Jay P. Greene, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Education Research Office, examines what he calls “eighteen widely held beliefs” about American education. He claims that much of what we believe about the American education system is simply not true.
According to Greene, most Americans are committed to the value of education and therefore tend to believe what they read and hear about schools and the education system in general. His first example of this is the belief that schools may perform poorly because they need more money. He “debunks” what he calls the Money Myth in the first chapter.
In addition to the Money Myth, Greene tackles The Class Size Myth- smaller classes would produce better results, The Teacher Pay Myth- teachers are badly underpaid, The Myth of Decline- schools are performing much worse now than in the past, and several other common discussion points including the most prominent accountability reform, the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Greene explains why myths dominate education policy and in each chapter he usually gives the foundations of each myth. He wraps up his book nicely, but he does not use his experience in researching the educational field to give advice as to how we may want to solve the problems, or at least the perceived problems.
– Andy Smith