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The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve Hardcover – August 16, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition edition (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805093532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805093537
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #991,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Peg Tyre lays out the fundaments of a good school--and a good education--clearly and without bias. How I wish I'd had this book when my husband and I were choosing an elementary school for our daughter!"--Peggy Orenstein, author of the New York Times-bestselling Cinderella Ate My Daughter

 
"[Tyre] wields research like a scythe, slicing through the thick growth of deeply rooted beliefs about education, forging a path for bewildered or frustrated parents."--The New York Times

 

"Journalist Peg Tyre's new book...condenses decades of education research to help parents make better choices about selecting schools for their children."--USA Today

 

"Tyre offers solutions. With a splash of history, the author discusses pedagogies, as well as what to look for in a good preschool teacher...[and] provides respectful ways for approaching—or changing—the system...This is not an indictment of teachers, but rather an eye-opening tool for parental involvement."--Kirkus

 

"With research and news reports documenting a range in school quality from glorious to horrendous, how is a parent to know where their child's school fits in that range? Education journalist Tyre analyzes the factors that contribute to a good school, giving parents practical advice on how to evaluate schools...An engaging and valuable resource."--Booklist
 
 
"If you have young children or have children who have young children, I hope you will [read this book]-- it's a chatty, non-theoretical story of how our schools got to be testing-machines-so-the-states-get-federal-education-money and how, despite that, you can help your offspring acquire some book learning...[Tyre is] as much of a resource as a great librarian or that teacher you'll never forget. Use her."--Jesse Kornbluth, The Huffington Post
 

About the Author

Peg Tyre is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Trouble with Boys. She was awarded the prestigious Spencer Research Fellowship at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism where she began work on this book. Her writing about education has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Family Circle, and iVillage.com. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit Peg Tyre's website at www.PegTyre.com.


More About the Author

PEG TYRE was, until recently, a senior writer at Newsweek specializing in social trends and education. She has won numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize, a Clarion Award, and a National Education Writers Association Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, novelist Peter Blauner, and their two sons.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Everyone - parents and non-parents alike - should read this book.
Burgundy Damsel
They should be made to read Peg Tyre's "The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve."
Jesse Kornbluth
Good test scores however do not necessarily translate to the school doing a good job educating their charges.
BemisReviewsBooks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There are people on the national scene who think that that giving kids a head start on school is a bad idea. They should be made to read Peg Tyre's "The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve." They won't, of course, but if you have young children or have children who have young children, I hope you will --- it's a chatty, non-theoretical story of how our schools got to be testing-machines-so-the-states-get-federal-education-money and how, despite that, you can help your offspring acquire some book learning.

As Tyre tells it, early childhood education is a recent phenomenon. In the 1830s, an influential education warned that the "mental excitement" would over-stimulate children. In l930, only .09 per cent of young children attended nursery school. As late as the 1950s, only 16 per cent left their homes for school experiences.

It's now generally agreed that, as Tyre writes, "the central building blocks of literacy must be laid down before kindergarten." Interestingly, that means talking to kids --- and having kids talk back. A four-year-old from a family of involved, professional parents has heard 45 million words. A working class kid: 26 million words. A welfare kid: 13 million. (Thanks to handheld devices, this is changing. And not for the better. So if you're texting away while your kid tries to tell you something certain to bore you --- put the thing down!!!)

What's more important --- a good teacher or a small class? Are audiobooks ok? Why are Asian kids such high-achievers? (Answer: It's not because they're smarter.) How much time in a school day is actually devoted to learning? Does recess matter? Why is education so much better in South Korea and Finland? "The Good School" will tell all.

Peg Tyre is a mother.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Heike Larson on September 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As Vice President of Outreach at LePort Schools in Orange County, CA, I hear from many parents how difficult it is to choose a good school. All too often, families come to our school after trying one or several other schools, public or private, and being very disappointed. "If only I'd known back then what to look for and what questions to ask", is a sad refrain of parent comments.

There's lots of good writing out there about what works in education, but what's unique about this book is the combination of key research and parent anecdotes in an easy-to-use, practical guide you can read in just a few hours.

As Mrs. Tyre writes, choosing a school is likely one of the most important decisions you'll ever make for your child. You owe it to yourself to be an educated consumer: it's the only way you'll be able to ask the questions, and discern the difference between your school choices, before your child ends up at a school that doesn't serve her well.

Once you read this book, do read the school's web site, thoroughly. Ask the tough questions Mrs. Tyre discusses. Meet the teachers, and engage them in a conversation about their background and the subjects they teach. Look at textbooks and other teaching materials. Request an extended classroom observation. Be critical, very critical: if you can't understand how the school works after doing this research, if the people you talk to don't seem passionate and eager to work with you, if the answers you receive are not compelling (or if you aren't invited to see inside the classroom or speak with teachers), that's a red flag you should take seriously!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John B. Clements on September 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book did its job well; it established a framework, it convinced me of its main points, and it was a very fast read. It has a chapter devoted to preschool, which (the author says) has a fairly different role to play than elementary school. It has chapters devoted to research on reading and mathematics, and I was pleased by Ms. Tyre's focus on research and what is shown to work worldwide. Moreover, as a teacher myself, I am acutely aware of the truth of Ms. Tyre's assertions about the civilized detachment with which we treat teaching and teachers, saying "ah... that's just his teaching style," rather than "why are all of his students failing?"

After reading this book, I feel like I have several new lenses through which to evaluate my children's teachers. Right now, I'm trying to work up the courage to ask them where they all did their undergraduate work. I'm not sure I'm going to like the answers....
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sam Sattler on September 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My wife and I oversaw our children's public school education in simpler times - no doubt about it. But now, despite the fact that our two daughters have both chosen to teach in the same school district within which they were educated, we worry about the schooling our grandchildren are receiving there. Perhaps, it is precisely because we have so much "inside information" about the school system that we worry so much. Despite what most young parents might think, it is difficult to distinguish a good school from a bad school. That is scary enough, but what should really terrify parents is that bad teachers riddle even the best schools.

Peg Tyre's The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve explains how parents can recognize good schools and good teachers when they see them. Because today's schools are evaluated on the results of standardized tests parents seldom understand, there is a good chance that their children are receiving an inadequate education - one that does not prepare them to be successful adults. Simply put, "teaching to the test" means that America's school children are getting a dumbed-down version of the education they deserve.

The Good School focuses on "seven essential domains of education" that parents need to understand if they are to protect their preschool-to-middle-school-age students. Tyre begins with a chapter on how to choose the right preschool for your child before moving into chapters on testing, class size, reading, mathematics, balance, and teachers. Her precise, and very readable, style makes her a good communicator, but Tyre is so determined that parents get her message that she goes one step farther by ending each segment of the book with a chapter summary list she calls "The Take Aways.
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