Published Online: January 11, 2005
Published in Print: January 12, 2005, as New in Print

Book Review

New in Print

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

Bullying, Hazing, & School Violence

Bullying and Harassment: A Legal Guide for Educators

by Kathleen Conn (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1703 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria, VA 22311; 218 pp., $28.95 paperback).

A lawyer and educator explains the basic legal principles school personnel must know to recognize and address school bullying and harassment. The book includes a discussion of the ways educators can distinguish between bullying and teasing, as well as legal definitions of harassment based on gender, race, religion, and disability. Topics such as civil rights, free speech, student threats, and Internet-enabled bullying are explored.

Hazing in High Schools: Causes and Consequences

by Kevin L. Guynn and Frank D. Aquila (Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, PO Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47401; 75 pp., $13.95 paperback).

A primer for educators on the practice of hazing in high schools that provides both a history of hazing and a summary of the related legal issues. The book poses three important questions: What are the causes of hazing? What are its consequences? And how can hazing be eliminated?

Issues in School Violence Research

ed. by Michael J. Furlong, Gale M. Morrison, Dewey G. Cornell, and Russell Skiba (The Haworth Press, 10 Alice St., Binghamton, NY 13904; 177 pp., $24.95 paperback).

The editors and contributors to this collection aim to advance the study of school violence and safety by questioning research methodologies in the field. The lead article, for instance, demonstrates the uncertain validity of such methods as student self-reports and student risk-behavior surveys.

School Violence, the Media, and Criminal Justice Responses

by Kimberly A. McCabe and Gregory M. Martin (Peter Lang Publishing, 275 7th Ave., 28th Floor, New York, NY 10001; 132 pp., $19.95 paperback).

This book provides a basic foundation for the study of school violence, with explanations of the various kinds of violent acts perpetrated on school grounds and compilations of the related statistics. The authors emphasize the atypical nature of the Columbine High School shootings in 1999 and assess the media’s role in influencing public perceptions of this issue. They also identify and evaluate recent responses by the criminal-justice system to school violence.

Children & Consumer Culture

Raising Consumers: Children and the American Mass Market in the Early Twentieth Century

by Lisa Jacobson (Columbia University Press, 61 W. 62nd St., New York, NY 10023; 320 pp., $35 hardback).

American children became socialized as consumers between 1890 and 1940, according to the author of this exploration of the phenomenon’s impact. During that 50-year period, she writes, a “distinctive children’s consumer culture” emerged. Her book details the social, economic, and cultural shifts that created and then influenced the child consumer. It includes a lengthy discussion of school bank programs, school savings accounts, and the thrift education movement.


Dropouts in America: Confronting the Graduation Rate Crisis

ed. by Gary Orfield (Harvard Education Press, 8 Storey St., Cambridge, MA 02138; 320 pp., $29.95 paperback).

A collection of essays designed to raise public awareness about the increasing number of students, mostly poor and minority, who drop out of school and the negative impact the phenomenon has on individuals, communities, and the nation’s economic health. The volume also seeks to explain why the graduation-rate crisis is an issue of civil rights. Its emphasis, however, is on making improvements in high school graduation rates a key focus of education reform. Contributors include Lisa Abrams and Walt Haney, Robert Balfanz and Nettie Legters, Mark Dynarski, Daniel J. Losen, Russell W. Rumberger, and Christopher B. Swanson.

‘Dropping Out,’ Drifting Off, Being Excluded: Becoming Somebody Without School

by John Smyth and Robert Hattam (Peter Lang Publishing, 275 7th Ave., 28th Floor, New York, NY 10001; 240 pp., $29.95 paperback).

Although based on an Australian study, the Students Completing Schooling Project, this book will strike a chord with American educators and policymakers concerned with the growing number of dropouts here. Of special interest is the authors’ technique of presenting student “portraits”—passages capturing the voice of the “early school leaver.” Their inclusion gives weight to the book’s contention that too often students’ voices go unheeded and unheard in the rush to administer high-stakes tests and implement accountability measures.

Education Reform

Do What Works: How Proven Practices Can Improve America’s Public Schools

by Tom Luce and Lee Thompson (Ascent Education Press, 5950 Sherry Lane, Suite 550, Dallas, TX 75225; 229 pp., $22.95 hardback).

A handbook giving educators knowledge and tools they can use to assure that all students become academically proficient. It demonstrates how school achievement data can be used to bring about educational improvement: by studying performance data to ascertain students’ academic strengths and weaknesses, by locating high-performing schools that have overcome comparable problems, and by determining these schools’ best practices and replicating them in schools found to be in need of improvement. Purchasing information can be found at

Dos & Don’ts of Education Reform: Toward a Radical Remedy for Educational Failure

by Anthony M. Roselli (Peter Lang Publishing, 275 7th Ave., 28th Floor, New York, NY 10001; 176 pp., $29.95 paperback).

In the first section of this three-part book, the author provides a meta-analysis of legislated school reform across 50 states, with a focus on Massachusetts. He laments the ongoing failure of reform, which he attributes to its emphasis on high-stakes testing and other accountability measures. Part II is an examination of the author’s “key elements of schooling”: curriculum, instruction, and assessment. In Part III he calls for a process of reinvention—“a return to sound ideas that have been forgotten or abandoned.”

Expanding the Reach of Education Reforms: Perspectives From Leaders in the Scale-Up of Educational Interventions

by Thomas K. Glennan Jr., Susan J. Bodilly, Jolene R. Galegher, and Kerri A. Kerr (RAND Education, 1776 Main St., PO Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407; 746 pp., $40 paperback).

This collection of articles by education developers analyzes interventions that have been successfully “scaled up”—school reforms that have been effective not only in individual classrooms and schools, but also more widely in multiple schools or districts.

Permission to Forget: And Nine Other Root Causes of America’s Frustration With Education

by Lee Jenkins (ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203; 176 pp., $30 paperback).

A look at 10 problems deeply ingrained in American education, problems that, according to the author, are “not on the surface, but are buried in the unconscious operations of daily school life.” These problems make up what he sees as the built-in dilemmas today’s educators inherit, and they are the targets of solutions he offers aimed at their removal.

School Governance

Who’s in Charge Here? The Tangled Web of School Governance and Policy

ed. by Noel Epstein (co-published by Brookings Institution Press, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20036; and the Education Commission of the States, 700 Broadway, #1200, Denver, CO 80203; 303 pp., $32.95 hardback).

This collection, edited by a former Washington Post education editor, seeks to clarify who is, and who should be, responsible for educating America’s schoolchildren. Written with the view that the trend in school governance is leading to an ever-growing gap between education policymakers and those responsible for outcomes, the book’s essays by prominent education writers, researchers, and scholars analyze important issues of this debate. They include the role of the Constitution, the pros and cons of increasing federal control, and the impact of school choice. Contributors include Larry Cuban, Linda Darling-Hammond, Susan H. Fuhrman, Paul T. Hill, and Henry M. Levin.

School Uniforms

The School Uniform Movement and What It Tells Us About American Education: A Symbolic Crusade

by David L. Brunsma (ScarecrowEducation, 4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706; 302 pp., $39.95 paperback).

A sociologist who is a longtime researcher of school uniform policies gives a comprehensive history of the movement toward school uniforms and offers a critical evaluation of the literature addressing the topic. His aim is to explore what the school uniform debate reveals about American education and school reform.

In The Trouble With Ed Schools (Yale University Press, PO Box 209040, New Haven, CT 06520; 256 pp., $35 hardback), Stanford University professor David F. Labaree tracks the historical development of America’s schools of education and examines current reasons for their poor reputation and low status among academics, policymakers, the public, and such schools’ own leaders. In this passage, he sheds light on some of the complexities of teaching that make it difficult to know how or what to teach novices:

"A troubling fact about teaching is that there is no established set of professional practices that have been proven to work independent of the particular actors involved and the particular time and place of the action. The technology of teaching is anything but certain, and teachers must learn to live with chronic uncertainty as an essential component of their professional practice. One reason for this is that teachers have to operate under … daunting conditions … conditions that introduce unpredictable elements of will and emotion into the heart of the teaching and learning process. Teachers can only succeed if students agree to cooperate; cooperation is problematic because students are thrust into the learning situation involuntarily; a key factor in enlisting cooperation is the teacher’s ability to establish an emotional relationship with students and harness it for curricular ends; and all of this has to be worked out under conditions of immersion with students and isolation from professional peers.

“Even if we focus on the more predictable factors shaping teaching and learning, however, teaching remains an uncertain enterprise for a second reason: its irreducible complexity. What we know about teaching is always contingent on a vast array of intervening variables that mediate between a teacher’s action and a student’s response. As a result, there is always a ceteris paribus clause hovering over any instructional prescription: This works better than that, if everything else is equal. In other words, it all depends."

Vol. 24, Issue 18, Page 32

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories