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Results Now: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1416603580 ISBN-10: 1416603581 Edition: 1st

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Results Now: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning + Change Leader: Learning to Do What Matters Most + Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work: New Insights for Improving Schools
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development; 1st edition (July 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416603581
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416603580
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Like many educational pundits, Schmoker has some great ideas.
Timothy Haugh
Students must be made to understand the relationship between the technical subject matter taught in the schools and the attendant benefits of life-long learning.
Dr. Joseph S. Maresca
This is a must read for anyone interested in improving instruction in our schools.
Dr. Harold F. Starr Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haugh TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
In Results Now, Michael Schmoker explains what he believes to be the route to achieving unprecedented gains in student achievement. His conclusions center around two main points: literacy and professional learning communities (PLCs). He believes that the key to success in all areas is the ability to read. In addition, he believes that teachers already have the knowledge they need to make great strides in aiding student achievement if they would only create the structures that would allow them to share their knowledge effectively.

Like many educational pundits, Schmoker has some great ideas. Certainly, there is much to be said for the importance of literacy across the curriculum. There is also a lot of truth to his assertions that many language arts classes, particularly at the younger ages when literacy is beginning to form, have become only incidentally about reading and writing. The overabundance of "artistic expression" (i.e. drawing pictures) in the place of actively engaging in literary activities is a problem, as is the reliance on skill/drill activities (read "worksheets"). Instead, Schmoker pushes for dominance of activities that have the students actively reading and writing.

Some of his commentary on professional development was interesting as well. As an educational consultant, I too have seen first hand how the "educational initiative of the moment" has had nothing but negative impact on school districts. There is something to be said for Schmoker's belief that, if teachers could just be pulled together in an effective way to share their expertise and best lessons, they could have a huge impact on student achievement.
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40 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Rural SpEd Teacher on January 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Mr. Schmoker tends to write "tongue in cheek" and make several broad generalizations about the current state of the educational system. While he does make one or two worthwhile points, overall, his book is distasteful and offensive to the majority of teachers across America who are "doing it right."

I find it interesting that the author, while portraying himself as an "expert" at educational reform, has not had his book peer reviewed by competent and recognized educational authorities...instead he relies upon endorsements from educational consultants who may or may not have ever taught in public school and high level administrators who have left the teaching arena to pursue management. It is interesting that his book calls for a "top-down" leadership approach, and is endorsed only by high level administrators. Perhaps the author should study the works of Peter Northouse who is a respected authority on both the theory and practice of leadership.

This book is dangerous to the lay reader...not because it promotes educational ideology, but because it portrays an ideology that directly conflicts with the standards of best practice that is taught to the best teachers in our country. When lay readers like school board members or parents read this book, they react negatively and feel that their school is in a dire circumstance...because they do not know the difference between effective, time honored practices and educational fads the change every ten years or so.

Finally, this book is a death warrant to special educators because it totally speaks against differentiating curriculum and using multi-modality approaches to teaching children who aren't able to learn from standard curricula in the mainstream classroom.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Reid on May 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Results Now, author Mike Schmoker presents a compelling argument for improving teaching and learning. He proposes significant impact can be made on student learning through reasonable efforts and adjustment. A deep focus on instruction will bring about the improvements we seek in educational outcomes.

Schmoker acknowledges the brutal facts surrounding wasted time in classrooms. Much of the time, students are engaged in busy work: coloring, drawing, superfluous worksheets, and other such activities that are unrelated to the teaching objective and have nothing to do with reading or writing. If we increase instructional practices that include the use of scoring rubrics, high-yield strategies and higher-order thinking, student achievement will rise.

There are consequences to working in isolation, the traditionally accepted mode of classroom instruction. Schmoker says collaboration is nearly non-existent in the majority of schools. Though certainly since the publication of this book in 2006, collaboration is on the rise as more and more schools engage in the practice of professional learning communities. Through this practice and with strong leadership within professional learning communities, the author suggests improvement in student achievement is guaranteed.

He eloquently advocates for improvements in literacy education, calling for purposeful reading, argumentative literacy, writing, and discussion. Schmoker states a new understanding of literacy is essential to "transform and enliven learning for both students and teachers." A curriculum rich in authentic literacy would include generous amounts of close, purposeful readings, rereading, writing, and talking.
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