Recommendations For The Education Policy Bookshelf

A great way to decorate for Christmas.Getty

Perhaps you are interested in reading up on education policy and the great education reform debates that have been running for the past couple of decades, or perhaps you need to buy a present for someone who is so inclined. Here are some recommendations for you.

A Parent’s Guide To Public Education In The 21st Century by Russ Walsh

This is a great introductory book for someone who is just saying, “So what is all this fuss about with education?” Walsh lays out the major sides for the major issues of the past decade, from Common Core to School Choice, while examining the current thinking on what, exactly, constitutes a good school. While Walsh’s allegiance to public education is never in doubt, he discusses all points of view even handedly. You don’t have to read it in order– you can just skip to the chapter than answers your questions. 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools, by David Berliner and Gene Glass is also a good book for ed policy beginners.

Common Core by Nicholas Tampio

Tampio is an associate professor of political science at Fordham University, and his look at the infamous Common Core is as interested in the political ramifications of the Core as he is in the educational implications. He is arguing for an end to the national standards experiment and a return to local control, but he maps out the many arguments made for and against the Core fairly and thoroughly. This book offers one of the best explanations of the Common Core and avoids most of the overheated rhetoric that we’ve been hearing for years.

This Is Not A Test by Jose Luis Vilson

This personal narrative of “race, class and education” is now four years old, but it remains one of the great pieces of writing by a teacher about teaching. Vilson’s essays provide an honest and passionate look at the contemporary reality of what happens where the rubber meets the roa