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Sacred Trust
A Children’s Education Bill of Rights



May 2011 | 160 pages | Corwin
Peter Cookson's Sacred Trust: An Education Bill of Rights is a book for district and school leaders, teachers, policy makers, and anyone interested in ensuring a world class education, school equity, and student well-being for K-12 students in this new century. In this thought-provoking and inspiring "call to action", Cookson not only argues that equality of educational opportunity is today's great civil rights issue, he demonstrates—though the use of vivid storytelling and relevant research—how a collective, national vision is needed in order to achieve world class schooling for our children in this century. This necessary vision is what Cookson calls an education bill of rights—a set of transcendent, guiding principles designed to unite the nation in its educational reform efforts while still allowing states to retain local control over their school systems. From the right to a school that is funded for 21st century excellence; to the right to develop individual learning styles; and the right to have one's heritage and differences honored, celebrated, and incorporated into study, Cookson's education bill of rights serves as an ideal launching pad for school leaders and policy makers to create a concrete action plan that will lead to just, equitable, and excellent schools and school systems in the United States.

 
Foreword
 
Acknowledgements
 
About the Author
 
Introduction: A Measure of Our Soul
 
Chapter One: The Power of People and the Purpose of Public Education
All Children Dream

 
Educationally Experimenting on the Poor

 
Madison was Right: A New Policy Framework

 
Turning Dreams into Reality

 
The Obtainable Utopia

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Further Reading

 
 
Chapter Two: The Right to a Safe, Healthy, World-Class Pubic School
Right Number 1: The right to a neighborhood public school or a public school of choice that is funded for excellence

 
The Great Unequalizer

 
Getting to the Real Issues

 
Money---Spent Wisely---Does Matter

 
Reclaiming Horace's Dream

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Further Reading

 
Right Number 2: The right to physical and emotional health and safety

 
Do No Harm: The First Obligation

 
Basic Justice Requires Basic Care

 
Health and Social Health

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter Three: The Cultural and Individual Rights of Students
Right Number 3: The right to have his or her heritage, background, and religious differences honored, incorporated in study, and celebrated in the culture of the school

 
Unity Within Diversity

 
The Open Mind and the Open Society

 
The Empathic Civilization

 
The Classroom Is the World

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Further Reading

 
Right Number 4: The right to develop learning styles and strategies to the greatest extent possible

 
Doubt and Its Virtues

 
The Mismatch Between Research and Practice

 
Maximizing Children's Talent Through Individualization

 
Inquiry as a Way of Life

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Further Reading

 
 
Chapter Four: The Right to High Quality Instruction and School Leadership
Right Number 5: The right to an excellent and dedicated teacher

 
Why Don't We Ask the Teachers?

 
Elevating Teaching

 
Practical Idealism Works

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Further Reading

 
Right Number 6: The right to a school leader with vision and educational expertise

 
Leadership for 21st-Century Schools

 
National Educational Leadership

 
A School Without Vision Is Lost

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Further Reading

 
 
Chapter Five: The Right to World-Class 21st-Century Curriculum and Technology
Right Number 7: The right to a curriculum based on relevance, depth, and flexibility

 
Boredom--The Lucky Two Percent

 
Virtual Socrates

 
Eradicating Boredom

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Further Reading

 
Right Number 8: The right of access to the most powerful educational technologies

 
Learning in the Electronic Era

 
Why a Right to 21st-Century Communication Technologies?

 
Technology, Technopoly, and Cyber Sanity

 
What Would Socrates Say?

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Further Reading

 
 
Chapter Six: The Right to Equality of Educational Opportunity
Right Number 9: The right to fair, relevant, and learner-based evaluations

 
In the Belly of the Beast

 
Why a Right to Fair Evaluation?

 
The Einstein Factor, the Picasso Possibility, and the Sanctity of Natural Genius

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Further Reading

 
Right Number 10: The right to complete high school

 
The Tragic Consequences of Educational Neglect

 
Why a Right to Graduate?

 
What Would the Founders Say?

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Further Reading

 
 
Chapter Seven: The Right to Good Government
21st-Century Government and a "Sense of the People"

 
A New Department of Education---A National "Seminary of Learning"

 
Organizing for Learning

 
The Dream Recaptured

 
Book Study Questions

 
Possible Action Steps

 
Suggested Further Reading

 
 
Resource 1: The Historic Issue of Equity and Excellence
 
Resource 2: The Virginia Declaration of Rights
 
Resource 3: Education and the Peace Dividend
 
Resource 4: Principles of Multicultural Education
 
References
 
Index

"Peter Cookson understands, as did our founding fathers, that a first-class education is necessary for national cohesion. In many ways, it is our nation’s best defense. With his Children's Education Bill of Rights, he lays out the principles that should guide the stewardship of all our children."

 
David C. Berliner, Regents' Professor Emeritus
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

"Outlines the types of education all American kids should have a right to enjoy and covers problems and solutions to achieving this uniform goals. Makes a fine action plan for all schools to consider."

James A. Cox, Editor in Chief
The Midwest Book Review, August 2011
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Key features

Features and Benefits:

  • Draws on evidence from the literature and illustrative storytelling to not only highlight problems in our schools, but to make the case for instituting a bold policy—an education bill of rights
  • Presents examples of issues and solutions from all types of schools—private and public; rural, urban, suburban
  • Offers chapters on basic justice, unity in diversity, authentic 21st century teaching and learning, emancipatory education, and educational justice
  • Provides Book Study Questions designed to provoke thought and ignite dialogue
  • Each chapter offers Possible Action Steps that educators can implement in their schools to bring about more equity and improve the academic achievement of all students
  • Includes an entire chapter devoted to implementing the action plan of the education bill of rights with ideas on how to restructure the federal Department of Education.
  • Offers a national blueprint for action which has already been endorsed by major political, economic, and educational constituencies

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ISBN: 9781412981163
CAD$ 44.95

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