In 1953, Arthur Bestor summarized these critics' stances on a rigorous, appropriate teacher education program: “A ... is no longer necessary” lies not to consider the poster organization for this deceptive note: Teach for America (TFA).
Author: Paul C. Gorski
The Big Lies of School Reform provides a critical interruption to the ongoing policy conversations taking place around public education in the United States today. By analyzing the discourse employed by politicians, lobbyists, think tanks, and special interest groups, the authors uncover the hidden assumptions that often underlie popular statements about school reform, and demonstrate how misinformation or half-truths have been used to reshape public education in ways that serve the interests of private enterprise. Through a thoughtful series of essays that each identify one “lie“ about popular school reform initiatives, the authors of this collection reveal the concrete impacts of these falsehoods—from directing funding to shaping curricula to defining student achievement. Luminary contributors including Deborah Meier, Jeannie Oakes, Gloria Ladson-Billings, and Jim Cummins explain how reform movements affect teachers and administrators, and how widely-accepted mistruths can hinder genuine efforts to keep public education equitable, effective, and above all, truly public. Topics covered include common core standards, tracking, alternative paths to licensure, and the disempowerment of teachers’ unions. Beyond critically examining the popular rhetoric, the contributors offer visions for improving educational access, opportunity, and outcomes for all students and educators, and for protecting public education as a common good.