As D.C. council considers tightening residency requirements for school admission, one issues that’s emerging is parents who break the rules because they believe the forbidden school is a “better” one for their child. The same instinct applies to parents who legally shop for a further afield charter school, or choose a special needs campus or a niche private school.
But what is the best school? What’s best for one particular child is not always best for another. In a newly published interview education journalist Peg Tyre, author of The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve,(Henry Holt and Co, August 2011) argues that parents “don’t know what to look for in schools, let alone how to obtain that information. That’s got to change if we’re going to persist in this idea of unleashing free market forces on schools as a way to improve them.”
Tyre spoke with Eve Gerber from The Browser about books she thinks will help parents “get smarter about education.”
Since so many of us parents these days are interested, if not obsessed, with our child’s educational choices (and because I love lists and I love books), I’m reprinting Tyre’s choices here with Gerber’s permission:
“Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain ,” by Maryanne Wolf, (Harper, 2007).
“The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics,” by Stanislas Dehaene, (Oxford University Press, 1999).
“Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know,” by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., (Houghton Mifflin, 1987).
“Mindset: the New Psychology of Success,” by Carol Dweck, (Random House, 2006).
“The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage are Creating a Generation of Disconnected Unhappy Kids,” by Madeline Levine, (Harper, 2006).
Tyre’s descriptions of the books and the full interview are here.
What criteria do you use in choosing a school for your child?