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In this second phase of a National Institute of Education-sponsored project on child-development research and public policy, the editors focus on the direct and indirect effects of changes in parental employment on the social and educational development of preschool and school-age children. With special attention to the increase in maternal employment, the editors conclude that there is no existing evidence to suggest that children with working mothers are affected adversely. Instead, they argue, income, race, family structure, support groups, and special characteristics of the child are more important factors in the child's development. For policymakers, parents, and educators, the study also addresses extra-curricular activities, school-home relationships, and peer contact in children's development.


Free to Teach: Achieving Equity and Excellence in Schools, by Joe Nathan (Pilgrim Press, 132 West 31st St., New York, N.Y. 10001; 190 pages, $14.95).


Creativity, involvement, and commitment must be introduced into the public-school system, says the author of this book on achieving excellence in schools. More important than increased funding, he maintains, is expanded youth participation in projects such as peer counseling, day-care centers, and consumer-action groups, activities that give students a greater sense of value and that can be instituted at low cost. A public-school administrator, Mr. Nathan also examines tenure, seniority, links between schools and businesses, graduation requirements, and voucher programs. And he suggests a shift in school-finance procedures that would emphasize incentives for excellence.


The Troubled Crusade: American Education, 1945-1980, by Diane Ravitch (Basic Books Inc., Publishers, 10 East 53rd St., New York, N.Y. 10022; 397 pages, $19.95).


The current crisis in American education is rooted in the past 35 years of social, political, and economic change, maintains Ms. Ravitch in her examination of the forces that have shaped primary, secondary, and higher education since World War II. Beginning with the adoption of the G.I. Bill, the author traces the evolution of the "crusade against ignorance," covering such areas as progressive education, racial revolution, post-Sputnik reforms, the campus upheavals of the 1960's, open education, busing, bilingual education, affirmative action, and feminism. Ms. Ravitch is an education historian and a faculty member at Teacher's College, Columbia University.


What the Children Taught Me: The Experience of an Educator in the Public Schools, by Jack Greenstein (The University of Chicago Press, 5801 South Ellis Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60637; 263 pages, $15.)


Based on his 23 years as an educator in an urban Chicago elementary school, the author recounts his experiences with students and assures readers that the elementary school is not in worse condition than it was in the "good old days." Most children are educable, he also maintains, and good teachers do exist. A memoir with a personal flavor, the book covers such topics as juvenile delinquency, home-school relations, racism, testing, and busing.


Guides and Directories

Internationalizing Your School: A Handbook and Resource Guide for Teachers, Administrators, Parents and School Board Members, by Frank H. Rosengren, Marylee Crofts Wiley, and David S. Wiley (National Council on Foreign Language and International Studies, 605 Third Ave., 17th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10158; 77 pages, paper $7.50).


Today's high-school students are "woefully uninformed" about international affairs, assert the authors of this guide. International education and foreign-language training are essential components of a student's education, they maintain, and in this guide, they present for parents, teachers, and other educators, resources and model programs to attack global ignorance and improve international understanding.


What Did You Learn in School Today? A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Best Possible Education for Your Child, by Bruce Baron, Christine Baron, and Bonnie MacDonald (Warner Books, 666 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y., 10103; 298 pages, paper $7.95).


Parental involvement in a child's education has more influence on the youngster's success than the quality of the school's teachers, according to the authors of this guide. Advising parents to "get involved," they examine such topics as preparation in the preschool years, teacher-parent contacts, appropriate reading levels, improving writing skills, comprehending mathematics, coping with problems, and understanding the current issues in education.


Other Resources

Embers: Stories for a Changing World, edited by Ruth S. Meyers and Beryle Banfield (The Feminist Press, Box 334, Old Westbury, N.Y. 11568; 175 pages, paper $8.95; teacher's edition, 165 pages, paper $18.95).


Developed by the Council on Interracial Books for Children, this book is designed for use as a supplementary reading-comprehension tool in grades 4-6. In stories, poems, and art, through themes such as friendship, families, freedom, and belonging, the authors attempt to increase students' understanding of inequities based on sex, race, and disabilities. The teacher's edition allows teachers to explore issues of inequity with students. A project of the Women's Educational Equity Act Program of the U.S. Education Department.--Anne Bridgman

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