The Global Search for Education: A Focus on U.S. Education
“American schools are not failing; they are getting the best results in our history.”
— Richard Dufour
Educator and best-selling author Dr. Richard DuFour investigates the state of education today in his new book, In Praise of American Educators - And How They Can Become Even Better. Richard was a public school educator for 34 years, serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. He wrote his latest book because of what he calls the “continuing unfair characterization of American schools as failing.” He believes US schools are currently showing their best results ever and he also believes the harsh policies being directed at US public schools have failed because they were based on “faulty assumptions.” Dufour was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer last year. He hopes his book will persuade policy makers, educators and parents that the best way forward for sustainable school improvement is to build “the capacity of educators to work as members of a professional learning community.” Richard is recognized as one of the leading authorities on helping school practitioners implement the Professional Learning Communities at Work process in their schools and districts. He joins us today inThe Global Search for Education.
“If the PISA tests were used to highlight and address the detrimental effects of poverty and how those effects can be overcome, they could be very beneficial. If they are used to disparage American schools with the blanket condemnation that they are failing, they are of no use.” — Richard Dufour
Welcome Richard. What do you hope will be the main takeaways from your book?
The main takeaways are first, American schools are not failing; they are getting the best results in our history in areas such as graduation rates, pursuit of more rigorous curriculum, performance on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science (TIMMS), achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), parent satisfaction with their local schools, and student perceptions of their teachers compared with students around the world.
Secondly, because the consequences of a student’s failure to succeed in the K-12 setting have never been more dire, educators must become much more effective in helping all students to learn at high levels.
Finally, we know the key to helping more students to achieve at higher levels - The Global Search for Education: A Focus on U.S. Education: