December 2003 School Reform News

Issue Date: 
December, 2003
Newspaper PDF: 


The December 2003 issue of School Reform News reviews several books that any school reformer would love to give ... or receive!

  • Lisa Snell summarizes Making Schools Work: A Revolutionary Plan to Get Your Children the Education They Need, by UCLA Professor of Management William G. Ouchi. After studying public and Catholic school systems in North America, Ouchi concludes decentralized systems run more efficiently and produce better student achievement.
  • Kelly Amis reviews No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning, by Abigail and Stephen Thernstrom. “The Thernstroms’ determination to sort methodically through possible explanations and uncover root causes--no matter how discouraging, uncomfortable, or controversial they may be--makes this book a compelling read,” notes Amis.
  • Managing Editor George Clowes reviews Public Education As a Business: Real Costs and Accountability, by Myron Lieberman and Charlene K. Haar of the Education Policy Institute. Lieberman and Haar find it “remarkable that so little attention has been paid to the erroneous government statistics on the costs of public education,” and they right that wrong in this book.

This issue also covers a new Cato Institute study on designing school choice programs; compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act; Rev. Floyd Flake’s keynote address to The Heartland Institute’s 19th Anniversary Benefit Dinner; how teacher unions discourage philanthropy and volunteerism; school choice movements in New Zealand, India, and Britain; new research on the homework burden U.S. students face; and the Supreme Court’s consideration of whether the Pledge of Allegiance violates the First Amendment.

The issue’s featured interview is with Robert Gallagher, whose Gallagher Scholars Program selects 50 Chicago 5th graders every year and provides them with scholarship support through grade 12. Gallagher Scholars follow a code of conduct and are mentored by business community leaders.

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