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The War Against America's Public Schools: Privatizing Schools, Commercializing Education Paperback – September 22, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0321080738 ISBN-10: 0321080734 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (September 22, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321080734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321080738
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Susan Ohanian on February 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Three cheers for Gerald Bracey. The eminent researcher for Phi Delta Kappan has done it again. Bracey has strong opinions about public education, and he documents every one of them with facts and figures. At the same time, he exposes the ulterior motives and agendas of public education's strongest critics. Best of all, Bracey writes in English, providing an enjoyable read on an important topic. If you care about our schools, read this book.
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful By "jtjimbob" on July 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
At the outset, let me state that my comments are based ONLY on reviewing the section of the book on Charter Schools. I've also read the book by Berliner and Biddle (1995) and found both to be engaging. I do plan to purchase the Bracey book and read it thoroughly.
I hold a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and work in the field of assessment and psychometrics. I have published research and conduct evaluation studies as part of my job, therefore I believe that I can comment with an objective stance.
My title for this review stems from reading a review by Dr. Knox from Albuquerque and being surprised at his negativity. In my opinion, Dr. Bracey's reputation as a researcher for Phi Delta Kappan and his publication record stand for themselves, but his plain writing is another benefit for educating the public.
The salient point for me in Bracey's book is his analysis of the charter school movement in Ohio. In particular I was struck by his observations on David Brennan, an individual heavily and proudly involved in educational management organizations (White Hat Management refers both to his company and to his trademark stetson). Dave was involved in the Cleveland school voucher program, but Bracey points out that he swiftly migrated to the charter schools. Bracey's interpretation is that Dave did so because the financial gain was much more lucrative in charter schools.
If one looks at the "evidence" for charter schools collected by the Legislative Office for Educational Oversight (LOEO) and summarized in three yearly reports, an objective reader would not find much to hang his Stetson on (pun intended).
I would also refer readers of this review to a recent story by Jacques Steinberg and Diana B. Henriques in the New York Times education section.
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18 of 27 people found the following review helpful By elaine garan on February 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Gerald Bracey is brilliant in his incisive documentation of the war on America's schools. Bracey makes it clear that the motives underlying the debasing of the education system are crassly political and shamefully commercial.
Every educator in this country should read this book with an open mind. A golden apple to Gerald Bracey!
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23 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Douglas R. Knox, Ph.D. on November 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
A less biased title would be The War Against American Educational Reformers and Critics. Bracey starts with an ad hominem attack against conservative persons and organizations, particularly those engaged in business for profit. The attack expands to include other educational systems compared to the relatively bureaucratically organized indentured apprenticeship training system called public schools.
As an apologists for our public schools, Bracey does admit that problems exists. He rejects the possibility that competition, which works very well in higher education, could work in public schools, much less that non-educational union members (that is, those not public school educators, faculty of schools of education, or their controlling bodies like state departments of education) could bring about positive change.
The tone and text, when deconstructed, determine the point of view of the author in terms of his political perspective: apparent socialist advocate for an expanding system of relative and increasing problems. Even more disturbing than attacking those who offer alternatives to our troubled educational system is the nearly pervasive penetration of this attitude and its presentation to preservice education students as fact, not opinion. Bracey may well be part of the problem; he does not appear to be part of a meaningful solution.
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9 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
There is an old joke about Phi Beta Kappa. That those who still take the society seriously past 25 are likely to have had to work hard for every A. You actually don't have to be very smart or insightful to make it to the top 10 percent of your undergrad class or get into Phi Beta Kappa. However, these talents come to their own when one is faced with complex issues like vouchers.
Mr Bracey, it seems, worked very hard for his grades. It shows in this book. If you read this, you should also read the very different conclusions on these issues eminating from public policy think tanks like Stanford's Hoover Institute, the Brookings Institute and the Rand Corporation among others. They all have publications and very good web sites dealing with these issues. There is a pretty strong consensus out there as to what is wrong with the Public School system and how it got that way. But then again perhaps that is just among those Kappans (and nonKappans) who had a somewhat easier time getting good grades.
PS Remember as you read this that it is written by a man whose chief achievement in life revolves around his getting one of the more pedestrian academic honors in college. This is not the stuff Presidential scholars are made of.
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