Talk, talk, talk. There’s an awful lot of talk about public education in America today. Have you ever wondered if even half of it is true?
For example, have you ever wondered if our public schools are really failing or if they might actually be some of the best in the world? Have you ever wondered if “School Choice” was actually about giving someone else more options and reducing freedom for you and your children? Ever wondered about the relationship between standardized testing and Nazi eugenics? How about if teachers unions should be doing more to fight for students’ civil rights? And now that we’re talking about it, why do white people sometimes snicker at black names? And how can you protect your children from toxic testing? Why does Common Core still exist? What’s it mean to be racist in America today? And why do the rich need racists?
If so, then you’re cordially invited on a fantastic journey where few have gone before: into the mind of a public school teacher. Become a fly on the wall in our public school system. See what few non-professionals have seen before. It’s an eye-opening experience guaranteed to ruffle a few feathers, but you’ve been warned: this is the work of a gadfly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Finally! A book about public education by a public school teacher! Too often we only hear from the policy wonks, the think tank partisans and those in the standardized testing industry. How refreshing to get the inside story from someone who is actually there in the classroom and can speak first hand about what's really happening to our children in public school. I also think it's vitally important that someone connects the dots between the wider issues of racism and prejudice and the education policies handed down by both Republicans and Democrats in the past few decades. This is a book that deals with complex issues but puts it all in simple, direct language. I couldn't have said it better, myself. In fact, I did say it myself because I wrote the book. But I'm confident that you'll find much to chew over here. Highly recommended!
A Horror Story by Steven Singer Unlike a Steven King novel, this book is not a fantasy. It may be impossible to overstate the damage being done to America and its children by the greedy, the self-centered and the stupid. Many people were disheartened when Donald Trump became president and installed an evangelical who despises public schools as Secretary of Education. I really love Steven’s attitude. He says, “We lived through administrations that wanted to destroy us and actually knew how to do it! We can take Tiny Hands, the Bankruptcy King any day! This is a guy who couldn’t make a profit running casinos – a business where the house always wins! You expect us to cower in fear that he’s going to take away our schools. Son, we’ve fought better than you!” Unlike education journalism in commercial and non-profit media, teacher bloggers show more integrity. Their peers demand it, and billionaires are not supporting them. Teachers are providing unvarnished truths about the attack on public education. The Gadfly on the Wall is a compilation of three years of blogs calling out the perpetrators of attacks on public schools for their false narratives about failing public schools, their often-racist agendas, and their manipulation of data to justify charter schools, testing and vouchers. The Gadfly on the Wall is organized into five sections: Introduction; Racism and Prejudice; School Choice; Testing; and Teaching. I particularly recommend an article from School Choice, “Top 10 Reasons School Choice is No Choice.” The Brown versus the Board of education decision spurred “choice.” Singer describes the uncanny resemblance charter schools have to the mid-1950’s scheme hatched by then Georgia Governor, Herman Talmage. He said, “We can maintain separate schools regardless of the U.S. Supreme Court by reverting to a private system, subsidizing the child rather than the political subdivision.” Singer writes, “The bottom line is this – voters don’t want school choice. It does nothing to better children’s educations. It is a product of segregation and racism, and even in its modern guise it continues to foster segregation and racism.” Singer asserts, “By any fair measure, America’s public education system is simply stunning. But the media perpetuates the myth that we’re failing.” The article “Standardized Tests Have Always Been About Keeping People in Their Place” is an eye opener. Singer shares evidence showing that eugenics is the genesis of modern standardized testing. Princeton’s Carl Brigham was one of the original eugenicists creating intelligence tests which proved that white people possessed superior intelligence to non-whites. Singer states: “Brigham created a civilian test of intelligence that could be used to sort and rank students …. He called it the Scholastic Aptitude Test or S.A.T. “Yes, That SAT.” The bottom line is that Gadfly on the Wall is entertaining, informative and provocative. I posted an expanded book review on my blog: https://tultican.com/2017/12/23/a-horror-story-by-steven-singer-the-gadfly/