Review of Letters To The Next President: What We Can Do About The Real Crisis In Public Education
Letters To The Next President: What We Can
Do About The Real Crisis In Public Education
Edited by Carl Glickman. Foreword by Bill Cosby
Published by Teachers College Press: New York, 2007 (278 pp)
The Presidential candidates have plenty on their plates to consider, as they head into an intense season of debates and primaries.
Here’s another homework assignment for them: a collection of essays by noted educators, community and business leaders, students, parents and public officials that address various, and compelling, issues in education today.
Originally published in the spring of 2004, editor Carl Glickman laments the need for yet another edition in preparation for the upcoming 2008 presidential election. The earlier edition predicted that the No Child Left Behind law would, despite its lofty and well-meant intentions, make things worse. The relentless focus on narrow testing and obsession with score results, has in fact led to a diminishment of variety and excitement in classrooms across the country. For students at risk, whether because they struggle with English skills or come from economically disadvantaged communities, the situation has been particularly damaging.
The book includes such educational luminaries as Teachers College’s own Linda Darling-Hammond, who writes about “Schools that Work for All Children,” Maxine Greene, on “Learning to Come Alive”; and Thomas Sobol, a former Scarsdale public schools superintendent and former New York State Commissioner of Education, who contributes an essay on “A President Who ‘Gets’ It.” There are also essays, prescriptive and polemical, about the achievement gap, educational inequities, funding, and accountability issues, among others.
One would hope that at least some of the candidates would tuck this into their briefing cases to contemplate during the lengthy campaign season ahead.#