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In Defense of Our Children: When Politics, Profit and Education Collide


reviewed by Gary Ratner — 2005

coverTitle: In Defense of Our Children: When Politics, Profit and Education Collide
Author(s): Elaine M. Garan
Publisher: Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH
ISBN: 0325006474, Pages: 151, Year: 2004
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Elaine Garan’s In Defense of Our Children: When Politics, Profit and Education Collide is a little book that packs a wallop. Garan perceives that the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the states’ high-stakes testing movement are severely damaging public school teachers and students, but that many parents and teachers “have no idea” of their impact (p. 149). Garan, an education professor and teacher of reading, seeks to remedy that lack of information. Her book, written in an engaging, conversational style, combines a provocative critique with an impassioned call for teachers and parents to challenge the premises of certain recently enacted school “reforms.” After briefly summarizing several major elements of the act, including standards, testing, accountability, and sanctions, Garan explores a number of topics in more detail. For example, she notes that high-stakes testing prevented almost one quarter of Florida’s third graders from being promoted to fourth grade in... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 11, 2005, p. 2494-2498
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11835, Date Accessed: 12/15/2017 6:41:29 PM

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About the Author
  • Gary Ratner
    Citizens for Effective Schools
    E-mail Author
    GARY M. RATNER is Executive Director of Citizens for Effective Schools, a national school reform advocacy organization committed to the goal of raising virtually all public school students to the level of academic competence. He was a principal drafter of the “Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, October 21, 2004” and the principal drafter of the October 15, 2003, Open Letter to President Bush and Congress calling for reframing of NCLB. He is a public interest lawyer, former senior executive of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and a graduate of Harvard Law School. His article, “Why the ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ Needs to Be Restructured to Accomplish Its Goals and How to Do It,” is to be published in May 2005 in the Education Symposium issue of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law Law Review.
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