"Letters to a Serious Education President provides sound advice for what it would take to provide all students in the United States with a high-quality education. There is wisdom and profound insights about how to improve public education in these letters, and of course, Sarason offers lots of common sense."
-Pedro Noguera, Professor
The Steinhardt School of Education, New York University
"Letters to a Serious Education President underscores the brilliance of Sarason's observations about what is and continues to be missing in how we conceptualize and hence implement schooling in our society. . . . Indeed, Sarason is calling for a different education--one that enlivens the curiosity and lifelong learning of all children and their teachers."
-Rhona Weinstein, Professor
University of California, Berkeley
In this new edition of his original insightful collection of letters to the first president of the 21st century, education luminary Seymour B. Sarason details how school reformers still have difficulty examining the differences between contexts of productive and unproductive learning. Originally written nearly 13 years ago, these letters are even more relevant in today's era of extreme mandates and accountability measures. It is in this context where Sarason's acute insight into why school reforms are failing that we must turn to the fundamental question of how we are teaching and supporting all students.
Sarason's seemingly simple focus emphasizes that we must start with "what and where children are," inspiring and encouraging their natural curiosity for learning. Detailed within is coverage of
- An educational agenda beginning with children
- The need for both repair and prevention in education
- How classrooms extinguish curiosity
- Educator preparation program reform
- School downsizing
- Dropping out as a response to an uncaring school culture
- A critique of the No Child Left Behind Act, and more
Sarason's analysis and powerful letters are packed with humor, common sense, practical advice, and recommendations for reaching students in today's classrooms. They distinguish between the typical rhetoric of educational change and the necessary actions that affect present and future generations of students.