Basic premise of this book: "Planet Earth is doomed. It's our fault." No, I'm not talking about global warming or impending world wars. I'm referring to the current social and educational pendulum swing we are currently enduring, or depending on who you are, causing. Maybe "doomed" is too strong a word, but the game is changing. As the economy globalizes more every day, we (the USA) are becoming more like them (other countries) and they are becoming more like us. Countries that once had are now relinquishing and the countries that didn't are now getting, or better yet, taking. Things will never go back to the way they were. For any country to survive this storm, education is at the root of all this, starting at a very young age: birth. It's among the first things we, as humans, experience. It will guide our paths to our dreams or destroy our lives as we know them, depending on how it unfolds. "Destroy?" Too strong a word? No, not at all. Hopefully, if you're a parent, you realize that education doesn't begin when you first drop your child off at kindergarten.
More specifically, the premise of this book is that education has been at a fork in the road, and has chosen the wrong direction. I'm not just talking about the United States and No Child Left Behind, either. This is a global problem whose beginnings were long ago. So, where can we point the finger? There is plenty of blame to go around, but you may have to look in the mirror. If you find yourself already antagonized by reading these first couple of paragraphs, brace yourself for the rest of this book. This book may just antagonize a great many people, provided a great many people read it. Parents, teachers, counselors, school administrators, school boards, even students, and concerned citizens will be agitated, but all for very different reasons. My goal is mostly to irritate into action the latter of this group--concerned citizens...by telling true stories, presenting crucial questions, and exposing the resource drains scattered about most schools. This is not an ivory-tower-reinvent-the-human-brain-even-though-I've never-taught-real-students-to-justify-my-existence-at-my-university-type book. What you will read are real-life anecdotes from the trenches of education, not the latest educational bandwagons we should be jumping on and why they are so great. You will hopefully come to understand the real problems that face educational institutions, some that many teachers may not even realize.