The Schools We Have, the Schools We Want
An American Teacher on the Front LineBook - 1992
Follows veteran teacher James Nehring deep inside the workings of one school to offer an insider's perspective of what happens when research-driven models of school reform meet up with the messy, human reality of school. Nehring is a high school teacher, reporting from the front lines. Writing in a very personal, often funny, and uniquely down-to-earth style, Nehring follows the lives of teachers, students, and administrators as they try to implement change and break through institutional barriers.
Baker & Taylor
A high school social studies teacher provides an insider's perspective on how one school tackled the issue of school reform and why they failed, and offers suggestions for bringing about real change
Written like a novel, high school teacher Nehring's account of educational reform in practice takes place in a middle-class, suburban high school where teachers, students, and administrators struggle against school bureaucracy, inertia, and the difficulty of change. Entertaining and informative. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Blackwell North Amer
What happens when the rhetoric of school reform meets the realities of school change? In this book, teacher James Nehring offers a down-to-earth, very personal, often funny account of what life is like in a middle-class, suburban high school where teachers, students, and administrators struggle against school bureaucracy, inertia, and the difficulty of change.
Nehring's story unfolds at the fictional Amesley Junior-Senior High School, where for two years he and his colleagues wrestle with issues of school reform. Amesley High's new principal, Roberta Walters, talks a good line about restructuring, shared decision-making, and collegiality, only to find her enthusiasm quickly overwhelmed by the realities of collective bargaining, state mandates, and entrenched cynicism.
Enter Mr. Nehring - the idealistic crusader and social studies teacher who wants change in the worst way. He and like-minded colleagues make numerous attempts to break through institutional barriers. They devise a promising team-teaching project, a United Nations simulation, and, ultimately, a scheme for an experimental high school. All of these are obstructed by one or more constituencies (unions, administrators, parents, board members, kids), each of which has just enough power to veto anything that threatens its turf.
Through stories that inform as well as entertain, Nehring gives an up-close and realistic view of what happens when research-driven models for school reform meet the very messy, human reality of school. Anyone serious about bringing real improvement to real schools should read this book because it is about people. And, ultimately, people - not models, systems, or theories - will bring change to America's schools.