Book Review

The School-To-Work Revolution

Reviewed by James L. Redfield,
Superintendent, Lester Prairie, Minn.,
Public Schools


American education is experiencing a quiet revolution today whose impact will be felt on the new workforce across the country. Lynn Olson, senior editor at Education Week, documents this quiet force in The School-To-Work Revolution.

Olson tries to present a realistic appraisal of where efforts to link work and schooling stand and what we can expect of those efforts. The well-written and interesting book documents, by use of cases and examples, which programs are done effectively and why these programs work. The author also explains how to identify those programs that are not working and why some school-to-work programs fail.

The concept of school-to-work assumes that one purpose of schooling is broad preparation for work in the society. The most effective programs integrate high-level academic and technical knowledge and teach basic concepts within the context of meaningful work. School-to-work has the potential to give all students challenging academic instruction and a foundation for higher education and life-long learning.

Olson presents a good mix of philosophy, theory, basic principles and procedures for members of the business community, the educational community, parents and citizens about the school-to-work revolution.

(The School-To-Work Revolution, by Lynn Olson, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass., 1997, 353 pp. with index, $22 hardcover.)