Education's Flashpoints: Upside Down or Set-Up to Fail (Hardback)
  • Education's Flashpoints: Upside Down or Set-Up to Fail (Hardback)

Education's Flashpoints: Upside Down or Set-Up to Fail (Hardback)

Hardback 268 Pages / Published: 05/12/2014
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The education system is dealing with a concerted effort at making it more accountable and transparent. Whereas measurement of a quality education used to focus on inputs such as money spent, the new measurement is focused on student outcomes such as learning success determined by large-scale standardized tests. This change in perspective assesses personnel and system performance using empirical data rather than perceptual information. Transparent access to data regarding student learning is uncomfortable to teachers' unions because it is difficult to explain away objective information. Their substantial success in reducing teacher workload and limiting management's activity is predicated on persuading the public that they are focused on students. In reality, teachers are their clients, and students are frequently disadvantaged as the unions pursue a "less work, more pay" objective. Many politicians are complicit in this pursuit because they are reticent to embrace reform when confronted by such a powerful special interest. When considering issues which pit student best interests with those of teachers, governments frequently side with teachers because they can vote whereas students cannot. Flashpoints emerge as data is introduced into the process for making decisions.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781475813166
Number of pages: 268
Weight: 517 g
Dimensions: 236 x 161 x 24 mm

The new measurement of today's educational system is focused on student outcomes. This book by Dueck, longtime educator, school administrator, and assistant deputy minister in Alberta, Canada, incorporates his decades of personal experience as well as current empirical research to conclusively enlighten policy makers, professors, school administrators, educational scholars and researchers, and graduate students of school administration on the number of ways the educational system is adversely impacted and prevented from meeting students' needs. The book successfully describes many flashpoints that are current in the world of education where students' best interests are hampered by teachers' self-interests. The author argues that unions and politicians are the key contributors to the problem. Topics discussed include the accountability movement, teacher tenure, prolonged summer vacations, class size, teacher pay, and many more. Each chapter ends with a review and conclusion of key points, and the book ends with 11 recommendations and initiatives for systemwide improvement to the educational system. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general readers. * CHOICE *
Dueck's latest book is as hard hitting as his first. It is an unusual book, combining empirical research with years of personal experience. It challenges conventional wisdom about education in a no-holds-barred pursuit of a vision for schools that serve students-all students. Those serious about comprehensive reform will find the book at once disturbing and motivational. It is bound to shock and upset, but in the end it is an optimistic book filled with creative solutions and sound advice for teachers, trustees, parents, and politicians. -- George Durance, PhD, president, Teach Beyond Inc.; president emeritus, Ambrose University College
Be ready to have your views and emotions concerning education race from clarity and understanding to fierce disagreement, as Dr. Jim Dueck courageously takes on all the sensitive issues in education. He unabashedly spares no one from his critique and shines a light on every dark crevice within our North American education systems. A MUST read for anyone passionate about our public education systems. -- Maria David-Evans, BSc., MBA, MA, RSW, former deputy minister of learning, Alberta; MBA instructor, University of Alberta, School of Business
In this timely and provocative book, Jim Dueck cuts through the edu-babble and shows how good teachers have nothing to fear from testing and accountability. Dueck has done all educators a great service by debunking the self-serving arguments of teachers' unions and reminding us what it really means to put students first. -- Michael Zwaagstra, Research Fellow, Frontier Centre for Public Policy: Co-Author of What's Wrong With Our Schools and How We Can Fix Them
Living in an upside down world where almost every norm has been challenged and the rest are being tested, we are once again looking for some semblance of continuity and ways to measure progress in our professions and institutions. Dr. Dueck has bravely ventured into sensitive territory and is voluntarily challenging what is quickly becoming a chaotic situation in the field of Education in North America. By all appearances it would seem that in general, things are at a somewhat critical stage and Jim has been invited to consult at the highest levels in the land where the issues he covers here are being thoughtfully discussed and considered. I congratulate Mr. Dueck for his courage and wisdom, coming from a life time career at all levels in the field of Education, to tackle this most vital segment of our society that will determine our tomorrows. -- James E. Janz, President Intercontinental Consultants Inc.; internationally recognized in the field of distribution technology

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