Two Key Education Titles | Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2018

Duncan, Arne. How Schools Work. Aug. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781501173059. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501173073. EDUCATION
Duncan has been deeply involved in education for three decades, from his mother’s after-school program on Chicago’s South Side to his position as Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama, so he’s got a real insider’s perspective, from which he argues, “Education runs on lies.” Here he specifies those lies, which have caused American children to fall behind their peers worldwide, while praising the teachers and principals, businesspeople and politicians who have helped improve education in America. He’s been called racist from the left, autocratic from the right, and the “most extreme anti-gun member of President Obama’s Cabinet” by the NRA, so you bet that Duncan will provoke thought here.

Henderson, Cinque. Sit Down and Shut Up: How Discipline Can Set Students Free. St. Martin’s. Aug. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9781250101884. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250101891. EDUCATION
A film and TV writer (e.g., HBO’s The Newsroom) and a journalist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, the Washington Post, and more, Henderson believed that failure in the classroom resulted from unmotivated, inattentive, simply bad teaching. But when he began substitute teaching, he quickly came to believe that the problem was rampantly unchecked student behavior, which he sees as resulting from society itself. Beyond analysis, here are prescriptions, including discussion of legal infrastructure, to improve the situation. Not surprisingly, there’s a big push not just to educators but to libraries.

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Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.

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