Fix Schools First: Blueprint for Achieving Learning Standards,
by Jack Bowsher
This new book by Jack E. Bowsher, who for many years ran IBM's education programs, is a worthy contribution to the standards-based reform movement. In 350 pages, it offers a sweeping rationale for reform-of both school quality and costs-and insists that this cannot be done piecemeal but must be "systemic." The author reviews why past "quick fixes" haven't worked, even as they boosted costs. Then he offers his version of "systemic" reform. Perhaps his most important contributions are the introduction of classroom-level "learning systems" and his suggestions for major management (and "change-management") innovations in schools and school systems. He ends-inevitably but less interestingly-with a ringing call for dynamic leadership! This one is probably worthy of a place on your shelf. The ISBN is 0834219042. It's published by Aspen Publishers, Inc., 200 Orchard Ridge Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20878. The website is www.aspenpublishers.com.