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The Flat World and Education: How America's Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Multicultural Education) Paperback


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The Flat World and Education: How America's Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Multicultural Education) + The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education + Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
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Product Details

  • Series: Multicultural Education
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press (January 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807749621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807749623
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Examining in detail issues like equality of spending, testing in K-12 education, and teacher preparation, Stanford education professor Darling-Hammond (The Right to Learn) makes a clear, organized argument that, "like manufacturing industries that have struggled and gone under in recent decades, modern schools were designed at the turn of the last century," and are in desperate need of transformation. Using a straightforward style to examine complex issues, Darling-Hammond reveals the successful educational strategies around the world that are toppling the old educational guard, including a high degree of personalization that allows stronger, closer relationships among students, faculty, staff, and parents. Darling-Hammond doesn't shy away from difficult questions at the heart of seemingly-intractable academic issues; for example, "How is it that scores have been driven upward on the state tests required by No Child Left Behind, yet they have dropped on... international measures?" Scholarly and factual, well-researched and packed with astounding examples of the current climate of American education, this text should prove highly informative for educators, educational administrators, and involved parents throughout the U.S.

Review

Contains a valuable lode of practical and research-based advice about how to improve our schools. --Washington Post

There are few who are as strong as Darling-Hammond in using and analyzing statistical data and scholarship...and in fighting for educational equity; when she talks about leaving no child behind, she truly means it. This book is a must for graduate education students, educators, [and] policy makers...Essential. --CHOICE Magazine

Darling-Hammond identifies the policies and the practices that could turn the tide from educational mediocrity to educational excellence for all if we only had the will. --The School Administrator

There are few who are as strong as Darling-Hammond in using and analyzing statistical data and scholarship...and in fighting for educational equity; when she talks about leaving no child behind, she truly means it. This book is a must for graduate education students, educators, [and] policy makers...Essential. --CHOICE Magazine

Darling-Hammond identifies the policies and the practices that could turn the tide from educational mediocrity to educational excellence for all if we only had the will. --The School Administrator

More About the Author

Linda Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University. Her books include The Right to Learn, Professional Development Schools, Learning to Teach for Social Justice, and Authentic Assessment in Action.

Customer Reviews

I purchased this book for school and enjoyed the class very much.
stormyee
I recommend this book to every student, teacher, politician, and anyone who is interested about changing our education in America.
Blanca E Carrillo
Great read, good overview of the problems in our educational system and some good ideas for solutions.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Armstrong on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Linda Darling-Hammond's magnum opus, and it is a magnum opus--complex, thorough, well-written, complete, and thoughtful. Her thesis is that until we in the U.S. do the following, our country will produce hollowed-out children who cannot compete in the global economy: (1) Make a serious, long-term commitment to educational equity by funding all districts equally; (2) Use "thinking curricula" that require students to work together on projects of intellectual import, rather than on meaningless "seatwork"; (3) Professionalize the teaching profession by increasing its status, pay, training, professional development, and requirements for entry, especially in the sciences, mathematics, foreign languages, and so forth; (4) Use a 15- to 20-year timeline for improvement; (5) Stop the yo-yo curriculum innovations that swing U.S. curricula all over the block in unproductive "innovational" oscillations; (6) Stop punitive de-funding or punitive control of "failing schools" through Annual Yearly Progress reports, which have the unintended consequence of over-valuing the results of standardized testing.

Darling-Hammond gives both positive and negative examples of educational innovation. On the positive side in the globe: Singapore, South Korea, and Finland. In the U.S. Connecticut, North Carolina. These are extremely well-written case studies of how to improve education well. On the negative side: The U.S. as a whole, and California in particular, which gutted the #1 public school system in the world over the last 30 years.

In regard to educational equity, Darling-Hammond is particularly passionate, especially since the poor districts are also the immigrant districts are also the most-needy districts and the least well-funded districts.
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117 of 141 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Smith on July 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My review? In a word: disappointing. I had hoped that Dr. Darling-Hammond would have dispelled the fog surrounding the current national debate on education reform. Instead she only perpetuates many of the same old false assumptions and romantic beliefs dominating policy analysis today - only this time re-packaging them in progressive vestments rather than in the typical "free market" three-piece suit.

Here are a few observations. She spends the first part of the book trying to make the usual case about the dire state of student achievement in the United States. Like so many other recent reformers, she indicts public education relying largely on results from international assessments such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), but fails to provide the necessary interpretive cautions concerning the sampling and other methodological weaknesses of these assessments. The fact that many students in our country receive an outstanding public education is glossed over completely thus justifying the need for universal reform through a complete condemnation of the status quo.

LDH avoids any discussion of cognitive ability and its connection to student achievement, further promoting the romantic fiction that all students can achieve the same performance standards within the same time frame. This omission ignores a critical reality which must be fully explored in the education reform debate - but is never even broached.

The middle section of the book focuses on trying to learn lessons from other countries with reputedly higher student achievement. None of the relevant cautions about such comparisons are cited, while sweeping, unfounded generalizations carry the day.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Day on May 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Linda Darling-Hammond's (LDH) book, The Flat World and Education is both a joy and a heartbreak. We learn in detail how the United States' education system has come to be in the state that it is, and we are overjoyed to see that she details a road map to improvement. But our hearts break when we realize that if we do not help those see this road - those who have the power to make real changes in our educational system, then her roadmap will likely not be followed.

I begin where Linda Darling-Hammond ends this book, with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I said to my children, 'I'm going to work and do everything that I can do to see that you get a good education. I don't ever want you to forget that there are millions of God's Children who will not and cannot get a good education, and I don't want you feeling that you are better than they are. For you will never be what you ought to be until they are what they ought to be.'"

It is appropriate to begin with this because throughout her book, there is the consistent message that educators know what needs to be done to improve education and that we have the power to make positive changes.

The first third of the book outlines the history of our educational system and notes that the U.S. is falling behind other countries as they make significant investments in education reform, including removing rigid centralized structures and increasing investments in teacher education and development. These reforms are long-term in nature versus the US' quick-fix mentality evidenced by "Race to the Top." In addition, LHD focuses on "opportunity gap" by chronicling how inequities in resources and teacher quality impact low-socioeconomic schools.
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