"a sore loser"
"another member of the Flat Earth Society"
"a national treasure"
"a modern Don Quixote"
"a skeptic's joy!"
No matter what he's called, Gerald Bracey IS public schools' best defender. And in this book, he uses his considerable writing and research skills on their behalf. With authority, sensitivity, and a good sense of humor, he dismantles the negative PR our public education system has endured and does it with hardcore data, not phony "science."
Bracey delivers the statistics and skillful analysis needed to win the numbers game that plays out daily in the popular press. Drawing on data from a variety of reputable sources, he proves that public schools are doing much better than critics claim, some indicators even showing record highs. He takes on the testing movement in numerous chapters, offers data that provide different perspectives than usually seen, and reviews the history of public schools, showing how they have included more and more students while raising achievement levels, too. He questions the so-called "failing schools," discusses the phenomenon of "summer loss," provides international comparisons, and presents data to argue that investing in universal quality preschool pays off in the long run. He even attempts to enter the mind of the father of American public education, Horace Mann, to see what he might think about the "nuttiness of today's policies."
Bracey believes that our only hope to save the public school system is for teachers, teacher educators, and administrators to help speed up the needed perspective transformation. And they can begin to do it by reading this book and resuming their rightful position in educating students.