Table of Contents

Part One: How School Reform Undermines Education

1. “We’re Number Umpteenth!”: The Myth of Lagging U.S. Schools

2. Competitiveness vs. Excellence

3. What Passes for School Reform: “Value-Added” Teacher Evaluation and Other Absurdities

4. STEM Sell: Do Math and Science Matter More Than Other Subjects?

5. How to Sell Conservatism: Lesson 1—Pretend You’re a Reformer

6. Operation Discourage Bright People from Wanting to Teach

7. Remember When We Had High Standards? Neither Do I

Part Two: Grades, Tests, and “Data”

8. The Case Against Grades

9. Schooling Beyond Measure

10. Turning Children into Data: A Skeptic’s Guide to Assessment Programs

11. Whoever Said There’s No Such Thing as a Stupid Question Never Looked Carefully at a Standardized Test

12. Why the Best Teachers Don’t Give Tests

Part Three: In the Classroom

13. A Dozen Essential Guidelines for Educators

14. What We Don’t Know About Our Students—and Why

15. The Trouble with Calls for Universal “ High-Quality” Pre-K

16. Poor Teaching for Poor Kids . . . in the Name of Reform

Part Four: What Kids Don’t Need

17. Grit: A Skeptical Look at the Latest Educational Fad

18. What Waiting for a Second Marshmallow Doesn’t Prove

19. What Do Kids Really Learn from Failure?

20. Criticizing (Common Criticisms of) Praise

21. Five Not-So-Obvious Propositions About Play

Part Five: Misrepresenting the Research

22. Homework: An Unnecessary Evil?

23. Do Tests Really Help Students Learn or Was a New Study Misreported?

24. Studies Support Rewards and Traditional Teaching. Or Do They?

25. Lowering the Temperature on Claims of Summer Learning Loss

26. Is Parent Involvement in School Really Useful?

27. Perfect, It Turns Out, Is What Practice Doesn’t Make

Part Six: The Ends Behind the Means

28. Teaching Strategies That Work! (Just Don’t Ask “Work to Do What?”)

29. “Ready to Learn” Means Easier to Educate

30. Just Another Brick in the Wall: How Education Researchers Ignore the Ends to Tweak the Means

31. What Parents Aren’t Asked in School Surveys—and Why

Part Seven: Making Change

32. Change by Decree

33. Encouraging Courage