I must admit I am dreadfully far behind in archiving these book club quotes and tweets. At the time I am writing this I am already nearly done with two other books. Anyway, I have some time this afternoon I will try to catch up. Because I am so far behind, the posts for this book will be without added reflection, though I may return at a later date.
I picked up Tinkering Toward Utopia not really knowing what to expect. I have been following Larry Cuban's blog for some time and find myself often nodding my head in agreement and simultaneously rejecting some of his claims, especially with regard to technology in education. Tinkering Toward Utopia is no exception. While I highly recommend this book for anyone involved in school policy making or school leadership (especially those who are trying to make changes) I have to warn you that it might put you in a real bad mood. I find much of what is in this book depressing but only because of how accurate a depiction it is of our school system.
One big criticism I do have of this book is the authors ignore how schools were created. It is as if they assume they have always been around and will always be here in the future. How would Tyack & Cuban view the system if they tool a much wider view?
"Carpenter was not an idiosyncratic optimist. He expressed two opinions common among Americans and nearly axiomatic... http://tl.gd/ae4nqm
"Opinion has changed. Now regress in public schools seems as axiomatic to many people as progress did during the pr... http://tl.gd/ae4phi
"A litany of dismal statistics in [A Nation at Risk] purports to show that regress, not progress, is the trend in p... http://tl.gd/ae4qi5
"Schools can easily shift from panacea to scapegoat. If the schools are supposed to solve social problems, and do n... http://tl.gd/ae4rk4
"In the countryside, the consolidation of school districts decimated the number of lay school trustees. Local schoo... http://tl.gd/ae53k3
"Such differentiated classes buffered students and teachers in the graded-school mainstream from 'misfits,' childre... http://tl.gd/ae5krh
"Perhaps some form of separatism and a pluralistic definition of progress was needed to replace the older notion of... http://tl.gd/aeokre
"In an age when 'accountability' is measured more and more by scores on standardized tests, 'progress' in enrolling... http://tl.gd/aeoouo
"In the abstract, people may favor giving all children a fair chance, but at the same time they want their children... http://tl.gd/aeoqo9
"the nearer the observer is to the schools, the better they look" Tyack & Cuban
"there are important defects in the score cards when they are used to compare nations...The most important problem ... http://tl.gd/aep93c
"For all their defects, schools may still be the most positive influence many children encounter, given turbulence ... http://tl.gd/aepelb
"The ideologies of progress or regress in schools are political constructs." Tyack & Cuban
"The common school crusaders of the nineteenth century employed millennial rhetoric to persuade citizens to create ... http://tl.gd/aepgp2
"The administrative progressives were certain that their ' scientific' plan for progress met the needs of all peopl... http://tl.gd/aephqt
"Only if a complacent citizenry was aroused to danger would it act to rescue the schools and the economy." Tyack & Cuban
"it is clear that the public schools need to do a better job of teaching students to think" Tyack & Cuban