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Educational Policy & Reform

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  1. 8.6 hrs • 7/5/2016 • Unabridged

    A New York Times bestseller A business leader and esteemed economic thinker outlines simple solutions to America’s five most pressing public policy issues, from healthcare to education to inequality. America today confronts a host of urgent problems, many of them seemingly intractable, but some we are entirely capable of solving. In Five Easy Theses, James M. Stone presents specific, common-sense solutions to a handful of our most pressing challenges, showing how simple it would be to shore up Social Security, rein in an out-of-control financial sector, reduce inequality, and make healthcare and education better and more affordable. The means are right in front of us, Stone explains, in various policy options that—if implemented—could preserve or enhance government revenue while also channeling the national economy toward the greater good. Accessible and thought provoking, Five Easy Theses reveals that a more democratic, prosperous America is well within our reach.

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    Five Easy Theses

    8.6 hrs • 7/5/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 11.0 hrs • 10/6/2015 • Unabridged

    Race to Nowhere, Vicki Abeles’ groundbreaking documentary about our educational system, tapped into an important and widespread problem in our nation’s schools: from high-schoolers to kindergartners, an entire generation of American students are being pressured to perform in ways that make them less intellectually flexible, creative, and responsive to a changing world. Vicki brought home with startling clarity how, as students race against each other to have constantly higher grades, better test scores, and more AP courses than their classmates, they are damaging their own mental and physical health. Race to Nowhere at last opened up this immensely valuable conversation, and generated a huge grassroots movement to talk about the problem and look for change. In the same way that she drew out a massive community response to raise awareness of the problem, Vicki taps into this same grassroots enthusiasm to find the solutions. With the same sharp research and anecdotal studies that went into the creation of the documentary, Vicki uses Race to Nowhere’s considerable national platform to continue this all-important conversation, seeking out success stories from students, parents, schools, universities, and experts to inspire and instruct those who are eager to create change. We will see examples of teachers who have cut the workload in half and seen scores rise; parents who have taken the pressure off of their kids only to find their motivation and abilities rise on their own; schools that have instituted later start times so that the kids are getting the sleep they need, and then seen a corresponding rise in efficiency of learning. Everyone is aware that the system is broken, and—through the same winning combination of widespread research and anecdotal evidence that drove the documentary’s grassroots success—Vicki shows with real evidence how practical solutions and actions taken at any level (from the students and parents to the institutions themselves) can help turn the tide and change the system. The result will help students succeed, not just on the race to college—keeping them strong, mentally and physically, for life.

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    Beyond Measure

    11.0 hrs • 10/6/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 9.9 hrs • 8/18/2015 • Unabridged

    From two leading experts in education and entrepreneurship, an urgent call for the radical re-imagining of American education so that we better equip students for the realities of the twenty-first century economy. Today more than ever, we prize academic achievement, pressuring our children to get into the “right” colleges, have the highest GPAs, and pursue advanced degrees. But while students may graduate with credentials, by and large they lack the competencies needed to be thoughtful, engaged citizens and to get good jobs in our rapidly evolving economy. Our school system was engineered a century ago to produce a work force for a world that no longer exists. Alarmingly, our methods of schooling crush the creativity and initiative young people need to thrive in the twenty-first century. In Most Likely to Succeed, bestselling author and education expert Tony Wagner and venture capitalist Ted Dintersmith call for a complete overhaul of the function and focus of American schools, sharing insights and stories from the front lines, including profiles of successful students, teachers, parents, and business leaders. Most Likely to Succeed presents a new vision of American education, one that puts wonder, creativity, and initiative at the very heart of the learning process and prepares students for today’s economy. This audiobook offers parents and educators a crucial guide to getting the best for their children and a roadmap for policymakers and opinion leaders.

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    Most Likely to Succeed

    9.9 hrs • 8/18/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 2.9 hrs • 2/17/2015 • Unabridged

    America has been steadily sliding in global education rankings for decades. In particular, our students are increasingly unable to compete globally in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. According to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), in 2010 only 26 percent of high school seniors in the United States scored at or above a proficient level in math. Another 36 percent were failing. Only 3 percent scored at an advanced level in math, and only 1 percent scored at an advanced level in science. Students in K-12 across the United States struggle with STEM subjects, often because the subjects are poorly presented or badly taught. When students reach college, they choose to pursue non-STEM degrees, and too many struggle to find jobs upon graduation. Meanwhile, United States employers are having an increasingly hard time filling STEM jobs. Economic projections for the next decade show we will need approximately 1 million more professionals in STEM fields than our education system will produce. If we want to maintain our historical preeminence in science and technology, we must increase the number of students graduating with STEM degrees by 34 percent each year. One Nation Under Taught offers a clear solution, providing a blueprint for helping students fall in love with STEM subjects, and giving them the tools they need to succeed and go on for further study in these fields. The audiobook challenges our whole way of thinking about education and encourages educators and policy-makers at all levels to work together to make our schools places that promote curiosity and inspire a love of learning. If we do not change course, we will set our students and our country on the path to a lifetime of poverty. But if we can implement the reforms Dr. Bertram suggests, we can achieve long-lasting prosperity for our children and our nation as a whole.

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    One Nation Under Taught

    Foreword by Steve Forbes
    Read by Tom Parks
    2.9 hrs • 2/17/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 8.5 hrs • 1/21/2015 • Unabridged

    John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction focuses on mechanisms of traditional education that cripple imagination, discourage critical thinking, and create a false view of learning as a byproduct of rote-memorization drills. Gatto’s earlier book, Dumbing Us Down, introduced the now-famous expression of the title into the common vernacular. Weapons of Mass Instruction adds another chilling metaphor to the brief against conventional schooling. Gatto demonstrates that the harm school inflicts is rational and deliberate. The real function of pedagogy, he argues, is to render the common population manageable. To that end, young people must be conditioned to rely upon experts, to remain divided from natural alliances, and to accept disconnections from their own lived experiences. They must at all costs be discouraged from developing self-reliance and independence. Escaping this trap requires strategy Gatto calls “open source learning” which imposes no artificial divisions between learning and life. Through this alternative approach, our children can avoid being indoctrinated—only then that can they achieve self-knowledge, judgment, and courage.

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    Weapons of Mass Instruction

    8.5 hrs • 1/21/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 9.8 hrs • 1/6/2015 • Unabridged

    In 2002, New York City’s newly elected mayor, Michael Bloomberg, made a historic announcement: his administration had won control of the city’s school system in a first step toward reversing its precipitous decline. In a controversial move, he appointed Joel Klein, an accomplished lawyer from outside the education establishment, to lead this ambitious campaign. Lessons of Hope is Klein’s inside account of his eight-year mission of improvement: demanding accountability, eliminating political favoritism, and battling a powerful teachers union that seemed determined to protect a status quo that didn’t work for kids. Klein’s initiatives resulted in more school choice, higher graduation rates, and improved test scores. The New York City model is now seen as a national standard for meaningful school reform. But the journey was not easy. Klein faced resistance and conflict at every turn.

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    Lessons of Hope

    9.8 hrs • 1/6/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 6.6 hrs • 8/26/2014 • Unabridged

    An innovative, comprehensive guide—the first of its kind—to help parents understand and accept learning disabilities in their children, offering tips and strategies for successfully advocating on their behalf and helping them become their own best advocates In Thinking Differently, David Flink, the leader of Eye to Eye—a national mentoring program for students with learning and attention issues—enlarges our understanding of the learning process and offers powerful, innovative strategies for parenting, teaching, and supporting the 20 percent of students with learning disabilities. An outstanding fighter who has helped thousands of children adapt to their specific learning issues, Flink understands the needs and experiences of these children firsthand. He, too, has dyslexia and ADHD. Focusing on how to arm students who think and learn differently with essential skills, including meta-cognition and self-advocacy, Flink offers real, hard advice, providing the tools to address specific problems they face—from building self-esteem and reconstructing the learning environment to getting proper diagnoses and discovering their inner gifts. With his easy, hands-on “Step-by-Step Launchpad to Empowerment,” parents can take immediate steps to improve their children’s lives. Thinking Differently is a brilliant, compassionate work, packed with essential insights and real-world applications indispensable for parents, educators, and other professional involved with children with learning disabilities.

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    Thinking Differently

    Foreword by Harold S. Koplewicz
    Read by Roger Wayne
    6.6 hrs • 8/26/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 6.2 hrs • 5/6/2014 • Unabridged

    The #1 bestselling author and popular radio and television host Glenn Beck considers the hot-button issue of education in the US, exposing the weaknesses of the Common Core school curriculum and examining why liberal solutions fail. Public education is never mentioned in the constitution. Why? Because our founders knew that it was an issue for state and local governments—not the federal one. It’s not a coincidence that the more the federal government has inserted itself into public education over the years, the worse our kids have fared. Washington dangles millions of dollars in front of states and then tells them what they have to do to get it. It’s backdoor nationalization of education—and it’s leading us to ruin. In Conform, Glenn Beck presents a well-reasoned, fact-based analysis that proves it’s not more money our schools need—it’s a complete refocusing of their priorities and a total restructuring of their relationship with the federal government. In the process, he dismantles many of the common myths and talking points that are often heard by those who want to protect the status quo:Critics of the current system are just teacher bashersTeachers’ unions put kids firstHomeschooled kids suffer both academically and sociallyLocal control is an excuse to protect mediocrityCommon Core is rigorous and state ledCritics of Common Core are just conspiracy theoristsElementary school teachers need tenureWe can’t reform schools until we eradicate povertySchool choice takes money away from public schoolsCharter schools perform poorly relative to public schools There is no issue more important to America’s future than education. The fact that we’ve yielded control over it to powerful unions and ideologically driven elitists is inexcusable. We are failing ourselves, our children, and our country. Conform gives parents the facts they need to take back the debate and help usher in a new era of education built around the commonsense principles of choice, freedom, and accountability.

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    Conform

    6.2 hrs • 5/6/14 • Unabridged
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  9. 7.7 hrs • 8/13/2013 • Unabridged

    Journalist Amanda Ripley explains how a handful of nations are creating smarter, more resourceful kids in this must-listen account.

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    The Smartest Kids in the World

    7.7 hrs • 8/13/13 • Unabridged
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  10. 6.3 hrs • 4/30/2013 • Unabridged

    Explore the answer to a critical question: Should we keep sending our kids to college? The American system of higher education comprises some of the best universities, teachers, and students the world has ever seen. Millions of students around the globe want nothing more in their life than to attend an American university. However, many of America’s colleges and universities today have serious academic, institutional, and other performance problems, and it is quickly approaching a crisis point, if it’s not there already. Despite some excellent colleges and quality programs at many colleges, too much of higher education is wildly expensive. Students often graduate having learned little, or don’t graduate at all. They are indoctrinated with liberal politics and subjected to all types of nonacademic distractions. For these reasons, many students would be better served exploring other educational alternatives. In Is College Worth It?, William J. Bennett and David Wilezol assess the problems of American higher education at various levels, from runaway costs to inferior academics to poor graduation rates to political indoctrination, and propose serious reforms and alternative methods for improving higher education so that it better serves our students.

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    Is College Worth It?

    6.3 hrs • 4/30/13 • Unabridged
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  11. 8.1 hrs • 9/4/2012 • Unabridged

    Paul Tough, author of Whatever It Takes, reverses three decades of thinking about what creates successful children, solving the mysteries of why some succeed and others fail—and of how to move individual children toward their full potential for success. The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul argues for a very different understanding of what makes a successful child. Drawing on groundbreaking research in neuroscience, economics, and psychology, Tough shows that the qualities that matter most have less to do with IQ and more to do with character: skills like grit, curiosity, conscientiousness, and optimism. How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of scientists and educators who are radically changing our understanding of how children develop character, how they learn to think, and how they overcome adversity. It tells the personal stories of young people struggling to stay on the right side of the line between success and failure, and it argues for a new way of thinking about how best to steer an individual child—or a whole generation of children—toward a successful future. This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage listeners; it will change our understanding of childhood itself.

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    How Children Succeed

    8.1 hrs • 9/4/12 • Unabridged
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  12. 0 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5
    8.2 hrs • 8/1/2012 • Unabridged

    Ever wondered how Finland managed to build its highly regarded school system? Look behind the headlines and find out. Finnish Lessons is a firsthand, comprehensive account of how Finland built a world-class education system over the past three decades. The author traces the evolution of education policies in Finland and highlights how they differ from those in the United States and other industrialized countries. Rather than relying on competition, school choice, and external testing of students, education reforms in Finland focus on professionalizing teachers’ work, developing instructional leadership in schools, and enhancing trust in teachers and schools. This book details the complexity of educational change and encourages educators and policy makers to develop effective solutions for their own districts and schools. Pasi Sahlberg recounts the history of Finnish educational reform as only a well-traveled insider can, offering the insight and facts necessary for others to constructively participate in improving their schools—even in a tightening economy.

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    Finnish Lessons by Pasi Sahlberg

    Finnish Lessons

    Foreword by Andy Hargreaves
    8.2 hrs • 8/1/12 • Unabridged
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  13. 9.4 hrs • 4/17/2012 • Unabridged

    Today’s young people are more independent, in-touch, tech-savvy, and entrepreneurial than previous generations, and less motivated by old-school rewards of grades and money. They want to create more than to consume, to be actors, not spectators, and, above all, to change the world in a positive, lasting way. At the same time, the global economy has shifted and our economic future depends on our ability to compete with the increasingly nimble and entrepreneurial workforces of countries such as India and China. The next generation has the potential to compete—if we can give them the innovation skills to realize it. In this groundbreaking work, education expert Tony Wagner examines why innovation is imperative to our global competitiveness and profiles today’s most compelling young innovators. He reveals how they found their way because of parents, teachers, and mentors whose unconventional methods nurtured and developed curiosity, imagination, creativity, and initiative. In their experiences, Wagner discovered a surprisingly consistent pattern of play, passion, and purpose: a childhood of unstructured play led to finding their passions—often as adolescents, and the pursuit of those passions evolved into a deeper and more mature sense of purpose. It is this combination of play, passion, and purpose that is key to developing young people’s innovative capacity. Wagner then looks more widely at the education system—especially colleges—and how we can better parent, teach, mentor, and manage young people to pick up where that system has failed. He takes listeners into the most innovative and cutting-edge schools and workplaces in the country, those that have been the most successful in fostering the skills needed for innovation: collaboration, critical thinking, entrepreneurship, and dynamic problem-solving. Throughout, he emphasizes ways that play, passion, and purpose can be incorporated into the culture of home, school, and work. The result is a timely and optimistic manifesto that will change how we look at innovation and the next generation’s potential to be changemakers.

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    Creating Innovators

    9.4 hrs • 4/17/12 • Unabridged
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  14. 10.4 hrs • 12/19/2011 • Unabridged

    In The Global Achievement Gap, education expert Tony Wagner situates our school problems in the larger context of the demands of the global knowledge economy. With insights gained from visits to classrooms in leading suburban schools, he analyzes performance by considering the skills needed to get a good job and become a productive citizen. Highlighting discussions with young people and the adults who work with them, Wagner also explains the ways in which today’s generation is differently motivated to excel. A manifesto for the twenty-first century, The Global Achievement Gap is a must-listen for anyone interested in seeing our young people achieve their full potential.

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    The Global Achievement Gap

    10.4 hrs • 12/19/11 • Unabridged
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  15. 4.1 hrs • 2/1/2010 • Unabridged

    Has American higher education become a dinosaur? Why do professors all tend to think alike? What makes it so hard for colleges to decide which subjects should be required? Why do teachers and scholars find it so difficult to transcend the limits of their disciplines? Why, in short, are problems that should be easy for universities to solve so intractable? The answer, Louis Menand argues, is that the institutional structure and the educational philosophy of higher education have remained the same for one hundred years, while faculties and student bodies have radically changed, and technology has drastically transformed the way people produce and disseminate knowledge. Sparking a long-overdue debate about the future of American education, The Marketplace of Ideas examines what professors and students—and all the rest of us—might be better off without while assessing what is worth saving in our traditional university institutions.

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    The Marketplace of Ideas

    4.1 hrs • 2/1/10 • Unabridged
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  16. 12.7 hrs • 12/15/2005 • Unabridged

    A child’s mind is hungry for knowledge, stimulation, and the excitement of learning which school should provide—yet most American schools fall far short. From kindergarten through high school, our public educational system is among the worst in the developed world. In disdaining content-based curricula for abstract (and discredited) theories of how a child learns, our schools have done terrible harm to America’s students. Instead of preparing them for the highly competitive, information-based economy in which we now live, our school practices have severely curtailed their ability—and desire—to learn. But research has shown that if children are taught in ways that emphasize hard work, the learning of facts, and rigorous testing, their enthusiasm for school will grow, their test scores will rise, and they will become successful citizens of the information age.

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    The Schools We Need by E. D. Hirsch Jr.

    The Schools We Need

    A Cedar House Audio Production
    Read by Anna Fields
    12.7 hrs • 12/15/05 • Unabridged
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