Numbers Games: Measuring and Mandating American Education

Overview

Thomas (education, Furman University) reveals how politicians and the media manipulate numbers regarding test scores and public school education, and describes the most recent assault on literacy education by the federal government through the manipulation of quantitative data in the form of George W. Bush's education legislation, No Child Left Behind. He also examines numbers-based classroom practices that need to be reconsidered and even abandoned. There is no subject index. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., ...
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Overview

Thomas (education, Furman University) reveals how politicians and the media manipulate numbers regarding test scores and public school education, and describes the most recent assault on literacy education by the federal government through the manipulation of quantitative data in the form of George W. Bush's education legislation, No Child Left Behind. He also examines numbers-based classroom practices that need to be reconsidered and even abandoned. There is no subject index. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820468259
  • Publisher: Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 166

Table of Contents

Introduction : behind the numbers - the uses they are put to 1
Ch. 1 The American psyche, measured and certain 11
Scientific methods, American style 13
Numbers, numbers - all there in black and white 18
Abracadabra - the magical power of numbers 24
"It's the economy, stupid" - numbers and money in America 27
Majorities rule, don't they? 32
We're number 1! 33
If numbers predict, then why play the game? 35
A tale of three truths - poetic, historical, and statistical 37
Counting on the American psyche 40
Ch. 2 Politics, media, and education - honesty among the numbers 43
Of research and data - the politics of loving numbers 45
A new honesty in education - positivist measures in a postmodern world 49
Political agendas and public schools - it came from the 1980s 67
Profits and prophets of doom - textbooks and reading programs 70
Blind-sided from the right - print media, science, numbers, and schools 73
Talking numbers - approaching the truth 75
Ch. 3 The numbers and forces behind teaching practices 81
Covering content and planning for the future 82
Reseeing the classroom - quantifying (and confusing) means and ends 83
The weight of numbers in the classroom 90
Should teachers bow to tests? : no 92
Counting on assumptions of classroom teachers 103
Ch. 4 Dismantling public education by the numbers 119
The politics of how we teach - NCLB as assault on academia 121
Numbers as smoke and mirrors - NCLB as flawed mandate 131
It's not so simple - addressing literacy and poverty 135
Discrediting schools by the numbers - why vouchers and choice fail 142
Conclusion : beyond the numbers to the students we teach 155
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