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

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9781475823356: 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 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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About the Author:

Dr. Amy Fast is a teacher, instructional coach, professional developer, and educational leader for the McMinnville School District in Oregon. Amy’s goal is to inspire students, teachers, and educational leaders to find their passion and pursue their purpose.

Review:

Dr. Amy Fast engages teachers and leaders in profound reflection and analysis of their personal beliefs, actions, and practices in order to awaken student learning and lead the way in transforming education. (Davey Altree, new teacher mentor)

Fast's book demands that we move beyond the 'what' and the 'how' of schooling — these often convoluted by accountability measures — and instead turn to each other in conversation about our moral imperatives. Her book provides provocative questions that can move education forward if educators and the general public have the courage to engage in thoughtful discourse. (Angela Peery, EdD, national consultant and author, Leadership and Learning Center)

Dr. Amy Fast raises critical questions about public education in America, including whether it is teachers’ sense of purpose or the educational mandates that make the difference. The nature of Dr. Fast’s argument will provoke both thought and emotion. She helps us to reflect on and see more clearly why we do what we do. (Kyra Donovan, director, McMinnville School District; professional development associate at The Leadership and Learning Center)

Dr. Fast’s informed perspective comes from the heart and trenches of education as she continues to work in schools as a teacher and professional developer. Her analysis provides insight into a complex system, and her arguments will move readers to change the narrative about America’s schools. (Veronica Chase, teacher and professional development specialist)

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