Few writers on education ever get close to the clarity provided by Mike Schmoker. He is a pleasure to read, but always makes me angry. I keep thinking, why can't the rest of us see schools this clearly? In this book, he blows me away. He identifies the faddism that keeps killing our schools, and tells us precisely what educators must do--just a few simple things, but difficult because they contradict what the crowd thinks is right. Read it and be amazed, and frustrated, and motivated to do something to fix this mess.
–Jay Mathews, education columnist for the Washington Post and author of Work Hard. Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America
Once again, Mike Schmoker takes a wide array of complex concepts and initiatives and weaves them into a framework that is not only easily understood but translates into immediate action.
–Robert J. Marzano, C.E.O. of Marzano Research Laboratory and author of The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction
In an age where teachers are forced into the unrealistic pursuit of unobtainable standards, finally, a book emerges that cuts through the noise and helps us return to sensible, authentic teaching. Focus: Elevating the Essentials for Radically Improved Student Learning is insightful, practical, and, above all else, inspiring--a must read for all teachers, administrators, board members, and policymakers. Reading this book has made me a better, more reflective teacher.
–Kelly Gallagher, educator and author of Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It
From the Inside Flap
With this "less is more" philosophy, educators can help students learn content at a deeper level, develop greater critical thinking skills, and discover more clearly how content-area concepts affect their lives and the world around them. Both a call to action and a blueprint for creating more effective classrooms, Focus: Elevating the Essentials for Radically Improved Student Learning will challenge your assumptions about schooling and show how educators who have embraced this approach quickly achieved spectacular results.