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Reinventing America's Schools: Creating a 21st Century Education System

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From David Osborne, the author of Reinventing Government--a biting analysis of the failure of America's public schools and a comprehensive plan for revitalizing American education. In Reinventing America's Schools, David Osborne, one of the world's foremost experts on public sector reform, offers a comprehensive analysis of the charter school movements and presents a theory From David Osborne, the author of Reinventing Government--a biting analysis of the failure of America's public schools and a comprehensive plan for revitalizing American education. In Reinventing America's Schools, David Osborne, one of the world's foremost experts on public sector reform, offers a comprehensive analysis of the charter school movements and presents a theory that will do for American schools what his New York Times bestseller Reinventing Government did for public governance in 1992. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the city got an unexpected opportunity to recreate their school system from scratch. The state's Recovery School District (RSD), created to turn around failing schools, gradually transformed all of its New Orleans schools into charter schools, and the results are shaking the very foundations of American education. Test scores, school performance scores, graduation and dropout rates, ACT scores, college-going rates, and independent studies all tell the same story: the city's RSD schools have tripled their effectiveness in eight years. Now other cities are following suit, with state governments reinventing failing schools in Newark, Camden, Memphis, Denver, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Oakland. In this book, Osborne uses compelling stories from cities like New Orleans and lays out the history and possible future of public education. Ultimately, he uses his extensive research to argue that in today's world, we should treat every public school like a charter school and grant them autonomy, accountability, diversity of school designs, and parental choice.


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From David Osborne, the author of Reinventing Government--a biting analysis of the failure of America's public schools and a comprehensive plan for revitalizing American education. In Reinventing America's Schools, David Osborne, one of the world's foremost experts on public sector reform, offers a comprehensive analysis of the charter school movements and presents a theory From David Osborne, the author of Reinventing Government--a biting analysis of the failure of America's public schools and a comprehensive plan for revitalizing American education. In Reinventing America's Schools, David Osborne, one of the world's foremost experts on public sector reform, offers a comprehensive analysis of the charter school movements and presents a theory that will do for American schools what his New York Times bestseller Reinventing Government did for public governance in 1992. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the city got an unexpected opportunity to recreate their school system from scratch. The state's Recovery School District (RSD), created to turn around failing schools, gradually transformed all of its New Orleans schools into charter schools, and the results are shaking the very foundations of American education. Test scores, school performance scores, graduation and dropout rates, ACT scores, college-going rates, and independent studies all tell the same story: the city's RSD schools have tripled their effectiveness in eight years. Now other cities are following suit, with state governments reinventing failing schools in Newark, Camden, Memphis, Denver, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Oakland. In this book, Osborne uses compelling stories from cities like New Orleans and lays out the history and possible future of public education. Ultimately, he uses his extensive research to argue that in today's world, we should treat every public school like a charter school and grant them autonomy, accountability, diversity of school designs, and parental choice.

30 review for Reinventing America's Schools: Creating a 21st Century Education System

  1. 5 out of 5

    David R. Dowdy

    This is an interesting study that promotes charter schools. I admit I know very little of public schools except that I was a student in them. Unless a school obviously fails its duty, a student isn't normally aware of fundamental problems in school administration or deficiencies in teaching staff. My schools were not charter schools. They didn't exist when I was a child as far as I know. Yet, I feel my education was very good. I remember few instances where I didn't feel comfortable. There were d This is an interesting study that promotes charter schools. I admit I know very little of public schools except that I was a student in them. Unless a school obviously fails its duty, a student isn't normally aware of fundamental problems in school administration or deficiencies in teaching staff. My schools were not charter schools. They didn't exist when I was a child as far as I know. Yet, I feel my education was very good. I remember few instances where I didn't feel comfortable. There were disciplinary issues among some students that weren't dealt with. Overall, I was not affected. On graduation day, I was a regular young man, old enough and prepared to work in a local business, join the armed forces, or go on to college. Not overly smart or entitled, I simply had a sense that I had been provided the tools to be a successful American. The situations provided in this book are different than what I encountered. The chief example given is New Orleans where the issues of “bad apple” schools, underperforming teachers, violence, and students in charge became the norm before and in the wake of the city-wide flooding from hurricane Katrina. The NOLA school district was ravaged and out of order. If its pain wasn’t reason enough to ask for bold new actions to revive the city schools, then how much more suffering would have been allowed? A nuclear bomb exploding over their city? Creating charter schools in New Orleans, as the book explains, was an expedient way to get teachers and students back to the classroom. This also resulted in the issues above being dealt with. I am not an expert in running a school or teaching. All I know is that kids deserve to be educated so that they can grow up to be citizens who participate in and take advantage of the opportunities our great nation provides. If that means giving parents and students the ability to choose charter schools where administrators and teachers spend all their time serving students, then the author can live with it and so can I. Towards the end of the book, continually preparing students for tests is bashed and I applaud that stance. Students “need diverse schools that cultivate the joy of learning…consciousness and self-control” and less testing to measure the success of teaching. Accountability, rather than measurement, through metrics such as attendance rate, student demand, retention rates, discipline rates, and college-level courses is recommended by the author. I agree, as I remember similar accountability at my high school.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Reinventing America's Schools by David Osborne is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late July. Osborne closely examines the education systems for New Orleans, Washington DC, and Denver, suggests ways to reform public schools, as well as ways for them to change, offer selective programs, request funding, retain and reward staff, provide discipline, budget, and reflect the times & geographic culture. There is a whole lot of stats; way more than ample and it's sometimes difficult for a layperson Reinventing America's Schools by David Osborne is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late July. Osborne closely examines the education systems for New Orleans, Washington DC, and Denver, suggests ways to reform public schools, as well as ways for them to change, offer selective programs, request funding, retain and reward staff, provide discipline, budget, and reflect the times & geographic culture. There is a whole lot of stats; way more than ample and it's sometimes difficult for a layperson to parse.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Being that I am very concerned about the future of education in this country, I found this to be a very thoughtful and helpful book. Osborne points out that the 19th century model of schools, big centralized bureaucracies, factory like schools, everything run like an assembly line, simply does not work for this era of post-industrialization, with its necessity to educate kids for a whole different set of jobs. He also points out that we have learned a lot about how different people learn, how to Being that I am very concerned about the future of education in this country, I found this to be a very thoughtful and helpful book. Osborne points out that the 19th century model of schools, big centralized bureaucracies, factory like schools, everything run like an assembly line, simply does not work for this era of post-industrialization, with its necessity to educate kids for a whole different set of jobs. He also points out that we have learned a lot about how different people learn, how to use computers to optimize that learning, and that the one-size-fits-all is simply not workable, especially when so many kids in the system speak English as a second language. He also feels (and I agree) that a system that deprives schools from making their own decisions and being held responsible for the results deprives principals, their teachers, and their team, from feeling fully invested in their venture, which in terms tamps down the creativity and excitement which is so crucial to good educating. He is clearly sold on the charter model, which is controversial in some sectors, but makes an awful lot of sense, when you consider that they are the distillation of autonomy and accountability, if properly run; let educators do their thing, but if they are not successful, be ruthless in closing them down, and have a properly run governmental sector that oversees them and gives parents the maximum of choice and information. I have read this book twice, the second time taking careful notes and underlining. I imagine there are people who will resist what he has to say, and look forward to hearing their rebuttals. But what nobody can deny is that the system, as it stands, is not doing its best by our kids (I live in Los Angeles where that is especially the case) and we need to think outside the box. Let the discussions begin!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    It is a very informative book in this category of reading material. The way it is written makes for slower reading though.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Holloway

    In Reinventing America’s Schools, Osborne provides a refreshingly positive and well-researched perspective on charter schools. But while he discusses the benefits of charters over traditional public schools at length and offers many policy reform ideas, I found the book to be a little too repetitive and one-sided. I wish he would have spent less time spouting the charters’ achievements and saved more room for a discussion on the many logistical issues charter schools face. He stated multiple tim In Reinventing America’s Schools, Osborne provides a refreshingly positive and well-researched perspective on charter schools. But while he discusses the benefits of charters over traditional public schools at length and offers many policy reform ideas, I found the book to be a little too repetitive and one-sided. I wish he would have spent less time spouting the charters’ achievements and saved more room for a discussion on the many logistical issues charter schools face. He stated multiple times throughout the book that the only people opposed to charters are teacher unions and those who are uninformed or hold misconceptions. But in my own experiences, I have known many who are against charter schools for completely valid reasons that should be addressed.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    A good informative book on Americas School system. The reading was a little tougher to get through, but not a bad read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Faythe Wu

    Compelling argument. Worth looking at if you live in a major city with poor quality public education.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mitch

    Good especially the chapter on measurement

  9. 5 out of 5

    Holly L'Heureux

  10. 5 out of 5

    Debee Sue

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    Patricia

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nate Morrison

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    Tammy Darling

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jed

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

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    Ashley Chellgren

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Shoulders

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lea

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    Nicole

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hatim

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Kenyon

  23. 5 out of 5

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  24. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Lomazow

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    Scott Haraburda

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michael Cuellar

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    Emily

  29. 4 out of 5

    subbacultcha

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steve

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