"After the Education Wars" | Professional Shelf

A look at the business models being applied to school reform.
From Library Journal comes a review of a new title that has been garnering interest across the education world. GABOR, Andrea. After the Education Wars: How Smart Schools Upend the Business of Reform. New Pr. Jun. 2018. 384p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781620971994. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781620972007. ED In this extensively researched book, Gabor (journalism, Baruch Coll.; The Man Who Discovered Quality) examines corporate education reform by looking at systems thinkers such as W. Edwards Deming, the subject of the author’s first book. Gabor feels that wrong business models are applied to school reform. By incorporating participative, collaborative, democratic, and continuous improvement approaches, schools and school districts will achieve meaningful progress. Bolstering Gabor’s arguments are case studies of specific New York, Massachusetts, New Orleans, and Texas schools. Going beyond summarizing strengths and weaknesses, the author demonstrates outcomes by following up with graduates’ successes and failures and doesn’t shy away from analyzing the political climates that produced various attempts at reform. Throughout, Gabor stresses grassroots involvement, accountability, the importance of civics, active teacher participation, increased experimentation, reduced emphasis on standardized testing, and constructive decision-making. ­VERDICT This book belongs alongside ­Diane Ravitch’s works on education, and Dale Russakoff’s The Prize. It will appeal to serious readers seeking to understand the current state of education reform, how it’s practiced, the pitfalls, and what does and doesn’t work.—Jacqueline Snider, Toronto

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