The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud and the Attack on America's Public Schools

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Over the past decade a rising chorus of critics - from William Bennett to Allan Bloom - has decried the supposedly dire state of our public schools. Kids aren't learning what they should, violence and chaos reign in the classroom, and bureaucracy strangles attempts at reform. But how much of that grim image is really true? In The Manufactured Crisis, two prominent scholars, prize-winning educational psychologist David C. Berliner and leading social psychologist Bruce J. Biddle, fight back with the good news. They...
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Overview

Over the past decade a rising chorus of critics - from William Bennett to Allan Bloom - has decried the supposedly dire state of our public schools. Kids aren't learning what they should, violence and chaos reign in the classroom, and bureaucracy strangles attempts at reform. But how much of that grim image is really true? In The Manufactured Crisis, two prominent scholars, prize-winning educational psychologist David C. Berliner and leading social psychologist Bruce J. Biddle, fight back with the good news. They debunk a whole series of familiar but untrue statistics about public schools - that SAT scores have been dropping, when for many groups they are in fact rising; that illiteracy is up, when in fact the numbers have been skewed because schools are now educating the traditionally disenfranchised in ever larger numbers; that investments in public education do not pay off when, in fact, they lead to greater student achievements and life earnings; that private schools are inherently better than public schools when, in fact, the evidence does not support this charge. Berliner and Biddle tear through these and other sensational myths to give the reader an honest look at public education in America and the misguided, often tragic proposals that critics have urged for correcting these fictive problems. In addition, they expose and offer solutions to the real problems American public schools face today, schools that continue to provide an increasingly diverse citizenry with the opportunity to better their lives.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Berliner (psychology and education, Arizona State U.-Tempe) and Biddle (journal editor, Social Psychology of Education) debunk familiar statistics about public schools and prove that SAT scores are rising for many groups, investments in education pay off in greater student achievements and earnings, and that many private schools are not better than public schools. They examine misguided proposals for correcting fictitious problems, and offer solutions to the real problems American schools face. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201409574
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.43 (w) x 9.51 (h) x 1.48 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1 Thinking About Education in a Different Way 1
Ch. 2 Myths About Achievement and Aptitude 13
Ch. 3 Other Myths About American Schools 65
Ch. 4 Why Now? 129
Ch. 5 Poor Ideas for Reform 173
Ch. 6 Real Problems of American Education 215
Ch. 7 Toward the Improvement of Education 281
Ch. 8 Fundamentals of School Improvement: Research and Compassion 343
Endnotes 351
References 363
Name Index 393
Subject Index 403
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