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Setting the Record Straight: Responses to Misconceptions About Public Education in the U.S. Paperback – August 31, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0325005942 ISBN-10: 032500594X Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 17 years
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann; 2 edition (August 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 032500594X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0325005942
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Since 1984 Gerald W. Bracey has written a monthly column for Phi Delta Kappan making research accessible to teaching practitioners. In 2003 the column received the Interpretive Scholarship Award from the American Educational Research Association. Bracey spends about half his time as an independent researcher and writer and splits the rest between George Mason University and the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation. He has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Stanford University and has held positions in private firms, local school districts, universities, and state departments of education.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Walt Gardner on November 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
Gerald W. Bracey is one of few authors today who isn't afraid to confront the exquisitely orchestrated and deeply financed campaign to eradicate public education in this country. "Setting the Record Straight" is his latest contribution exposing the hidden agenda that is at the root of the accountability movement.

Bracey identifies 17 misconceptions about public education. Each chapter begins with a capsule Q-A format. The question consists of a typical charge leveled at public schools, which he then answers in a sentence or two at most. The rest of the chapter develops his response with documented evidence -- not ideology. His ability to shun jargon makes what he says all the more convincing.

"Setting the Record Straight" serves as an invaluable corrective to the case being built by those who stand to profit directly or indirectly by the elimination of public schools. It takes its place with the best books on the subject. Not all readers will be pleased with his remarks, but they will have to respect him.

Walt Gardner taught for 28 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He writes frequently on education.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Farley on September 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
The media are crawling with supposed experts in education, most of them at right-wing think tanks, who claim that public education in the US has declined in recent decades, and is terrible compared with other countries. Gerald Bracey shows that there has been no serious recent decline in public education in the US, and that the US is about average by comparison with other advanced countries. This puts him at odds with conservatives.

And not just conservatives: liberals have mostly joined conservatives in crying crisis, although for different reasons. Liberals want to increase funding for public education, and think that the best way to raise funding is to cry that there is a major crisis.

Anyone who has been taken in by media myths about US public education MUST read Gerald Bracey's books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By madbee on October 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Gerald Bracey shows how statistics have been manipulated or purposely ignored to push the false message on the American people that our public schools are failing. He explains the agenda which worked to privatize prisons and hospitals, of corporate interests trying to make a profit on our schools by demonizing teachers, unions, and the quality of education in America's schools. Bracey goes through the common (often baseless) arguments and counters them with hard facts.

This is a very readable book, written in an interesting and understandable prose. For example, when he discusses why SAT scores show a decline, Bracey explains how the original scores and averages were based on a small number of mostly private school students in 1941. Considering the large numbers and the diversity of the students who take SAT's now, they actually show very little or no decline. Also he breaks down the tests that show how the United States is supposedly behind other countries by explaining how the testing is done and who is tested here and in other countries.
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By Jessica Ramos on September 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
Looked just as amazing in photo as they did when they arrived
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