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It's the Mission, Not the Mandates: Defining the Purpose of Public Education

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This book invites a conversation among stakeholders of public education and conveys the need for a common vision for America's public schools. Amy Fast argues that we have never had a clear purpose for our schools and that now, more than ever, educators in America ache for a more inspiring purpose than simply improving results on standardized assessments. Fast asserts how This book invites a conversation among stakeholders of public education and conveys the need for a common vision for America's public schools. Amy Fast argues that we have never had a clear purpose for our schools and that now, more than ever, educators in America ache for a more inspiring purpose than simply improving results on standardized assessments. Fast asserts how focusing on the mission instead of simply the mandates and measures is how real change occurs. Until we have a common and transparent purpose that serves to inspire those in the trenches of the work, reform in public education will continue to flounder. Through the examination of our past and current priorities for American schools, Fast uncovers a nobler purpose that will intrinsically move educators as well as students to be inspired in their work. In turn, it is this inspiration - not another silver bullet reform - that will lead to meaningful change in society.


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This book invites a conversation among stakeholders of public education and conveys the need for a common vision for America's public schools. Amy Fast argues that we have never had a clear purpose for our schools and that now, more than ever, educators in America ache for a more inspiring purpose than simply improving results on standardized assessments. Fast asserts how This book invites a conversation among stakeholders of public education and conveys the need for a common vision for America's public schools. Amy Fast argues that we have never had a clear purpose for our schools and that now, more than ever, educators in America ache for a more inspiring purpose than simply improving results on standardized assessments. Fast asserts how focusing on the mission instead of simply the mandates and measures is how real change occurs. Until we have a common and transparent purpose that serves to inspire those in the trenches of the work, reform in public education will continue to flounder. Through the examination of our past and current priorities for American schools, Fast uncovers a nobler purpose that will intrinsically move educators as well as students to be inspired in their work. In turn, it is this inspiration - not another silver bullet reform - that will lead to meaningful change in society.

38 review for It's the Mission, Not the Mandates: Defining the Purpose of Public Education

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Amy Fast is one of my absolute favorite people on Twitter, so I was happy to get her book. I think that what she has to say about education is valuable, and she doesn't try to take shortcuts or pretend that change is easy, which I appreciate. I think this is an important book that raises crucial questions: what are our schools supposed to be doing above all else? What would that look like? What might we give up and what might we gain by changing our current system? I have two minor critiques with Amy Fast is one of my absolute favorite people on Twitter, so I was happy to get her book. I think that what she has to say about education is valuable, and she doesn't try to take shortcuts or pretend that change is easy, which I appreciate. I think this is an important book that raises crucial questions: what are our schools supposed to be doing above all else? What would that look like? What might we give up and what might we gain by changing our current system? I have two minor critiques with the book. The first is that at the beginning, the presentation of ideas is trying to be even-handed, but the author has such a clear perspective and slant moving into the later sections of the book that it feels like a bit of pretense to set it up with phrases like 'some people give priority to data collection, while others do x and y.' The author clearly has a preference, and I wish she'd just gone with it from the get-go. It's great to point out opinions and beliefs of would-be detractors, but by trying to be so neutral in the opening chapters, it lost some of the passion and voice that give the later chapters their strength. Second, the book is a bit pricey, yet there are several awkward sentences and a misspelling. Granted, the misspelling is of Csikszentmihalyi (a q is in place of the z), and the grammar isn't a huge deal in the bigger picture, but I do wish there were tighter editing, since it would give the work greater credibility if I want to share it with colleagues. I wish every stakeholder in education would read and discuss and act on the ideas in this book. We would all be the beneficiaries of inspired communities of learners.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marcie

    Even five years after its release, Ms Fast's analysis is still a relevant and inspiring read for the many stakeholders of public education. Even five years after its release, Ms Fast's analysis is still a relevant and inspiring read for the many stakeholders of public education.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tara Romero

    Causes me to yearn for so much more for our students. What's next? How can I (we) put this into motion? I'm ready to do so! Causes me to yearn for so much more for our students. What's next? How can I (we) put this into motion? I'm ready to do so!

  4. 5 out of 5

    C.J. Neely

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aron

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    Mark Heintz

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    Jennifer Bartlau

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    Jenifer Gubrud

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    Sheryl

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    Carl Davis

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    KA

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    Alix Tate

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    Lynn

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    Benjamin

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    Michael Crawford

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    Rosalinda Jaimes

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    Rose Browning

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    Justin

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    Katie

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    Devin Schoening

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    Betsey

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    Melanie

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    Eugene Goh

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    Michele Bernhard

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    Katie Divers

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    Lauren

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    Chris Mccormick

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    Kate Little

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    Steve

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    Skylar Primm

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    Meghan

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    Jim

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    Todd Bitterman

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    Jillian

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    Joe Hong

  36. 4 out of 5

    Drew

  37. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  38. 5 out of 5

    Steven Borba

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