SUBB: Books: Nre Print
Ability Testing: Uses, Consequences, and Controversies, Part I: Report of the Committee, edited by Alexandra K. Wigdor and Wendell R. Garner (National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418; 252 pages, paper $13.95).
The members of the Committee on Ability Testing of the National Research Council attempt to present a broad, unbiased examination of the role of testing in the U.S. Their study provides an introduction to the concepts, methods, and terminology of ability testing; a brief history of testing in this country; and an examination of the fundamental educational and public policy questions presented by widespread use of standardized tests. Designed for teachers, administrators, and other educators, the book offers advice on the appropriate use and interpretation of test results and recommends how tests might be used to preserve appropriate social, institutional, and individual goals.
Financing Education: Overcoming Inefficiency and Inequity, edited by Walter W. McMahon and Terry G. Geske (The University of Illinois Press, Box 5801, Station A, Champaign, Ill. 61820; 367 pages, cloth $18.95, paper $8.95).
Sixteen economists, including Nobel Prize winner Theodore W. Schultz, present their views on how government officials and educators should think about "social inefficiency" and "inequity" in the financing of all levels of American education. Part I addresses the major aspects of social efficiency. Part II presents the philosophical, legal, and school-finance concepts of equity. Part III addresses questions of policy and the emerging prospects for combining efficiency and equity. Theoretical and technical in tone, the book is aimed at administrators, policymakers, and government officials interested in equity in a time of retrenchment.
The Politics of Vocational Education: 1983 Yearbook of the American Vocational Association, edited by Ruth A. Sievers (The American Vocational Association Inc., 2020 North 14th St., Arlington, Va. 22201; 296 pages, cloth $20, paper $12).
Vocational educators are exhorted to become politically active in this "how-to" guide. The volume includes essays by 31 contributors on various strategies for political action at the local, state, and federal levels. Following a brief overview of past political activities of vocational educators, the authors, who are professionals in the field, examine such topics as what can be learned from studies of power and change, how to assess the influence of economics on vocational education, and how to prepare for political involvement (building coalitions, offering testimony, developing advocates). The book also highlights case studies of actual political actions at various levels of government and includes recommendations by politicians on how vocational educators can become more politically effective. Also includes a glossary of legislative terms and a guide to effective letter-writing campaigns.
Guides and Directories
Supervision of Teachers: A Guide to Improving Instruction, by Isobel L. Pfeiffer and Jane B. Dunlap (Oryx Press, 2214 N. Central at Encanto, Phoenix, Ariz. 85004; 240 pages, cloth $22.50).
Designed for those who oversee teachers and help them with classroom techniques, this book focuses on strategies for improving instruction, including related examples and research. Topics covered include microteaching, staff development, clinical supervision, and conferences. In addition, the authors argue that supervisors can help teachers improve by showing them how to gain better organizational skills, to strengthen their leadership abilities, to better manage stress and conflict, and to communicate more effectively. Ms. Pfeiffer teaches in the school of education at West Georgia College; Ms. Dunlap teaches in the college of communications at the University of Tennessee.
Teaching About Race Relations, by Lawrence Stenhouse, Gajendra K. Verma, Robert D. Wild, and Jon Nixon (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 9 Park St., Boston, Mass. 02108; 319 pages, cloth $26).
For teachers who teach about race relations and are interested in achieving a better understanding of the concept of a "multicultural" society, this book examines the attributes of three different methods of instruction. Based on two research projects carried out in England, the ideas, the authors say, are equally applicable to U.S. schools.
Early Alert: The Impact of Federal Education Cutbacks on the States, by Ian McNett et. al. (The Institute for Educational Leadership, 1001 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 310, Washington, D.C. 20036, 63 pages, paper $6.95).
Five contributors examine the impact of federal and state cuts in 1982 education budgets and focus in detail on the effects of retrenchment on five state governments (Mass., Neb., Tex., Wash., and Wis.) during the 1982-83 school year. Designed to be a "warning system" rather than a comprehensive study, the book attempts to provide policymakers in education with guidance on how to do more with less.
Profile: The Role of the Chief Superintendent of Schools, by John F. Feilders (Pitman Learning Inc., 6 Davis Dr., Belmont, Calif. 94002; 120 pages, paper $6.95).
The author, who is a management consultant, spent every working day for three months with Chief Superintendent Robert F. Alioto of the San Francisco Unified School District. His account traces the daily activities of that "typical" high-level administrator and attempts to answer such questions as: What is the superintendent's relationship to the school board, parents, and media? What are the limitations of a superintendent's powers? What impact does a superintendent have on the quality of education in the schools? Mr. Feilders's primary audience appears to be administrators and interested laymen.Anne Bridgman