Book Review

Results Now

by Michael J. Schmoker, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, Va., 2006, 196 pp. with appendix and index, $26.95 softcover

If you are a believer in the value of professional learning communities and clearly see the need to focus your staff more acutely on teaching and learning, then I would recommend Mike Schmoker’s thought-provoking assessment of current practices.

In Results Now: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning, Schmoker presents compelling examples to support his beliefs that we have tolerated ineffective teaching for decades, ignored the evidence of the data we collect by the bucketful, and protected the status quo in the education profession at the expense of improved student achievement. He also makes suggestions for creating schools in which all students can achieve at high levels.

According to the author, the education community knows more than they ever have about teaching and learning, but the best practices are not being consistently implemented, reinforced and monitored.

Even more importantly, he believes the expertise already exists in our buildings and can be nurtured and tapped through the use of self-managing teams organized into structured professional learning communities.

The usefulness of this book clearly lies in the author’s research, examples and supported arguments that implore us to confront current ineffective practices.

Schmoker believes we can all achieve positive results by focusing on a consistent curriculum, by providing authentic literacy education and by institutionalizing professional learning communities for teachers. His passion for his beliefs and the research he includes as the foundation for his beliefs is provocative.

Reviewed by Brenda S. Dietrich, superintendent, Auburn-Washburn Unified School District, Topeka, Kan.