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Education Next, which has been around since February of 2001, has posted a piece in which they encourage people to vote on up to 3 books out of a list of 47 they consider the most significant education books of the past decade.

I have a certain prejudice, since I have once place or another reviewed 6 of the books, in each case because either the author or the publisher asked me to.

There are many notable books.  

As it happens one author sent the link to me, with good reason -   currently well-ahead in first place is Diane Ravitch, with The Death and Life of the Great American School System  -  as I post this she has 37.6%.   Currently in second is Linda Darling-Hammond, with The Flat World and Education at 11.2%.

In the bronze medal position is progressive educator Deborah Meier's In Schools We Trust with 5.6%.

You can see the list and cast your vote here

I encourage you to do so.


Originally posted to teacherken on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 05:55 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  and if you want to know my choices (13+ / 0-)

    I just voted, for three books by people I admire, who apparently have a lot of fans, since those three ladies are at the top of the current results.

    I remind people that Linda and Diane were two of the co-authors of the EPI policy brief about which I wrote yesterday.


    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 05:55:08 PM PDT

  •  if you vote, let us know (6+ / 0-)

    for whom, and perhaps why.

    I think the book by Ravitch may be the most important single book in terms of impact.

    The Darling-Hammond covers a number of issues very thoroughly.

    Deborah Meier is one of the great educators, and maintains a focus on things like democracy.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 06:07:44 PM PDT

  •  Does this include sociology of education? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LWelsch, Larsstephens

    If it does, I'd want to vote for David F. Labaree's "The Trouble With Ed Schools"...

    "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

    by Cassiodorus on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 06:14:13 PM PDT

  •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, LWelsch, Larsstephens

    for your never ending work.

    You are awesome.

    When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? Eleanor Roosevelt

    by IndyRobin on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 06:15:12 PM PDT

  •  Not all this decade, or even century, but... (6+ / 0-)

    Plato's Republic lets us know what's really at stake in the education system.

    Rousseau's Emile lets us know the importance of individual instruction and personal discovery of the truth.  Reinventing the wheel turns out to be not such a bad idea.

    Twice As Less deals with language issues in learning math, but I've only looked at reviews of it.

    Bryk, et al, Organizing Schools for Improvement, which I haven't finished, but which does introduce a useful distinction between poor (financially speaking) schools and ultra-poor schools.  The empowerment issues seem to be very different in the two.

    And on my shelf, as well, is Three Cups of Tea which though focused on nation-building in Afghanistan, also has much to say about how to get communities involved in loving their schools and not destroying them.

    Pride in education, a sense of the worthiness of the task, less anti-intellectualism -- these are good things to work for.

    •  Three Cups of Tea is an important book (5+ / 0-)

      in many ways. I am reading the YA version to my grandchildren and they completely understand the message of the importance of education.

      Somewhat off topic, but every time I read a diary re education I think of my grandson's school. It is in an upscale, waterfront community on Puget Sound in Wa. State. Yet, the building is in disrepair and needs a new roof.  Due to the staffing cuts in maintenance my daughter and her husband joined a volunteer work party this weekend to do necessary annual maintenance. More troublesome the budget allows for one piece of paper per child per day. Mandated tests are emailed to be printed at home. My daughter regularly prints several copies, so children who forget, or do not have computer access will have a copy. The class size increases every yr. The parents struggle to maintain a librarian position. Volunteer parental groups work all year to fund raise as they can to keep essential programs and supplies patched together.

      I lose patience with many of the theoretical discussions re education when my 9yr old grandson's basic education is so severely compromised. The big picture discussion needs to happen.....but money needs to get to schools NOW!

      I apologize for the off topic comment. Thinking of the work Greg Mortenson is doing  and of the needs in our local schools obviously hit a nerve. Thanks for reading.

      Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

      by princesspat on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 07:00:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WA State Constitution (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LWelsch, princesspat

        Specifically mentions "paramount duty" of Govt is to educate the children.
        Article IX

        SECTION 1 PREAMBLE. It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.

        SECTION 2 PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM. The legislature shall provide for a general and uniform system of public schools. The public school system shall include common schools, and such high schools, normal schools, and technical schools as may hereafter be established. But the entire revenue derived from the common school fund and the state tax for common schools shall be exclusively applied to the support of the common schools.

        I wonder how well the rest of the country is doing with school funding if it's not in their State Constitution?

        Perhaps a consensus in some quarters would be for the best education book to be "My Pet Goat?"

        PS- Sister and Brother-in-law are both in Education in underfunded system.

        "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul" -G.B. Shaw

        by daddybunny on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 10:38:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Worth noting: (4+ / 0-)

    Education Next views itself as part of the "reformers" -  and most of the books on the list tilt to the right educationally and/or politically.

    Which is why it is fascinating to see the top three at the time I voted.

    If more people will vote in a similar fashion, will that be the equivalent of "freeping" this poll?

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 06:32:21 PM PDT

  •  Interesting list... (4+ / 0-)

    ... I voted for Alfie Kohn's "The Homework Myth" (although I'm much more partial to Kohn's "The Schools Our Children Deserve" -- which doesn't make the cut as it was published in 1999) and Deborah Meier.

    I'm a bit disappointed not to see more cognitive learning-oriented titles on the list.

    "We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it." -- Willy Wonka

    by Huginn and Muninn on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 06:40:53 PM PDT

  •  I have not read anyone of them. Therefore, I (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, LWelsch, Larsstephens

    decline. Unfortunately, now, our right brethren have targets.

    "They pour syrup on shit and tell us it's hotcakes." Meteor Blades

    by JugOPunch on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 06:40:55 PM PDT

  •  I like (4+ / 0-)

    Teaching Children to Care.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 06:53:57 PM PDT

  •  for those suggesting other books (4+ / 0-)

    you are supposedly only choosing from their nominees -  no write-ins allowed.

    I can also think of books I wish were there.  They are not.  My votes were based on the choices before me.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 07:02:32 PM PDT

  •  tk, sent you an email to your listed address (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, LWelsch, Larsstephens

    about my great-grandfather and some interesting information I found out about him.  He was a physicist (PhD - 1890 - when the PhD was actually pretty rare), and a principal in Chicago.

    The rest is in the email.

    I am a restrictionist, and that is a progressive position.

    by numberzguy on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 07:27:39 PM PDT

  •  Sadly I have not read any of the books (0+ / 0-)

    I will though. Thanks for the list.

    In the words of CSNY "Teach you children well"

    I would also be interested in your opinion of "This Week" which focused on the "crisis in the class room." I was unimpressed.

    Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

    by LWelsch on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 12:00:42 AM PDT

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