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Beyond the Classroom: Why School Reform Has Failed and What Parents Need to Do


reviewed by Bruce J. Biddle — 1998

coverTitle: Beyond the Classroom: Why School Reform Has Failed and What Parents Need to Do
Author(s): Laurence Steinberg, B. Bradford Brown, Sanford M. Dornbusch
Publisher: Touchstone Books, New York
ISBN: 0684835754, Pages: 223, Year: 1997
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This is a badly flawed book. Its stated objective is to report a major study of commitments and achievements among students in public high schools. The study seems to have begun with the premise that the academic commitments of American students are "tenuous" and then sought to investigate “the ways in which parents, peers, and communities influence students’ commitment to school” (pp. 13-14). Various professional papers have already appeared from the study, but this book tries to present some of its key findings for a wider audience ‘unencumbered by the jargon of statistics, research design, and social science” (p. 14). It asserts that the study’s data support the following conclusions: A “high proportion of American high school students do not take school, or their studies, seriously.” (p. 18) “American students’ time out of school is seldom spent in activities that reinforce what they are learning in their classes.” (p. 19) “The adolescent peer culture... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 100 Number 2, 1998, p. 454-460
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10318, Date Accessed: 12/13/2017 11:28:18 PM

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  • Bruce Biddle
    University of Missouri

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