A story-driven explanation of the problems of high-stakes testing that will leave readers with hope for more effective...

POLITICS ASIDE

OUR CHILDREN AND THEIR TEACHERS IN SCORE-DRIVEN TIMES

An educator draws attention to the social and emotional factors of test-driven school reform.

Koplow (Bears, Bears, Everywhere, 2008) here focuses on the many personal tales that the education-reform movement often ignores. Much of her book consists of stories of individuals: a kindergartener who recently arrived in the United States and needs to adjust to a new culture as well as to a new school; a teacher whose first reaction to learning a student is dyslexic is to worry how it will affect test scores and performance evaluations; and a pair of neighbors who respond to their children’s classroom stresses in very different ways. The anecdotal narrative effectively shows the shortcomings of the modern elementary school classroom and the constraints that prevent teachers, students and parents from making substantive changes. Koplow backs up her vignettes with data, drawing on studies in child development and psychology to demonstrate how environments that are too rigorous, particularly in lower elementary school grades, often do harm to the learning process. An overemphasis on testing, she says, removes physical movement from the classroom, omits foundational concepts best learned through open-ended lessons, and places demands on teachers that prevent them from establishing emotional connections and trust-based relationships with students. Although Koplow doesn’t present a detailed road map for moving educational leadership away from this mindset, she does offer several examples of possible paths to success—specifically, elementary schools that have the organizational fortitude and community support to place student needs ahead of bureaucratic demands. Such schools, she says, deliver a solid education by both academic and holistic measurements.

A story-driven explanation of the problems of high-stakes testing that will leave readers with hope for more effective educational environments in the future.

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-1478729808

Page Count: 130

Publisher: Outskirts Press Inc.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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