Trapped in mediocrity : why our schools aren't world-class and what we can do about it
- Baird, Katherine, 1958-
- Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, c2012.
- Physical description
- x, 243 p. ; 24 cm.
LA217.2 .B33 2012
- Unknown LA217.2 .B33 2012
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- Preface Perspective of the Book How We Compare Measuring Student Outcomes Plan of the Book PART I: Setting the Stage Chapter 1: A Historical and Comparative Perspective on the United State's Educational System A Brief History of Educational Governance and Policy in America Comparison of Contemporary Education Policy in the United States with Other Countries Centralization Vocational Education Organization Chapter 2: Just How Low Are Our Educational Standards? What Do We Mean by Educational Standards? Educational Standards as Reflected in Stated Objective Educational Requirements and the Educational Environment How Hard is it To Succeed in School? Curriculum and Demands in the Classroom Expectations of Student Performance PART II: Why Low Standards Matter Chapter 3: The Consequences of Low Expectations on Student Effort Low Expectations Cause Low Effort Mixed Messages No One to the Rescue Curricular Tracks and Beliefs Chapter 4: Low Standards Compromise Higher Education's Mission College Preparation and the Growing Reliance on Remedial Classes College Standards Unrealistic Expectations: College Dropouts Chapter 5: Reduced Productivity and Increased Wage Disparities Wages and Wage Inequality National Income and Economic Growth Chapter 6: Low Standards Harm Those We Think Are Helped Educational Outputs Educational Inputs: Uneven School Quality Class and Curriculum Why and How Curriculum Matters Importance of Classes Information and Expectations Summing It Up PART III: Why Low Educational Standards Persist Chapter 7: The Tyranny of Too Many Voices or "Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth" Local Control and Educational Standards Local Control and Educational Standards: A Theory Local Control and Educational Standards: Practice Schools From An Organizational Perspective The Organization of Schools Poor Coordination and Inconsistency Plausible Deniability Symbolic Compliance Lack of Uniformity Chapter 8: Exit, Voice and the "Something for Everyone" Curriculum Why Rising Demand for a High Quality Education is Consistent with Low Expectations Private Schools Location as a Form of Exit Parental Pressure as a Form of Exit Exit Through Coursework Chapter 9: Soft America Meets Hard America: The Perceived High Costs and Low Benefits of High Expectations The High Cost of Failing to Meet Graduation Standards in the United States Higher Education and the Economics of Second Chances PART IV: The Way Forward Chapter 10: Getting From Here to There Reforming Our Governance Structure School Choice High Expectations Adequate Support for Meeting High Expectations Curriculum Teachers Schools, the Achievement Gap, and Funding Social Policy Stronger Student Incentives for Hard Work The K-12 Higher Education Gap Vocational Education Putting It All Together Epilogue References Index.
- (source: Nielsen Book Data)
- Publisher's Summary
- Our students aren't learning, we're falling behind other countries, and many of our college graduates are even functionally illiterate. We offer our kids a weak and poorly thought out curriculum; too many teachers do not make good use of classroom time and follow lesson plans that are superficial and repetitive; almost all state governments define "proficiency" at low levels of competency; and because kids with very uneven skills populate a classroom, teachers spend considerable time on review before introducing new material. This dismal picture is tempered by the fact that the hard work and dedication of countless teachers and administrators means that many students get an excellent education. But it doesn't temper it much. As a group, even our top students are not as strong as are those in a large majority of other rich countries. But it doesn't have to be this way. Katherine Baird, an economist, starts by clearly spelling out how our educational system is trapped in mediocrity. Yet, she doesn't just expose where we are. She identifies the steps to get out of the trap. We need to (1) dramatically reform our education's governance structure, (2) establish high expectations for all students, (3) provide adequate support to meet those expectations, and (4) introduce strong incentives for students to work hard in school so they do their part in meeting higher standards. Clearly, it isn't as simple as it sounds, but Baird carefully examines each factor that has led to the current state in education and then spells out how a combination of policies will weaken the forces that keep our schools mediocre and instead make them ones worth copying.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
- Publication date
- Katherine Baird.