Back to Wasting Minds: Why Our Education System Is Failing and What We Can Do About It
Renowned education journalist Ronald A. Wolk—the founder and former editor of Education Week
and Teacher Magazine
—skewers the conventional wisdom of the day about education reform and illuminates a way forward to higher student achievement. Learn why so many assumptions guiding political and educational leaders—standards and testing, longer school days/years, pushing advanced math classes—have little prospect of achieving results. And explore a new strategy forward following promising innovations such as individualizing instruction, performance assessments, and restructuring public education.
(ASCD Premium Member book, February 2011) 6" x 9", 202 pages.Also available as an E-Book!
What people are saying about Wasting Minds:
"In my endless search for ways to reconcile our differences over how to fix our schools, I have found the best guide yet to finding common ground. This new book, “Wasting Minds: Why Our Education System Is Failing and What We Can Do About It” is by Ronald A. Wolk, the founder and former editor of Education Week... If education were an organized religion, I would nominate Wolk for pope. He could be our John XXIII, uniting all factions in a new ecumenical movement... It won’t happen that way, but Wolk’s book is the best argument yet for why it should."
--Jay Mathews on his Class Struggle blog in The Washington Post
"Wasting Minds passionately challenges basic assumptions about U.S. schooling school reform. His spare unyielding prose carries his argument and the reader rapidly through important book. You may not agree with Wolk's conclusions, but you won't waste your mind when you read this one.
--Marshall "Mike" Smith, Senior Counselor to the U.S. Secretary of Education, Under Secretary for Education in the Clinton Administration, and Dean of Stanford University's School of Education
"Wasting Minds offers a smart and tightly reasoned critique of the educational status quo. But instead of leaving us with mere diagnosis, Ron Wolk offers a wise and compelling set of remedies. Writing with an idealist's heart and a pragmatist's spine, he shows how to build an education system centered on students and true to the ideals of freedom, rigor, and fairness."
--Daniel H. Pink, New York Times best-selling author of A Whole New Mind and Drive
"Wasting Minds is an elegant balance of insight, provocation, vision, and practicality that make it a must-read for anyone interested in meeting one of the great challenges of our times: helping educational change keep up with the changes and new demands of our world today. Ron Wolk takes accurate aim at the current, narrow efforts to reform education, without blaming all those working hard to move education forward."
--Nicholas C. Donohue, President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and former Commissioner of Education for the state of New Hampshire
"This book challenges the sacred cows of public education and seeks to change the way we think about schools. Ron Wolk offers logical, commonsense answers to the enormous educational problems facing us, and those responsible for finding solutions should pay close attention to what he says."
--Stanley Goldstein, founder and former CEO and Chairman of CVS Caremark Corporation
"In the trench warfare surrounding school improvement that has raged for decades, Ron Wolk has worked as an embedded journalist who communicated to the rest of us how progress was lost and won. Reading Wasting Minds is like sitting at the feet of the sage of the movement as he separates the false from the true. The perspective he gives is invaluable."
--Professor Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard Business School and author of Disrupting Class and The Innovator's Dilemma
"An architect friend of mine frequently complains that he has just two kinds of clients: those with taste but no money, and those with money but no taste. His complaint has a rough parallel in education reform. Those who really understand education have no power to change it, and those with the power to change it don't really understand it. If this latter group would take the time to read one book on education reform, it should be Wasting Minds."
--Marion Brady, former schoolteacher and university professor, book author, and education blogger for The Washington Post
"Writing in the great tradition of such earlier critics of our lockstep high schools as Paul Goodman and Edgar Friedenberg, Ron Wolk argues persuasively that most adolescents need a much more personalized, customized form of education than our schools now provide. This is a highly readable personal account of Ron's own education from his perch at Education Week over most of the past three decades."
--Robert B. Schwartz, Academic Dean at Harvard University Graduate School of Education and Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration