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Bad Students, Not Bad Schools

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Cover by : Robert Weissberg
    published :2010
subject :Nonfiction
keywords :Education, Race Realism, America
size : 126.9 KiB in cover
778.4 KiB in 1,253 paragraphs
~ 399 pages
66 downloads
added by : Shadilay (13 Mar 2017)
score : OffOffOffOffOffOffOffOffOffOff   0
 
 

Americans are increasingly alarmed over our nation's educational deficiencies. Though anxieties about schooling are unending, especially with public institutions, these problems are more complex than institutional failure. Expenditures for education have exploded, and far exceed inflation and the rising costs of health care, but academic achievement remains flat. Many students are unable to graduate from high school, let alone obtain a college degree. And if they do make it to college, they are often forced into remedial courses. Why, despite this fiscal extravagance, are educational disappointments so widespread?

In Bad Students, Not Bad Schools, Robert Weissberg argues that the answer is something everybody knows to be true but is afraid to say in public America's educational woes too often reflect the demographic mix of students. Schools today are filled with millions of youngsters, too many of whom struggle with the English language or simply have mediocre intellectual ability. Their lacklustre performances are probably impervious to the current reform prescriptions regardless of the remedy's ideological derivation. Making matters worse, retention of students in school is embraced as a philosophy even if it impedes the learning of other students. Weissberg argues that most of America's educational woes would vanish if indifferent, troublesome students were permitted to leave when they had absorbed as much as they could learn; they would quickly be replaced by learning-hungry students, including many new immigrants from other countries.

American education survives since we import highly intelligent, technically skilful foreigners just as we import oil, but this may not last forever. When educational establishments get serious about world-class mathematics and science, and permit serious students to learn, problems will dissolve. Rewarding the smartest, not spending fortunes in a futile quest to uplift the bottom, should become official policy. This book is a bracing reminder of the risks of political manipulation of education and argues that the measure of policy should be academic achievement.

 
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Colophon
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4128-0695-4
ISBN: 978-1-4128-1345-7
Contents
     Preface

   1. Introduction
     The Academic Accomplishment Formula
     Misallocating Resources
     Upping Human Capital and Boosting Motivation
     The Liberal Alternative
     No Pain, All Gain
     Underlying Pathologies
     Invisible Marxist-Lite
     The Race Taboo
     Sloppy Science
     Dishonesty
     What Is to Be Done?

   2. Bad Students, Not Bad Schools
     What Begets What?
     What are “Bad Schools”?
     The Wages of Anthropomorphizing “Bad Schools”
     Not all “Bad Schools” Are Bad, at Least for Their Customers
     Making “Bad Schools” Better Academically
     Kinder, Gentler “Bad Schools”
     Bad Students
     Natural Experiments
     Immigrants and Bad Schools
     When the Best Schools Are Not Good Enough
     Unintended Consequences of Closing Bad Schools
     Conclusions

   3. Motivating Students
     Formidable Obstacles
     Assessing Motivation Boosting Nostrums
     Expert Scientific Counsel
     “Science” to the Rescue
     Assessing the Science
     Practical Advice
     Assessing Practical Advice
     Japanese Schools
     Conclusions

   4. Closing the Racial Gap in Academic Achievement
     History of Failures
     The Magic of Racial Integration
     Today’s Educators and Politicians Can’t Learn, Either
     Bogus Solutions Make Matters Worse
     Lowering Standards to Hide Unwelcome News
     Old-Fashioned Data Cooking
     Trying Harder Only Makes It Worse
     Misallocating Resources
     The Adding Resources Paradox
     The Morality of Coerced Academic Achievement
     Conclusions

   5. The “War” on Academic Excellence
     The “War” on Gifted Education
     Finessing Genetics and Group Differences in Intellectual Ability
     Egalitarian Champions of Gifted Education
     Self-Esteem, Not Knowledge
     Guerilla Warfare against the Gifted
     Cutting Funds
     Federal Government Help for the Gifted
     Importing Brains
     Conclusions: Can the Infatuation with the Less Able Be Reversed?

   6. The Museum of Failed Educational Reforms
     A Quick Tour of the Museum of Educational Failures
     Progressive Nostrums
     The Addiction to Ineffectual Reform
     The Flight from an Awkward Reality
     Academy Concocted Remedies
     Out of Sight Means Out of Mind
     The Pernicious Role of Greater Government Funding
     The Vagueness of “Reform”
     Terminal Research Inconclusiveness
     Foundations and Educational Reform
     Does Foundation Money Help?
     Sexy Fantasies Often Disappoint
     Non-Obvious Agendas
     Conclusions

   7. Business-like Solutions to Academic Insufficiency
     What Works in Innovative Businesses will Rescue Education?
     Private Contracting
     Merit Pay Will Do It
     Edison Schools
     New York City’s Embrace of “Business-like” Solutions
     Adding Accountability to the Reform Menu
     Accountable for “Just Doing It”
     The Inappropriate Education Accountability and Business Parallel
     The Failed Application of Accountability to New York City Schools
     Cooking Books
     Manufacturing Bogus Outcomes
     Expensive Deviousness
     Does It Work?
     Repent: The End is Near

   8. The Alluring Choice Solution or Why Educating Students Is Not Manufacturing Cheap Flat Screen TVs
     Immense School Choice Already Exists
     Non-School Options
     The Friedman Solution
     Exaggerating the Power of Markets
     What Does Freedom of Choice Mean for Academic Performance?
     The Empirical Evidence
     Can the Educational Marketplace Perform?
     The Arizona Wild West
     A Future Educational Dystopia?
     A Conclusion: Free Market Education versus Liberal Indoctrination

   9. Reforming Education Is the New Great Society and Why Fixing Schools May Well Subvert the Social Peace
     The Education Social Welfare Colossus
     Some Statistical Snapshots
     The Financial Benefits of Educational Disasters
     Money into Toilets
     The Anti-Drop Out Employment Machine
     Defending the School’s Social Welfare Function
     Some Disturbing Implications

   10. Hope?
     The Academic Achievement Equation
     Correctly Measuring Our Alleged Failures: It May Be Better than It Seems
     Are We Using the Wrong Yardsticks?
     Truly Serious Obstacles to Reform
     A Modest Reform Proposal: Professionalism
     An Honest Political Platform

   Works Cited
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