LAST CHANCE FOR OUR CHILDREN: How You Can Help Save Our Schools by Bill Honig

LAST CHANCE FOR OUR CHILDREN: How You Can Help Save Our Schools

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Old ways are the best ways, the author seems to be telling us in this diagnosis and prescription for change in our schools. Honig has been a lawyer, teacher, principal and State Superintendent of Public Instruction of California, so if you trust experience, he's your man. But, if like many others, you are skeptical of the educational bureaucrat, you may circle this adviser warily. His recommendations seem so eminently sensible, so obvious that one wonders how they can even be considered innovative. Ah, that's because we've forgotten that many of our schools do not teach the traditional Three R's in a sound, challenging and serious way. Everything has been watered down and debased. The kids are given a diet of silly electives which demand little and they turn out the ignoramuses of tomorrow. The author wants us to again demand performance, and he is practical enough to understand that curriculum, staff, parents and children must play a central role and must cooperate toward that goal. However, around these groups are the media, the universities and the political world, all of which have a great deal to say about what happens in our schools. Of course, though requiring substance in course work and mastery of a foreign language, for example, are laudatory, one wonders if Honig is playing the old reform con game. Every five to ten years we get some hyperactivity which produces a lot of reputations and rampant careerism in education, but little else of lasting import. One suspects that things are bad in our schools, but perhaps not as bad as some ""hectorers"" would have us believe. However, a nation like ours cannot indulge in Cookie Making 1, and other innocuous intellectual pursuits and not fail in its commitment to its youth and to the nation's future. Honig is a serious man who writes lucidly and one yearns to believe he has THE ANSWER.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Addison-Wesley