By Chester E. Finn
Few humans were extra serious about shaping postwar U.S. schooling reforms--or dissented from a few of them extra effectively--than Chester Finn. Assistant secretary of schooling less than Ronald Reagan, and an aide to politicians as diverse 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 beginning president, and either a Democrat and Republican. This remarkably diversified profession has given him a unprecedented insider's view of each major school-reform circulate of the previous 4 a long time, from racial integration to No baby Left in the back of. In Troublemaker, Finn has written a brilliant historical past of postwar schooling reform that also is the private tale of 1 of the key players--and mavericks--in American education.
Finn tells how his stories have formed his altering perspectives of the 3 significant strands of postwar institution reform: standards-driven, choice-driven, and profession-driven. Of the 3, Finn now believes mix of selection and criteria has the best power, yet he favors this process extra on pragmatic than ideological grounds, arguing that folks will be given extra concepts even as that colleges 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 useful classes from their widespread failure.
Clear-eyed but positive, Finn eventually offers grounds for desire that the easiest of present day daring initiatives--from constitution faculties to expertise to makeovers of school-system governance--are eventually commencing to make a difference.