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Race to the Bottom

Corporate School Reform and the Future of Public Education

Michael V. McGill

192 pages
Teachers College Press
How did the country that invented the modern public school end up embracing policies that weaken it? What alternatives are there to current corporate reform policies? How can we give America’s children an education that will truly prepare them and our nation for the challenges of tomorrow? In Race to the Bottom, McGill successfully traces the emergence of corporate reform and describes how its tenets run counter to what he believes are the key elements of a high-quality education. McGill draws from a wealth of experience as a school superintendent for over 40 years, including his tenure in Scarsdale during the 2001 districtwide boycott of New York State standardized tests. Showing how strong leaders working with teachers and the community have been able to strengthen schools, the author offers a model of school reform that will prepare students for the 21st century. Book Features: Provides a frontline superintendent’s view of how current state and federal reform policies play out in the field. Reflects the perspective of a school and a district that were among the first in the nation to resist the abuses of high-stakes testing. Describes the characteristics of excellent schools and excellent education from the perspective of the leader of one of the nation’s highest-performance public districts. Offers concrete recommendations for a more enlightened education reform.
Author Bio
Michael V. McGill is director of the Program for District Leadership and Reform at Bank Street Graduate School of Education, founder of the Global Learning Alliance, and former superintendent of schools in the Scarsdale Union Free School District.