Attachment A: Books by Sandra Stotsky published by Rowman & Littlefield since 2012


1.The Death and Resurrection of a Coherent Literature Curriculum: What Secondary English Teachers Can Do, with Jamie Highfill, Ashley Gerhardson, and Christian Goering, 2012.


This book is addressed to teachers who know that the secondary literature curriculum in our public schools is in shambles. Unless experienced and well-read English teachers can develop coherent and increasingly demanding literature curricula in their schools, average high school students will remain at about the fifth or sixth grade reading level--where they now are to judge from several independent sources. This book seeks to challenge education policy makers, test developers, and educators who discourage the assignment of appropriately difficult works to high school students and make construction of a coherent literature curriculum impossible.


2.An Empty Curriculum: The Need to Reform Teacher Licensing Regulations and Tests, 2015.


This country has tolerated a weak licensing system for prospective teachers for decades. This weak system has been accompanied by an increasingly emptier curriculum for most students, depriving them of the knowledge and skills needed for self-government. The complete revision of the licensing system for prospective and veteran teachers in Massachusetts in 2000 and the construction of new or more demanding teacher licensing tests contributed significantly to the Massachusetts “education miracle.” That “miracle” consisted of enduring gains in achievement for students in all demographic groups and in all regional vocational/technical high schools since 2005—gains confirmed by tests independent of   Massachusetts policy makers.

3.Changing the Course of Failure: How Schools and Parents Can Help Low-Achieving Students, 2018.


The basic purpose of this book is to help policy makers at all levels of government understand that (1) widespread adolescent underachievement is not susceptible to solution by educational interventions no matter how much money is allocated to public education; and (2) there are unidentified educational and civic costs to focusing on low achievement and to expecting public institutions of education (for K–12 and college) to solve a growing social problem.  The book concludes with suggested policies for addressing the damage to public education from “gap-closing” standards and with suggested areas for policy making in order to change the current course of failure for many low-achieving students.


4.The Roots of Low Achievement: Where to Begin Altering Them, 2019.


The chief purpose of this book is to explain how public education in this country became dysfunctional as a result of policies designed to address low achievement. All students once learned that, regardless of academic achievement, they were politically equal to each other in our civic culture, with a shared civic identity. Yet, policy makers and philanthropists have led low achievers to believe that they haven’t succeeded in school because of bigoted educators and communities. Students’ families must revive the civic mission of their own public schools, and actively help to restore educated citizenship as the goal of K-12 public education if we are to begin to alter the roots of low achievement in this country.



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