In this blistering critique of our failing public schools and our fuzzy thinking about how to fix them, Myron Lieberman explains why public education is in irreversible and terminal decline and tells us what we must do to get American schooling back on track. No other book on educational policy or reform covers such a broad range of issues or draws upon such extensive empirical data across such diverse academic disciplines. This is a refreshingly clear analysis of our educational crisis and a rallying cry for market-system approaches to school reform. Nobody emerges unscathed—Lieberman’s analysis challenges the advocates of choice as well as the defenders of the public schools.
The most comprehensive account yet of how the public schools are failing us and why. It is exhaustive in its detail, brutally honest—and politically incorrect. Everyone who cares about American education should read it. No one who does will ever look at the public schools in quite the same way again. Myron Lieberman has spent his adult life working in and around schools, studying them with care and intensity, and producing a steady stream of books and articles that challenge conventional wisdom and the powers that protect it… [Public Education] deserves to be hailed as a landmark event in our nation’s struggle for better schools—and it couldn’t come at a better time.
The public policy book of the year… [Lieberman] scrupulously, thoughtfully, and rigorously advances his position by examining trends that will erode public education even further in the near future… He [also] sets out an agenda for launching for-profit schooling, discusses obstacles that lie in its way and a strategy for overcoming them.
This book both delighted and astonished me… In recent years there have been much-celebrated books on American education. None are as good as this one… Lieberman knows the literature, knows schools, knows teachers, administrators and their unions, and understands monopolies and markets. The book is thus not only a wonderful exploration of the educational hole we’re in, but a primer on the efficacy of markets as well.
This is the book that professional educators will love to hate. More important, I believe it will be a book that policy makers will read widely.
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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