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Educational courage : resisting the ambush of public education

Publication Type:



Beacon Press, Boston, p.209 (2012)

Call Number:

Cubb LA217.2 .E385 2012



Democracy and education--United States, Educational change--United States, Public schools--United States


Summary: "Ten years after the passage of No Child Left Behind, high-stakes testing, national standards, and turn-around policies remain highly controversial. In the same period, we have seen the rise of mayoral control of schools, charter schools, and other initiatives that are viciously opposed by the American Federation of Teachers. But even among well informed people, these issues can seem abstract. Educational Courage presents the human side of the consequences of these policies by bringing readers the voices of the teachers, students, parents, and school officials who are directly affected by changes in public education. The book begins by outlining the increasingly pervasive assaults on democratic public education and focuses on peoples' negative experiences as public schools have become more "market-driven," taking the heart out of teaching. In the face of widespread discouragement, people are hungry for alternatives. The second and third sections of the book illustrate what students, teachers, and parents have done to reists these policies -- from writing op-eds to refusing to "teach to the test," to a community organizing to change testing policies that discriminate against English-language learners -- and to successfully teach and learn in spite of these obstacles. Educational Courage concludes with a vision for how we can collectively work to promote progressive, multicultural, democratic schools. So often in the debate over school reform, the voices of those who are affected by these policies are silenced. The conversation tends to be dominated by ed-school academics and policy-makers, but the "real experts" -- those actually teaching and raising children -- are left out. Many of the contributors to this volume, while not well known, do bring ties to national organizations with online presence. At the same time, the authors' introductions to the book as well as each section will position the essays as part of a larger movement devoted to resisting destructive educational policies and dedicated to defending an egalitarian, democratic ideal in the sphere of public education. 70,000 words To view a video of Macario Guajardo, whose story is told in Educational Courage, explaining why he became a conscientious objector against the Texas state standardized tests, go to"-- Provided by publisher.; Summary: "This book offers the voices of those who are resisting legislation, policies and practices that threaten a democratic vision of education and society. The contributors to this volume have all found ways to foster educational equity for all in the face of significant odds. The accounts of the educators, parents, students and community activists presented here provide powerful examples of the damage and hurt caused by these policies that diminish democratic education. But the book also provides inspiring examples of the power of individuals and groups who have resisted such practices and policies. The voices in this book are the real, seldom-heard voices of those on the ground resisting the market-driven policies that are ambushing public education: standardized, high-stakes testing, corporate-connected charter schools, merit pay, national standards, mayoral control and anti-union/anti-teacher initiatives. Some of the contributors have said, "I won't be part of this!" by writing an op ed piece, by resigning from Teach for America or organizing neighborhood parents to challenge testing policies. Other educators have resisted by "working within the cracks" to keep teaching vibrant and curriculum relevant despite test-driven pressures. Many have organized collectively in public contexts to oppose corporate-oriented policies, such as merit pay or mayoral control, and some have marched and protested in inspiring numbers to reclaim progressive, multicultural, democratic schools. The stories here are evidence of what resistance looks like and what is possible when people work individually and collectively for schools that affirm all young people and promote the common good"-- Provided by publisher.

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