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For what purposes and in what ways does it make a difference?

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And is it worth the cost? These latter questions, obviously, are loaded. As Hacsi remarks,.

Evaluations seek to provide objective knowledge; but that knowledge rarely leads to anything resembling clear-cut policy decisions. Then, of course, come questions of implementation: should small classes be provided for everyone, or should we give priority to the poor who most need and benefit from them?

Children as Pawns: The Politics of Educational Reform

The reader comes away from even this most positive of chapters with this disquieting thought:. Careless, widespread implementation may actually increase the gap in what our schools provide for children from different backgrounds. That would be a shameful legacy for an idea with so much promise.

Ontario students walkout to protest education changes

Next comes a less-satisfactory chapter on social promotion. And he takes an uncharacteristic cheap shot at then-governor George W. Nonetheless, the chapter provides a fairly sophisticated treatment of social promotion and the various assessment systems that feed it, especially tests.

Parents’ group says teacher unions using children as pawns

We ought to be looking for how to avoid resorting to either! There are few if any heroes to be found here, which is disappointing to an individual reader looking for ways to make a difference. But in the chapter on value-for-money he identifies a clear villain: the conservative economist Eric Hanushek, whom he portrays bluntly as a B. Yet Hanushek is wrong:it can,when spent in the right ways and on the right things -- well-prepared and experienced teachers for one thing, and efficient operations for another.

Hacsi himself seems equally unwilling to delve into how to make operations more efficient. More troubling is the near-total pessimism of the book.

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Hacsi studies only extraordinarily complex educational problems that have thus far proved intractable, and it is easy for the reader to forget that every day millions of other problems are addressed effectively, and from time to time some big ones are actually solved. As I read Children as Pawns , and then looked at my desk piled high with accreditation B.

I saw a bunch of people who had overcome serious and even catastrophic disadvantages to go on and live well, a number of whom I help to do so. Yes, teachers can make a difference. Hacsi is a good guy -- that much is obvious. Timothy A. Table of Contents Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Is Bilingual Education a Good Idea?


Does Class Size Matter? Is Social Promotion a Problem? See All Customer Reviews. Shop Textbooks. Read an excerpt of this book!

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Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. The list of proclaimed flaws is long, and sometimes contradictory: bad teachers, indifferent students, disinterested parents, faulty curriculums, a lack of morality or religion, destructive teacher unions, rigid bureaucrats, too much federal interference, not enough federal support, unequal funding methods, and more. The proposed solutions are equally varied, and range from relatively simple to mind-numbingly complex: better teacher training, vouchers, accountability through high-stakes testing, changes in school governance, standards, more money for schools, charter schools, and dozens of other ideas large and small are advocated by interested parties.

Despite years of discussion, and several waves of school reform in individual schools, school districts, and state governments, the question remains: How can we improve our schools?

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Do we want to provide real opportunity for all children? Do we want to train children to be good citizens, or to have a certain moral view of the world? And if so, which one? Do we want to prepare children to be good workers as adults, or to be independent thinkers? In an ideal world we. An unknown error has occurred.