High Stakes: Poverty, Testing, and Failure in American Schools

High Stakes: Poverty, Testing, and Failure in American Schools

by Dale D. Johnson, Bonnie Johnson

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Overview

High Stakes brings the voices of students and teachers to our national debates over school accountability and educational reform. Recounting the experiences of two classrooms during one academic year, the book offers a critical exploration of excessive state-mandated monitoring, high-stakes testing pressures, and inequities in public school funding that impede the instructional work of teachers, especially those who serve children of poorer families. Redbud Elementary has no playground, no library, no hot water, and no art classes. Ninety-five percent of the children qualify for a free breakfast or lunch. Most of the children live with a single parent or relative; some live in homes without electricity, running water, or floors. The authors, who moved from comfortable college professor positions to teach in a poor school district, offer an eye-opening examination of the daily school lives of children who live in crushing poverty and teachers who work under extraordinary stress. Their tale is at times heartbreaking, heartwarming, or infuriating. They explain why many recent educational reforms are off track and argue for more meaningful reforms that can empower teachers and students and better meet the challenges of our communities and the national interest. This second edition updates the story of Redbud Elementary and takes a hard look at the national expansion of accountability from preschool through college. A new final chapter focuses on the national effects of the No Child Left Behind Act as well as states' experiences with mandates and the role of big business in the testing process. This edition concludes with coverage of the so-called silent professionals and opposition to high-stakes testing, and a consideration of the future prospects for American education.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781461637301
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/13/2005
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 948 KB

About the Author

Dale D. Johnson is professor of literacy education at Dowling College on Long Island. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and was a profesor there for 16 years. Dr. Johnson has been an elementary and middle school teacher in Wisconsin and Louisiana and was on the faculties of Katsina College in Nigeria and the University of Louisiana. He is a past-president of the International Reading Association. Dr. Johnson has authored and co-authored 12 books, including Vocabulary in the Elementary and Middle School (2001, Allyn and Bacon). Bonnie Johnson is professor of human development and learning at Dowling College on Long Island. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin where she was granted the 'Distinguished Teacher of Teachers' award. Dr. Johnson has taught elementary school in Wisconsin and Louisiana and has been a professor at Texas A&M, the University of Louisiana, and Clarke College. She has published for children, adolescents, and adults. In addition to journal articles, she is the author of Wordworks: Exploring Language Play (1999, Fulcrum).

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Realities of an Underfunded School
Chapter 2 September: The Children We Teach
Chapter 3 October: Regulating Teaching
Chapter 4 November: Drugs, Poverty, and Test Scores
Chapter 5 December: "Clamp Down"
Chapter 6 January: Test Preparation-The Pace Quickens
Chapter 7 February: Pep Rallies for Tests
Chapter 8 March: Test-Day Traumas
Chapter 9 April: Freedom to Teach and Learn
Chapter 10 May: "I Don't Want to Spend My Time on Paperwork"
Chapter 11 How Can We Build a Better Future? Recommendations for Policy Change
Chapter 12 Today a Nation of Testing
Chapter 13 Epilogue

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