered Education

To learn more about Why America's Public Schools Are the Best Place for Kids please visit www.americaspublicschools.com