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Smart Schools, Smart Kids: Why Do Some Schools Work?

Overview

A revolution in education is sweeping across America. Smart Schools, Smart Kids takes readers into dozens of pioneering schools across the country to describe successful programs and how they work, the problems they have encountered, and the results they have achieved. Innovative reformers are transforming every aspect of the "nineteenth-century factory-model school" into a new kind of public school capable of educating kids for twenty-first century challenges. Smart Schools, Smart Kids shows how. It is a book ...
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Overview

A revolution in education is sweeping across America. Smart Schools, Smart Kids takes readers into dozens of pioneering schools across the country to describe successful programs and how they work, the problems they have encountered, and the results they have achieved. Innovative reformers are transforming every aspect of the "nineteenth-century factory-model school" into a new kind of public school capable of educating kids for twenty-first century challenges. Smart Schools, Smart Kids shows how. It is a book that is sure to be warmly welcomed by parents, teachers, administrators, and public officials alike who want to improve education for their own and for all of America's children. This nation can no longer afford to wait for change: Smart Schools, Smart Kids will make a real difference now.

A revolution in public education that "shows how the real experts--teachers, parents, and students themselves--have changed their schools from the ground up. . . ." (The Miami Herald). While Americans have heard for years that our schools are in decline, Fiske shows us dozens of pioneering programs across the country that work. Fiske is the former Education Editor of The New York Times.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``We know how to fix American schools, and they are being fixed'' is the good news of this report from the field by the education correspondent of the New York Times . Innovative approaches to the learning styles of students, school-based management which empowers teachers, and decentralization of school boards are among the transforming elements that Fiske observed in a country-wide tour of redesigned public school systems. While citing outstanding prototype systems--among them those of Miami, New York City's Community School District 4, and New Haven, Conn.,--Fiske emphasizes that the educational turnabout is in its early stages. His ``journey through the quiet revolution that is slowly transforming American education'' offers hope with its pragmatic analysis. Author tour. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Similar to Marvin Cetron's Educational Renaissance ( LJ 12/90), this well-structured book by the knowledgeable education correspondent for the New York Times and author of How To Get Into the Right College ( LJ 11/1/88) argues that education reform must move beyond the ``Nation at Risk'' more-of-the-same reform gimmicks currently touted. Fiske recommends adopting ``smart school'' concepts: decentralizing decision-making; requiring students to take responsibility for their own learning; using portfolios for assessing student learning rather than standardized tests; training teachers to become learning coaches rather than mere dispensers of facts, etc. Smart schools, as such, do not yet exist. However, Fiske outlines several working prototypes (e.g., Hollibrook Elementary near Houston, Myrtle Grove Elementary in Miami, Fairdale High in Louisville, Key School in Indianapolis). His last chapter discusses the political imperatives and problems involved in creating smart schools. Other recent reform books (e.g., John Godar's Teachers Talk , LJ 1/91; Page Smith's Killing the Spirit , LJ 1/90) focus on describing the problem, while this study proposes feasible solutions. Highly recommended.-- Scott Johnson, Meridian Community Coll. Lib., Miss.
Kirkus Reviews
A cogent and insightful report by the education correspondent of The New York Times on the creative solutions that some of America's schools are bringing to the nation's education stalemate. Of the several surveys of American schools that have appeared in recent months, this is by far the most lucid and readable. Distilling the reasons for the deterioration of what was once a smoothly functioning system, Fiske says that, in essence, a 19th- century institution is trying to prepare people for life in the 21st century. Vision, leadership, and a total overhaul of the educational system—all are part of his solution. The author has visited school districts across the country in search of innovative programs that work. His list includes many of the usual suspects—mini-schools in New York City's District 4; school-based management in Dade County, Florida; the revamped Kentucky state school system; the organic approach of the Key School in Indianapolis—plus others not so well known. The experiments, with flaws and virtues, are presented through the very personal and often eloquent reports of students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Here also is a chapter on computers in the classroom that doesn't simply laud their potential, but is specific about what computers, used properly, can do to free both students and teachers to think and to ask questions. A book important for everyone from the "education President" to parents of preschoolers who are facing 12 years of difficult choices about their children's learning.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671792121
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 9/1/1992
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,417,507
  • Product dimensions: 0.68 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

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