"Provocatively titled, Teachers versus the Public is an eye-opening book about the current state of education reform. While teachers tend to support the status quo, the public―especially as it becomes more informed about school performance―is increasingly looking for major changes. And major changes are what our schools will need if they are to succeed at effectively educating our children for the modern world."―Joel Klein, former chancellor, New York City Department of Education
"For a generation, we have been inundated with evidence of schools across our great nation stagnating, while those in other nations speed ahead of us.... Teachers versus the Public [shows that] common among Americans from all walks of life―conservative or liberal, rich or poor, young or old―is the recognition that for the sake of our country, and for the continuation of the American dream, our education system must improve. Yet, teachers' unions have long made it abundantly clear that their priorities are not focused on students. This in-depth report explores the minds of American teachers, their focus on educating students, and the minds of the general public, identifying the opportunities―and the challenges―for all those who seek to improve the education of the next generation."―Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida, 1999–2007, chairman, Foundation for Excellence in Education
"The immense value of Peterson, Henderson, and West's well-researched overview of our nation's attitude toward education issues is that it highlights the divide between the educators who teach in our American public schools and the general public who have a huge stake in how those schools teach our kids. Their findings underscore an urgent need for supporters of education reform to engage with teachers and work collaboratively toward our shared goal of a world-class public education system."―Michelle Rhee, former Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools
"This scholarly book corrects and changes the political debate. The authors reveal that it is teachers themselves―not just their union representatives―who stand opposed to school reforms a majority of the public favors. In many ways this points to a much larger problem with improving our schools."―Eric A. Hanushek, Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
About the Author
Paul E. Peterson is the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance, Harvard University. He is also editor-in-chief of Education Next and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is author or editor of numerous books, including Endangering Prosperity, A Global View of the American School, with Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann (Brookings, 2013); The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools, with William G. Howell (Brookings, 2004 and 2006). He is coeditor (with Martin West) of No Child Left Behind? The Practice and Politics of School Accountability (Brookings, 2003).
Michael Henderson is assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Mississippi.
Martin R. West is associate professor of education at the Harvard Graduate Schools of Education, deputy director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance, and nonresident senior fellow with the Brown Center on Education Policy, Brookings.