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Scorcher Book Reviews

Posted: 2004-09-20

These reviews appear on Amazon.com


Reviews for Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools? by Kathy Emery and Susan Ohanian (Heinemann 2004

The Corporate Trojan Horse in Our Schools, September 15, 2004

Reviewer: Walt Gardner (Los Angeles CA (USA))

Kathy Emery and Susan Ohanian have written an angry book about the devious ways that corporations and their allies have appropriated public schools to serve their narrow, selfish agenda. They document their indictment by showing how an organization with the benign-sounding name of the Business Roundtable has infiltrated virtually all aspects of schooling in this country through a network of organizations. They pull no punches in analyzing the implications for society.

They stumble only when they deal with the overall subject of testing. Readers unfamiliar with assessment will likely come away with the distinct belief that testing per se is worthy of demonization. That impression weakens their otherwise airtight case. Testing is an indispensable part of the instructional process, both for students and teachers, because it provides feedback. What Emery and Ohanian fail to point out is that when the right tests are used and the results properly incorporated into the learning process, everyone benefits.

It's time that the public wakes up to the way they are being manipulated. Unfortunately, the same forces that have hoodwinked the media so effectively up to this point will no doubt successfully enlist their help in discrediting this disturbing book.

Buy this book

September 7, 2004

Reviewer: scholar-activist "scholar-activist" (California United States)

People who are interested in both social justice and public education read dozens of books which inspire...and motivate...and challenge us. But we haven't read any books which spell out clearly how the policies we dislike are being created, because there haven't been any books that explain this - until now. I could quibble with one or two of the arguments made by Emery and Ohanian, but they have given us a place to start. They have provided an in-depth, materialist, fact-based analysis of the corporate movers who develop the policies which are disliked by most educators. So, if you're only going to read one more book on education this year, read this one.

Public Schools in the Crosshairs--The Business Agenda, September 7, 2004

Reviewer: Jeremiah Jeffries, Public School Teacher (San Francisco, CA USA)

Kathy Emery and Susan Ohanian get together to take educators and anyone who will listen on a tour behind the public education policy scene and the impact of No-Child Left Behind. Their book "Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools" is a reference guide to the Business agenda for public schools and other enemies of public education. With appropriate outrage, they connect the dots of yesterday's failed reform initiative to today's current bogus reforms, scripted curriculums, "Blame-the-Teacher" attitudes, the national highstakes performance drive and the death of academic freedom. Kathy Emery & Susan Ohanian even devote an entire chapter to San Francisco & California education issues and how they relate to corporate interest. Throughout the book there is a sense of foreshadow as the language and the direction of SFUSD and public schools across the country in their current policies comes in sinister harmony with the progression of the de-democratization of public schools in Houston, Texas through the co-opting of teachers, parents, unions and most importantly public opinion and education discourse. A must read for everyone who is touched by education. A word of warning though, as the picture they paint becomes clear, you too will feel the anxiety, the outrage and the urgency to do something about what the Business community, Superintendents and other school district officials have in store for our children. One of the most useful and comprehensive books on whom and what's driving today's public school policy reform.

The fire and the fury of one teacher breaks out in words!, August 13, 2004

Reviewer: R. ebook Writing G. Hedrick "byte me with an ebook!" (Reno, NV)

Susan's book is based on Emery's major thesis, but is written with all the fury and fire that Susan can muster over the insidious crawl of corporate America into the public educational system. It is written in what I call, 'Ohaniaspeak'. This is the Susan-language that created such words as 'standardistos' and

'testocrats'. My favorite new phrase in 'Ohaniaspeak' is 'to sit in navel-gazing silence'. You will love her 'Ten Commandments for Securing Funding for Systemic Reform'.

The book is heavily documented if documentation is what you need.

It is a serious case of truth, if you can handle the truth.

Every teacher, every administrator, every Politician ought to read it. No one ever died from an inundation of truth!

One retired teacher speaking. gh

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