Synopsis (from amazon)
Teaching is a wildly contentious profession in America, one attacked and admired in equal measure. In The Teacher Wars, a rich, lively, and unprecedented history of public school teaching, Dana Goldstein reveals that teachers have been similarly embattled for nearly two centuries. From the genteel founding of the common schools movement in the nineteenth century to the violent inner-city teacher strikes of the 1960s and ’70s, from the dispatching of Northeastern women to frontier schoolhouses to the founding of Teach for America on the Princeton University campus in 1989, Goldstein shows that the same issues have continued to bedevil us: Who should teach? What should be taught? Who should be held accountable for how our children learn?
She uncovers the surprising roots of hot button issues, from teacher tenure to charter schools, and finds that recent popular ideas to improve schools—instituting merit pay, evaluating teachers by student test scores, ranking and firing veteran teachers, and recruiting “elite” graduates to teach—are all approaches that have been tried in the past without producing widespread change. And she also discovers an emerging effort that stands a real chance of transforming our schools for the better: drawing on the best practices of the three million public school teachers we already have in order to improve learning throughout our nation’s classrooms.
I wanted to like this book, I really did. In a way I was enjoying it, I did find it interesting. However I also found it difficult to connect with because I have no experience of the American education system. I began to find things a little repetitive, and I found myself reading it less and less (although to be honest I’ve been finding that a lot recently with my kindle reads). I’ve read about three other kindle books since I last looked at The Teacher Wars, I had intended to finish, but I don’t think that’s really going to happen.
I do think if you have an interest or knowledge of the American education system you will find it interesting, and it is a fairly easy read for a none-fiction book