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Troublemaker: A Personal History of School Reform Since Sputnik

reviewed by J. Wesley Null - March 24, 2009

coverTitle: Troublemaker: A Personal History of School Reform Since Sputnik
Author(s): Chester E. Finn, Jr.
Publisher: Princeton University Press, Princeton
ISBN: 0691129908, Pages: 364, Year: 2008
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“Checker” Finn has written a memoir. Autobiographies are all the rage these days with postmodernists, so why not one from a leading proponent of Republican-led reform initiatives during the last thirty years? For those who support Finn, this book will no doubt prove enjoyable and insightful, complete with juicy details of Finn’s personal life—including how he met his wife and his somewhat rocky relationship with Lynne Cheney. For those who reject Finn’s advocacy of vouchers and market-based solutions to whatever ails American schools, Troublemaker will be an infuriating, arrogant, and disjointed text that seems to serve no purpose beyond Finn stroking his own ego. Whether or not readers agree with Finn, educators should read this book to understand how policymakers think. Especially if you don’t like Finn, I say pick it up and read it. Finn has been in the midst of just about every educational reform initiative since the early... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: March 24, 2009
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15598, Date Accessed: 7/30/2021 7:04:11 AM

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About the Author
  • J. Wesley Null
    Baylor University
    E-mail Author
    J. WESLEY NULL is Associate Professor of Curriculum & Foundations of Education in the School of Education and the Honors College at Baylor University. He earned his Ph.D. degree at The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied curriculum theory and the history of education. At Baylor, Null teaches foundations of education in the School of Education and interdisciplinary courses on social science and great texts in the Honors College. He also serves as Assistant Director of Baylorís Honors Program. Null is the author of Peerless Educator: The Life and Work of Isaac Leon Kandel (2007) and A Disciplined Progressive Educator: The Life and Career of William Chandler Bagley (2004). He is co-editor (with Diane Ravitch) of Forgotten Heroes of American Education: The Great Tradition of Teaching Teachers (2006) and (with three others) Readings in American Educational Thought: From Puritanism to Progressivism (2003). Null serves as Editor of the American Educational History Journal, sponsored by the Organization of Educational Historians (www.edhistorians.org).
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