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

4.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

ISBN-13: 978-1416603580
ISBN-10: 1416603581
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Product Details

  • File Size: 1958 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development; 1st edition (July 28, 2006)
  • Publication Date: July 30, 2006
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NEK9ZS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796,265 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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By Timothy Haugh VINE 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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not particularly well written--some sentences reappear throughout the book in almost exactly the same form and the research seems thin, as he cites the same people over and over (incidentally, people who also cite him) and relies on frequent personal examples. I fundamentally agree with what he is saying here about the need for excellent instruction to improve student learning. However, it irritated me that he continuously claimed that instruction was the only thing standing between students and life-long success and that we should stop pretending things like "socioeconomic status" have a significant impact. On that, I heartily disagree. Again, I agree that students who are behind grade level for any reason are those in need of the BEST possible instruction if they are going to bridge the gap, and school leaders must ensure that their teachers provide that level of instruction. However, Minnesota has put more resources into instruction than other states and put less into non-instructional resources (like school counselors), and MN has one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation. The emphasis on instruction is important--absolutely, teachers must be held accountable for providing high quality instruction. But school leaders' focus has to be on instruction AND the supports that make instruction accessible for students. Schmoker says some important things in this book, but he could have done a better job with his argument.
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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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