Monday, January 7, 2013

New Book on St Louis School Reform Politics, by Peter Downs

Just out, December 2012: 

Schoolhouse Shams: Myths and Misinformation in School Reform, has just been published by Rowman & Littlefield Education 
by Peter Downs, former President, St Louis School Board

From the publisher's website:
"Written by a parent and school board member, who first embraced many of the ideas of the modern school reform movement, Schoolhouse Shams lays bare much of the mythology and misinformation that underpin many of the failed school reform policies of the last decade. Many of the top strategies of the highly publicized school reform movement already have been tried out in St. Louis with disastrous results. Along with demonstrating the failure of school reform prescriptions to improve education, the experience of St. Louis demonstrates that the ideological premise of the reform movement, that a focus on providing opportunities for private profit-taking will necessarily improve schools, is both wrong and conflicts with the ideals of democracy, accountability, and justice."

"Peter Downs has written a provocative, informative, and timely book about school reform in St. Louis. Its lessons apply to many cities undergoing similar reforms today." Diane Ravitch, research professor in education at New York University, Brown Chair in Education Policy at Brookings Institution, and author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.