Essays, speeches and interviews also come from students, parents and government officials, providing a comprehensive guide...




A collection of writings about and against the educational model of standardized testing.

In the foreword, Diane Ravitch (Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools, 2013, etc.) discusses the policies that she helped shape, which would lead to the need for this book. In her position as a top-ranking official in the Department of Education, she channeled years of research into the creation of solutions to fix what was perceived as a substandard education system. Higher standards, measured by tests reflecting teacher success, were thought to be the way forward. As the standards were implemented, Ravitch’s research into the results pointed toward a different outcome—that the only things truly “fixed” by these new standards were, in fact, the parts that weren’t broken. As educators have spoken out about the failings of the approach, the criticisms have coalesced into a unified discontentment. In this collection, editor and history teacher Hagopian pulls material from a wide range of sources; his contribution stems from his role at Garfield High School, the site of the boycott of the Measures of Academic Progress testing in 2013. Other teachers from schools across the nation, with varying backgrounds (those backgrounds often provide the impetus for their essays), also share anecdotal stories, hard data and compelling arguments against a system that rewards teachers for narrowing their efforts toward achieving the all-important test score and punishes them for the outside-the-box thinking that was once considered essential for being able to reach the greatest number of students. Alfie Kohn provides the introduction, and other notable contributors include Alma Flor Ada, Phyllis Tashlik and Carol Burris.

Essays, speeches and interviews also come from students, parents and government officials, providing a comprehensive guide to the pitfalls of standardized testing, with arguments to win over even the most skeptical school reformer.

Pub Date: Dec. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1608463923

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Haymarket

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.


Comprehensive, myth-busting examination of the Colorado high-school massacre.

“We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened,” writes Cullen, a Denver-based journalist who has spent the past ten years investigating the 1999 attack. In fact, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conceived of their act not as a targeted school shooting but as an elaborate three-part act of terrorism. First, propane bombs planted in the cafeteria would erupt during lunchtime, indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds of students. The killers, positioned outside the school’s main entrance, would then mow down fleeing survivors. Finally, after the media and rescue workers had arrived, timed bombs in the killers’ cars would explode, wiping out hundreds more. It was only when the bombs in the cafeteria failed to detonate that the killers entered the high school with sawed-off shotguns blazing. Drawing on a wealth of journals, videotapes, police reports and personal interviews, Cullen sketches multifaceted portraits of the killers and the surviving community. He portrays Harris as a calculating, egocentric psychopath, someone who labeled his journal “The Book of God” and harbored fantasies of exterminating the entire human race. In contrast, Klebold was a suicidal depressive, prone to fits of rage and extreme self-loathing. Together they forged a combustible and unequal alliance, with Harris channeling Klebold’s frustration and anger into his sadistic plans. The unnerving narrative is too often undermined by the author’s distracting tendency to weave the killers’ expressions into his sentences—for example, “The boys were shooting off their pipe bombs by then, and, man, were those things badass.” Cullen is better at depicting the attack’s aftermath. Poignant sections devoted to the survivors probe the myriad ways that individuals cope with grief and struggle to interpret and make sense of tragedy.

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

Pub Date: April 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-54693-5

Page Count: 406

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet