Bad Students, Not Bad Schools
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?
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The Academic Accomplishment Formula
Upping Human Capital and Boosting Motivation
The Liberal Alternative
No Pain, All Gain
The Race Taboo
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”
Immigrants and Bad Schools
When the Best Schools Are Not Good Enough
Unintended Consequences of Closing Bad Schools
3. Motivating Students
Assessing Motivation Boosting Nostrums
Expert Scientific Counsel
“Science” to the Rescue
Assessing the Science
Assessing Practical Advice
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
The Adding Resources Paradox
The Morality of Coerced Academic Achievement
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
Federal Government Help for the Gifted
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
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
7. Business-like Solutions to Academic Insufficiency
What Works in Innovative Businesses will Rescue Education?
Merit Pay Will Do It
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
Manufacturing Bogus Outcomes
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
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
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
Radical Militant Library 0.5.5
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