The War Against America's Public Schools: Privatizing Schools, Commercializing Education

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Allyn and Bacon, 2002 - Education - 213 pages
Education reform has a long and ignoble history of searching for magic bullets. Charter schools, vouchers, educational management organizations, tuition tax credits, and high-standards movements are all part of the education landscape today. Some reformers are mere opportunists who look at the $700 billion that the United States spends on education and want some of those dollars. Others truly believe that a market-driven system will help. Still others would like to teach religion without having to worry about the First Amendment. The purpose of this book is to summarize and describe these experiments and examine why none can be justified by using the argument that the entire public-school system is in crisis. It provides evidence that the system is actually improving. It argues that slanted, spun, and distorted statistics are used by organizations that fund research, since funding is easier to find if there is a perceived crisis. Perceptions about SAT and NAEP scores, the employees needed for industry, and the comparisons of American students to students of other countries are analyzed. Financial irregularities, unsafe facilities, and unimpressive or debatable results in charter schools are depicted. The inherent inequities of voucher systems are described at length. (Contains 307 references.) (RKJ)

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Dueling Visions
The Historical Context
PART n Invasion of the Privatizers

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About the author (2002)

Since 1984 Gerald W. Bracey has written a monthly column for Phi Delta Kappan making research accessible to teaching practitioners. In 2003 the column received the Interpretive Scholarship Award from the American Educational Research Association. Bracey spends about half his time as an independent researcher and writer and splits the rest between George Mason University and the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation. He has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Stanford University and has held positions in private firms, local school districts, universities, and state departments of education.

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