Excellence for All

Excellence for All

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By the early twenty-first century, a startling consensus had emerged about the overall aim of American school reform. In an era of political discord, and in a field historically known for contentiousness, the notion of promoting educational excellence for all students was a distinct point of bipartisan agreement. Shaped by a corps of entrepreneurial reformers intent on finding qwhat worksq and taking it to scale, this hybrid vision won over the nation's most ambitious and well-resourced policy leaders at foundations and nonprofits, in state and federal government, and in urban school districts from coast to coast. qExcellence for allq might, at first glance, appear to be nothing more than a rhetorical flourish. Who, after all, would oppose the idea of a great education for every student? Yet it is hardly a throwaway phrase. Rather, it represents a surprising fusion of educational policy approaches that had been in tense opposition throughout the twentieth century--those on the right favoring social efficiency, and those on the left supporting social justice. This book seeks to understand why the qexcellence for allq vision took hold at the time it did, unpacks the particular beliefs and assumptions embedded in it, and details the often informal coalition building that produced this period of consensus. Examining the nation's largest urban school districts (Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York), the author details three major reform efforts in chapters titled qThe Right Space: The Small Schools Movementq; qThe Right Teachers: Teach for Americaq; and qThe Right Curriculum: Expanding Advanced Placement.qChoate Rosemary Hall, for instance, the elite Connecticut boarding school created a world history course in which a€œthe ... 95 While the AP history exams, for instance, do have a section that asks test takers to write essays using historical ... Questions about the quality of AP can also be attributed to an actual watering- down effect of allowing more and more students ... in a 2009 study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute reported that student aptitude and capacity to do AP-level work hasanbsp;...

Title:Excellence for All
Author: Jack Schneider
Publisher:Vanderbilt University Press - 2011

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