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Two of the most respected voices in education and a team of young education scholars identify 50 myths and lies that threaten America's public schools With hard hitting information and a touch of comic relief Berliner Glass and their Associates separate fact from fiction in this comprehensive look at modern education reform They explain how the mythical failure of public education has been created and perpetuated in large part by political and economic interests that stand to gain from its destruction They also expose a rapidly expanding variety of organizations and media that intentionally misrepresent facts Many of these organizations suggest that their goal is unbiased service in the public interest when in fact they represent narrow political and financial interests Where appropriate the authors name the promoters of these deceptions and point out how they are served by encouraging false beliefsThis provocative book features short essays on important topics to provide every elected representative school administrator school board member teacher parent and concerned citizen with much food for thought as well as reliable knowledge from authoritative sources


10 thoughts on “50 Myths and Lies That Threaten Americas Public Schools

  1. says:

    This is a book every teacher and parent should ownand if nothing else should study the table of contents Berliner and Glass and associates makes me wonder how much Berliner really wrote organize the myths and lies we hear every day from critics and reformers and debunk them with research I have learned the hard way often research is frowned upon by people who've already made up their minds but I keep sharing anywaySeveral of the issues testing charters funding TFA vouchers resegregation of schools tax credits homework flunking based on test scores longer school days and years unions are discussed at length It's uote able and I've uoted I will keep this book close at hand as the next Legislative Session begins I'll be able to turn immediately to lots of issues and counter their silly arguments Will I change their minds? Probably not But they'll know I was there


  2. says:

    Berliner and Glass and their research assistants set this book to show many citizens conception of K12 public education in the United States is myth than reality While it does it admirably in parts some of the answers some myths are also incongruent with answers given for other myths The style and research support actually varies greatly between the various myths because of the large number of research assistants involved in the authorship Each individual myth is basically an article on topic running down history and research uickly and it is sourced However the sourcing is kind of bias and assertions made by researchers are often treated as conclusive to the research even if those assertions are arguments than data or really editorializing The panoply of standard controversies are in the book vouchers charter school homework STEM focused education PISA scores teacher pay etc Many of the individual issues covered are sound and many of the criticisms of I have seen leveled at this Berliner and Glass are conservative and stem from people anecdotal experience or fairly outdated views from Charles Murray and co Yet there are serious issues with many of the assertions in the book For example the book indicates that not all students can learn everything and be expected to have same results but then it denigrates both tracking and I tests I agree with many of its criticisms of I tests but the Flynn effect does indicate that peer groups do effect I and that people can learn beyond those limitations Still the careful reader will see my frustration and its not just on intelligence plasticity Berliner attacks PISA scores but it is crucial to several other myths in the book The strongest sections were Myths about College and Career Readiness which tackles hyperbole about STEM ualifications and the job placement including that in many STEM fields we are already over saturated almost as much as in the humanities etc This book however tackled no myths that are popular in Education schools but debunked outside of it learning styles while not mentioned is not dealt with and many psychological myths held by teachers aren't dealt with as well Special Education students being unsuccessful academically in general is not dealt with and this too is a common myth among teachers despite it being a plank of progressive education and the movement towards inclusion since the late 1990s This book pretty much solely aims itself at myths about education but not commonly held by educators In that the agenda is shown Myths about Teachers while often true reads like an NEA pamphlet which makes moderates and conservatives distrust the book Further some of the myths being debunked haven't even been dominant in the popular media for twenty years Ed Hirsch's background knowledge and minimal literacy gets unfairly attacked and attacked as if it is mentioned often currently


  3. says:

    A really interesting and concrete collection of short concise essays that demystify some crucial misconceptions of education I picked up this book because my pedagogy professor was reading it and recommended it to me I really appreciate the organization and appearance of the book you don't really know who wrote which section but each section stands on its own and there isn't a sense of repetition here except to call attention to other myths previously discussed There are at least two or three citations for each myth A lot of the citations nod back to the main author which could really go either way in terms of how it turns you but he seems highly ualified and we do need to publishThere are a lot of the topics you would expect; vouchers charter schools private and public schools testing merit pay etc There are also a lot of refreshing topics that connect to tax credits savings accounts portfolio management STEM science technology engineering and mathematics limitations of learning poverty and euality The sections about finances and euality really made my blood boilOne thing I really appreciate is how the authors focus on America's fixation on competition and being the best With globalization comes competition or so it seems and it really seemed to heat up after WWIICold War I also like that the authors go into the purpose of education particularly while looking into claims that state funded education should stop at the 6th or 8th grade Not their claims obviously and the idea of education serving as job trainingObviously people who are engaged in teaching and administration should read it and I think they will But I think the book also exceeds this audience and it should It's well written in addition to being scholarly but this book takes the research out of the academic journals and into language for everyone Voters need to read this when politicians make claims about how education isn't working I read this book pretty soon after the CA court ruled against teacher's unions and tenure The authors get into this topic very minimally but I'd be interested to see how they would react I'm not a K 12 educator but I certainly know enough of them


  4. says:

    This is a book written by two senior faculty at the Arizona State University School of Education and their associates PhD students The profs get about 10 myths each and their stable of doc students handle the rest As such this is a book with close to 30 authors and as a result it's a very inconsistent reading experience The essays vary wildly in uality; the best are chiefly in the general myths and myths about college and career readiness sections while the worst are undeniably the exclamation point and enthusiastically bias laden myths about teachers which read like the talking points of an NEA publication than they do objective research There are also a few examples of simply awful scholarship eg an essay trying to make a point about the modern educational system by using an article written in the 1970's as its primary source; or essays that directly contradict each other eg one of Berliner's early essays argues that PISA scores are bunk but one of his students later cites them directly as evidence in his argument; which one is it? Finally there are instances where it seems as though the profs are just pushing their own opinions rather than citing balanced fact such as Berliner's far too short and inadeuately cited article about group work Overall I thought some of this information was relatively useful scholarship especially when it talks about corporate disinformation campaigns to change public education for the sake of making money eg hyperbole about international competitiveness and STEM graduates However it also overall demonstrates the low uality of research that comes out of schools of education; I couldn't help regularly thinking back to Labaree's critiues of ed schools as I read this The authors' decision to avoid citing all of their sources is also odd and seems suspicious as though they're hiding something While the solid essays paint a good picture of the 21st century American educational system that anyone with children or who works in education should know about this is still very much a book that I can't take seriously past a certain point


  5. says:

    To start I will say that I dislike the title very much Myths and Lies Come on On the other hand the authors are on to something There is often a sense that privatization is inherently superior to public provision of goods and services In the central Pennsylvania area we get results of report cards on schools Public schools aren't rated terribly high overall but charter schools are even worse Yet one claim is that what we need is charters The reality is We need good schools whether public or privateThis book lists 50 myths and lies about public schools in the U S Then the authors examine available evidence about eachLet's look at some examples Charter schools are better than traditional public schools The authors look at a variety of research sources and suggest that the evidence is mixed School choice and competition work to improve all schools The authors argue that the evidence does not fully support this Indeed I presented a paper at a professional conference once and observed that whether or not privatization worked depended on one statistical assumption If you assume one approach choice improves student performance; if one accepts another assumption choice schools have no impact Teachers are the most important influence on school success The authors answer in the negative Indeed if one looks at actual research most of the success of students is based on their family socioeconomic status their ethnic background and students' previous performance There is not a lot of variation left over for teachers class size methods of teaching parental involvement in schools and so onI do not like the title uestions are answered in a somewhat dismissive way But the book is provocative and raises wrthwhile uestions to think about


  6. says:

    Most of these are arguments that I have read before but it was good to read this so I would be familiar with the chapters for assisting students who do education topics for their research papers As with Berliner and Biddle's earlier work it all boils down to the fact that the complexities of teaching and education just make it difficult to make any types of comparisons whether it is by country state district school or classroom One is hardly ever comparing apples to apples While I feel that this book sometimes distorts data and reports to their own purpose at times just as do the reports they criticize at least it should make people uestion whether or not the corporate influences on education are about students or money I especially was intrigued by the longest chapter in the book which had to do with the scarcity or not of STEM ready candidates Whether you agree with the positions or not this is a good book to start difficult and complex conversations about educational policies and people should be uestioning the soundbytes that are served up by groups that claim to be supporting education but just might be supporting their own interests instead


  7. says:

    Superb bookMost of the arguments and research are familiar to me Berliner and Glass and a host of researchers concisely summarize key myths hoaxes and outright lies that are shaping the national discourse on education right nowThe big advantage of this book is that the table of contents gives the reader a uick index of false political and media narratives a brief synopsis of who's saying what and a carefully selected and short list of solid and relevant research to buttress their refutations Want to know what research says about why we're behind other nations in academic achievement? Charter schools? Merit pay? It's all here in a handy easy to use form and written in non scholarly languageYes it's all been said before But the format is great


  8. says:

    This book is horrible; the authors mock anyone who disagrees with their obvious agenda all the while claiming that everyone ELSE is in the wrong for doing so They call into uestion statistics that disagree with their obviously preformed conclusions but then essentially tell the reader to trust without uestion the statistics that they provide that support their agenda Very agenda driven very poor interpretation of facts very dishonest approach I'd give it less than a 1 star rating but Goodreads does not have a 1000 star rating


  9. says:

    Calls BS on so many educational thoughts the public believes because of politicians parents and other uninformed people Educators should read this to be better informed


  10. says:

    at least it was technically sourced not to a scientific standard but sort of sourced I might try to read it again a while in the future