By Chester E. Finn

Few humans were extra fascinated with shaping postwar U.S. schooling reforms--or dissented from a few of them extra effectively--than Chester Finn. Assistant secretary of schooling below Ronald Reagan, and an aide to politicians as varied as Richard Nixon and Daniel Moynihan, Finn has additionally been a highschool instructor, an schooling professor, a prolific and best-selling author, a think-tank analyst, a nonprofit origin president, and either a Democrat and Republican. This remarkably different occupation has given him a rare insider's view of each major school-reform move of the earlier 4 a long time, from racial integration to No baby Left in the back of. In Troublemaker, Finn has written a shiny historical past of postwar schooling reform that also is the private tale of 1 of the most important players--and mavericks--in American education.

Finn tells how his reviews have formed his altering perspectives of the 3 significant strands of postwar tuition reform: standards-driven, choice-driven, and profession-driven. Of the 3, Finn now believes mixture of selection and criteria has the best strength, yet he favors this method extra on pragmatic than ideological grounds, arguing that oldsters may be given extra concepts while that faculties are allowed extra flexibility and held to raised functionality norms. He additionally explains why schooling reforms of all types are so tricky to enforce, and he attracts helpful classes from their common failure.

Clear-eyed but positive, Finn finally supplies grounds for desire that the easiest of cutting-edge daring initiatives--from constitution colleges to know-how to makeovers of school-system governance--are ultimately commencing to make a difference.

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