Books That Inspire 2004

The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them
E. D. Hirsch

At the end of the last century, I was approached about joining the Board of Trustees of Cross Roads Academy, a K-8 Core Knowledge/Core Virtues school in Lyme, New Hampshire. After reading this book, I joined the Board with great enthusiasm, eventually serving as president for several years.

This book urges development of highly structured schools, schools where teachers offer praise for educational achievement, not to enhance self esteem. The book urges replacement of educational progressivism with educational conservation, with an eye toward helping those students from even the lowest socio-economic classes secure the knowledge and skills necessary to advance in society.

The author summarizes what is wrong with K-12 education, describes how the United States has fallen behind Europe and parts of Asia in the quality of our elementary and secondary schools, and discusses how reform can be achieved.

For anyone with young children, indeed for anyone who cares about early education in America, this book will prove inspirational.
Dennis Logue
Dean and Fred E. Brown Chair