Book Review

Revolutionizing America's Schools

Reviewed by William G. Keane,
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership,
Oakland University, Rochester, Mich.


School leaders are constantly searching for a successful technique or a powerful program that will yield immediate results. This is understandable. But a road map is of little use when one lacks a purpose or clear destination for the trip. Maximum student success seems unlikely when "most schools have little sense of why they exist and what they are trying to accomplish," states Carl D. Glickman, author of Revolutionizing America's Schools.

Glickman, chair of the Program for School Improvement at the University of Georgia, argues thoughtfully that many have lost consciousness of the purposes of education as outlined in the Northwest Ordinances of 1787: "to create and perpetuate a nation dedicated to particular principles ... to develop a citizenry capable of self government ... to equalize educational opportunity for all ...."

The author provides a highly personal and carefully reasoned analysis of issues such as religion versus secular humanism; the impact of race, culture, class and gender prejudice on human thinking and motivation; the relation between community wealth and school success; and other complicated and contentious issues that regularly agitate superintendents. His ruminations are designed to stimulate readers to change classroom practice by listening to students and lessening the effects of hierarchy and control on all aspects of education from curriculum to community participation.

(Revolutionizing America's Schools, by Carl D. Glickman, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, Calif., 1997, 224 pp. with index.)