Troublemaker A Personal History of School Reform since Sputnik

ISBN-10: 0691129908
ISBN-13: 9780691129907
Edition: 2008
List price: $26.95
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Description: Few people have been more involved in shaping postwar U.S. education reforms--or dissented from some of them more effectively--than Chester Finn. Assistant secretary of education under Ronald Reagan, and an aide to politicians as different as  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 2/24/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

Few people have been more involved in shaping postwar U.S. education reforms--or dissented from some of them more effectively--than Chester Finn. Assistant secretary of education under Ronald Reagan, and an aide to politicians as different as Richard Nixon and Daniel Moynihan, Finn has also been a high school teacher, an education professor, a prolific and best-selling writer, a think-tank analyst, a nonprofit foundation president, and both a Democrat and Republican. This remarkably varied career has given him an extraordinary insider's view of every significant school-reform movement of the past four decades, from racial integration to No Child Left Behind. InTroublemaker, Finn has written a vivid history of postwar education reform that is also the personal story of one of the foremost players--and mavericks--in American education. Finn tells how his experiences have shaped his changing views of the three major strands of postwar school reform: standards-driven, choice-driven, and profession-driven. Of the three, Finn now believes that a combination of choice and standards has the greatest potential, but he favors this approach more on pragmatic than ideological grounds, arguing that parents should be given more options at the same time that schools are allowed more flexibility and held to higher performance norms. He also explains why education reforms of all kinds are so difficult to implement, and he draws valuable lessons from their frequent failure. Clear-eyed yet optimistic, Finn ultimately gives grounds for hope that the best of today's bold initiatives--from charter schools to technology to makeovers of school-system governance--are finally beginning to make a difference.

Introduction
Early Days
Schoolkid in the Fifties
Into the Sixties
Becoming an Educator
The Seventies
White House Days
Out of Washington
The Politics of Aiding Private Schools
A Federal Department of Education?
Becoming a Republican
The Eighties
Quality Gains Traction
Educators Awaken
Professing in Tennessee
Inside the Beast
The Quest for Better Information
Goals, Standards, and Markets
The Nineties
Bipartisan Reform in Action-and Inaction
Charters and Vouchers
International Alarums, Contentious Responses
Whittling and Think-tanking
Clinton, Goals, and Testing
Priests, Professionals, and Politicians
Choices and Summits
Back to Dayton
Today and Tomorrow
Leaving No Child Behind
Shaky Tripods
The Burden of Choice
Technology and Governance
Teachers, Time, and Money
Still Learning
Epilogue: Two Little Girls
Glossary
Notes
Index

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