Ed books for the serious beach reader

Andrew Rotherham’s 7 Education Books to Take to the Beach:

Class Warfare by Steven Brill

It’s not a full history of the reform movement, but this is the most inside account of the last several years. As evidence, people are already buzzing about Class Warfare, which won’t be on shelves until mid-August, and wondering if Brill is on his way to becoming education’s Bob Woodward.

Sub Culture: Three Years in Education’s Dustiest Corners by Carolyn Bucior

The Faculty Lounges and Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Paid For by Naomi Schaefer Riley

The American Public School Teacher by Darrel Drury and Justin Baer

Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools by Terry Moe

The Failure of Environmental Education (and How We Can Fix It) by Charles Saylan and Daniel T. Blumstein

The Same Thing Over and Over by Frederick M. Hess

About Joanne


  1. CarolineSF says:

    I recommend Alexander Russo’s “Stray Dogs, Saints and Saviors,” about the Green Dot takeover of Locke HS in LA. Very readable.

    I don’t know why Terry Moe has any credibility anymore, personally. His big career high point was pushing Edison Schools, the failed it’s-a-miracle! of 10 years ago. What does it take to get the credulous to comprehend “fool me twice, shame on me” instead of eagerly falling for the next piece of hype promoted by the same scam artist? The skepticism deficit among the reform true believers is really astounding.

  2. I second Caroline’s recommendation of Russo, even though I felt that as a work of reporting, it had some holes in it. I also enjoyed Caroline’s nemesis Stuart Buck’s “Acting White: The Ironic Legacy of Desegregation”–it is meticulously researched and offers plenty of food for thought. And for a little balance to Rotherham’s list, I’d also recommend John Merrow’s latest, “The Influence of Teachers”.

  3. I have not read any of the books on Mr. Rotherman’s list. I recommend some oldies:
    1. Chubb and Moe, __Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools__ (Brookings)
    2. Myron Lieberman, __Public Education; an Autopsy__
    3. Myron Lieberman, __Privatization and Educational Choice__
    4. Steuerle, et. al.eds., __Vouchers and the Provision of Public Services__ (Brookings)
    5. Enlow and Ealy, eds., __Liberty and Learning__ (Cato)
    6. Ivar Berg, __Education and Jobs: The Great Training Robbery__.

  4. Ted Craig says:

    Not to discount his work, but Brill does consulting for Time.

  5. Steven Brill says:

    I don’t know who Ted Craig is, but he does not know what he is talking about. I don’t “consult” for Time or have any other relationship with Time at all (except as a reader).

  6. There’s a book by Joanne Jacobs that I’d recommend strongly.

  7. (Caroline): “I don’t know why Terry Moe has any credibility anymore, personally. His big career high point was pushing Edison Schools, the failed it’s-a-miracle! of 10 years ago. ..The skepticism deficit among the reform true believers is really astounding
    You’re a teacher? What’s wrong with failure? At least he tried to do something about the wretched US K-PhD school system.
    I did not expect much from Edison’s model, in which it contracted to manage conventional schools. Still, Terry Moe made an important contribution to the Brookings study __What Price Democracy? Politics, Markets, & America’s Schools__.
    Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure.”
    William Saroyan (1908 – 1981)

  8. I deeply love Liping Ma’s “Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics”. Brilliant work.

  9. CarolineSF says:

    Sorry, Malcolm, but I’m not as forgiving as you. When someone tries to run a scam, I don’t trust them the next time they tell me they have a bridge to sell me. I’m astounded at how many people are endlessly forgiving — I worry that you’re all being ripped off by pigeon-drop and Jamaican-switch artists every time you set foot in public.

  10. Caroline,
    Why call Edison a “scam”? Whittle at first attempted to compete with the NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel’s schools (the “public” schools) without a subsidy. That’s hard when the competition receives $12,000 per pupil-year. Then they tried to sell management services to conventional school districts. Obviously, they ran into trouble.
    The NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel operates the most lucrative scam currently extant on this planet, the 700+ billion per-year tax-subsidized US K-PhD school system.