Opinion
Education Commentary

New in Print

November 16, 2004 4 min read

EDUCATIONAL POLICY

The academic dean of New York City’s Leadership Academy, which recruits, trains, and places new school principals, shows how cultural analysis can inform policymaking. By analyzing transcripts from congressional floor debates and observations of nine urban elementary schools, she demonstrates how the culture of policy shapes educational practice. She examines Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as it plays out in both Congress and individual classrooms, showing how the underlying assumptions of policymakers and the bureaucratic measures of policymaking actually impede the work of school employees, hinder educational practice, and thwart the goals set forth in the legislation.

CITIZENSHIP

This collection of essays explores the varied experiences some European countries—the Netherlands, France, Germany, England and Wales, and Canada—have had with school choice, and then examines what U.S. policymakers, public officials, and citizens can learn from these.

Essays by writers from a wide range of political positions and theoretical backgrounds consider whether it is still true today, as it was in the past, that universal public education advances the common good and promotes democracy. Contributors include John I. Goodlad, Henry A. Giroux and Susan Searls Giroux, Denis P. Doyle, Robert J. Sternberg, and Daniel L. Duke.

Written by a syndicated columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer, this clarion call for parents, teachers, and other educators to work together to improve young people’s participation in democracy explores what the author calls “the hottest civic issue of our time.” A survey of both hopeful and discouraging social indicators is followed by specific suggestions for action.

An ambitious book that seeks to describe and explain the entire K-12 educational system, to identify educational change-agents, and to approximate their effect on the system. The author contemplates public education’s future over the next 25 years and suggests answers to some persistent educational problems.

REFERENCE

This compact reference guide to American history has been updated and expanded to include 200 new entries, such as the dot-com boom and bust, the impeachment of President Clinton, the events of 9/11, the Iraq war, and the war on terrorism.

This one-volume desk reference to important knowledge includes more than 45 categories, such as geography, history, law, literature, media, music, mythology, and others. An essay illuminates each category by providing historical information, discussions of leading figures in the field, and a glossary of terms relevant to the topic. This resource also features a writer’s guide to grammar, style, and usage; key historical documents, such as the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights; a biographical dictionary of important people from every field; and a crossword dictionary.

LEADERSHIP

A Boston College professor argues that educational leadership requires a moral commitment to high-quality learning for all students. Using foundational ethics, he provides a framework that school leaders can use to respond to moral challenges.

This practical guide is aimed at improving educators’ odds for receiving grant awards. Topics elucidated include: identifying needs; finding corporate, foundation, and government funders; handling paperwork; and writing proposals.

Explains the basic concepts of education finance, a subject often overlooked in school leadership programs, but one that administrators and other school leaders need to know, the author insists, to perform such routine tasks as reading budgets, administering program funds, and preparing reports. Various funding sources are listed, along with the rules that apply to the use of their funds.

Bridging the gap between theory and practice, a professor of educational leadership explores those aspects of the field that are most subjective and intangible.

Provides practical strategies, tools, and resources that school-based leaders can use to make their schools more responsive to diverse ethnic, linguistic, and religious student groups and subcultures, thereby enabling teachers to shape more inclusive and successful learning environments.

Written by an educator versed in the subject, this hands-on guide to establishing trust in schools looks at the importance of cultivating “high-quality relationships between teachers, students, and parents,” and shows how school leaders’ ability to build trust among these groups determines success or failure in that endeavor. Examined in the book are the actions of three principals of high-poverty urban elementary schools. Their handling of issues relating to trust are explored with an eye to what the author says are essential leadership attributes: benevolence, honesty, openness, reliability, and competancy.

A version of this article appeared in the November 17, 2004 edition of Education Week as New in Print

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