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Lives on the Boundary
Rose, Mike
(Paperback)

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Remedial, illiterate, intellectually deficient - these are the stigmas that define America's educationally underprepared. Growing up poor, Mike Rose, nationally acclaimed educator and author, shared these labels. Now he takes us into classrooms and communities to reveal what really lies behind the labels and test scores. With rich detail, Rose demonstrates innovative methods to initiate "problem" students into the world of language, literature, and written expression. This book challenges educators, policymakers, and parents to reexamine their assumptions about the capacities of a wide range of students. Already a classic, Lives on the Boundary offers a truly democratic vision, one that should be heeded by anyone concerned with America's future.


Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve
Chu, Lenora
(Hardcover)

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When American journalist Lenora Chu moved to Shanghai with her little boy, Rainey, just down the street from the state-run school - the best, as far as elite Chinese were concerned - she faced an important decision: Should she entrust her rambunctious young son to the Chinese public schools?It seemed like a good idea at the time, and so began Rainey’s immersion in one of the most radical school systems on the planet. Almost immediately, the three-year-old began to develop surprising powers of concentration and became proficient in early math. Yet Chu also noticed disturbing new behaviors: Whereas he used to scribble and explore, Rainey was now obsessed with staying inside the lines. He became fearful of authority figures. "If you want me to do it, I’ll do it," he told a stranger who had asked whether he liked to sing.Driven by parental concern, Chu embarked on an investigative mission: What price do the Chinese pay to produce their "smart" kids, and what lessons might Western parents and educators learn from this system? In her search for answers, Chu followed Chinese students, teachers, and experts, pulling back the curtain on a military-style education system in which even the youngest kids submit to high-stakes tests and parents are crippled by the pressure to compete. Yet as Chu delved deeper, she discovered surprising upsides, such as the benefits of memorization, competition as a motivator, and the Chinese cultural belief in hard work over innate talent.Lively and intimate, beautifully written and reported, Little Soldiers asks us to reconsider the true value and purpose of education, as China and the West compete for the political and economic dominance of a new generation.


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The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide (Revised and Updated Edition)
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The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide (Revised and Updated Edition)
Monk, Linda R
(Softcover)

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In The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide, award-winning author and constitutional scholar Linda R. Monk explores the remarkable history of the Bill of Rights amendment by amendment, the Supreme Court's interpretation of each right, and the power of citizens to enforce those rights.Stories of the ordinary people who made the Bill of Rights come alive are featured throughout. These include Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi sharecropper who became a national civil rights leader; Clarence Earl Gideon, a prisoner whose handwritten petition to the Supreme Court expanded the right to counsel; Mary Beth Tinker, a 13-year-old whose protest of the Vietnam War established free speech rights for students; Michael Hardwick, a bartender who fought for privacy after police entered his bedroom unlawfully; Suzette Kelo, a nurse who opposed the city's takeover of her working-class neighborhood; and Simon Tam, a millennial whose 10-year trademark battle for his band "The Slants" ended in a unanimous Supreme Court victory. Such people prove that, in the words of Judge Learned Hand, "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court, can save it."Exploring the history, scope, and meaning of the first ten amendments-as well as the Fourteenth Amendment, which nationalized them and extended new rights of equality to all-The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide is a powerful examination of the values that define American life and the tools that every citizen needs.


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The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture
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The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture
Dear, Brian
(Hardcover)

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At a time when Steve Jobs was only a teenager and Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t even born, a group of visionary engineers and designers—some of them only high school students—in the late 1960s and 1970s created a computer system called PLATO, which was light-years ahead in experimenting with how people would learn, engage, communicate, and play through connected computers. Not only did PLATO engineers make significant hardware breakthroughs with plasma displays and touch screens but PLATO programmers also came up with a long list of software innovations: chat rooms, instant messaging, message boards, screen savers, multiplayer games, online newspapers, interactive fiction, and emoticons. Together, the PLATO community pioneered what we now collectively engage in as cyberculture. They were among the first to identify and also realize the potential and scope of the social interconnectivity of computers, well before the creation of the internet. PLATO was the foundational model for every online community that was to follow in its footsteps. The Friendly Orange Glow is the first history to recount in fascinating detail the remarkable accomplishments and inspiring personal stories of the PLATO community. The addictive nature of PLATO both ruined many a college career and launched pathbreaking multimillion-dollar software products. Its development, impact, and eventual disappearance provides an instructive case study of technological innovation and disruption, project management, and missed opportunities. Above all, The Friendly Orange Glow at last reveals new perspectives on the origins of social computing and our internet-infatuated world.


Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation
Abeles, Vicki
(Paperback)

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Race to Nowhere, Vicki Abeles’s groundbreaking documentary about our educational system, tapped into a widespread problem in our nation’s schools: From high school to kindergarten, an entire generation of American students is being pressured to perform in ways that make them less intellectually flexible, creative, and responsive to a changing world. Vicki brought home how, as students race against each other to have constantly higher grades, better test scores, and more AP courses than their classmates, they are damaging their own mental and physical health.Now in the New York Times bestseller Beyond Measure, Vicki continues this all-important conversation, seeking out success stories to inspire and instruct those who are eager to create change. We see examples of teachers who have cut the workload in half and seen scores rise; parents who have taken the pressure off of their kids only to find their motivation and abilities rise on their own; schools that have instituted later start times so that the kids are getting the sleep they need able to learn more efficiently.Everyone is aware that the educational system is broken, and Beyond Measure reveals a personal, unique, on-the-ground perspective. From limiting the number of AP courses a college will consider to eliminating the competitive need to “do more than the next kid” and shifting emphasis in the admissions process to essay options over test scores. “With both heart and smarts, Vicki Abeles showcases the courageous communities that are rejecting the childhood rat race and reclaiming health and learning (Maria Shriver).” The result will help students succeed, not just on the race to college—but for life.


The Great American University: Its Rise to Preeminence, Its Indispensable National Role, Why It Must Be Protected
Cole, Jonathan R.
(Paperback)

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Americans and people throughout the world have become increasingly dependent on America's great research universities. Yet few of us truly understand to what we owe this extraordinary excellence or what we must do to keep it. From the development of technologies like the laser, the global positioning system, the MRI, radar, and even Viagra, to predicting weather patterns, American research universities are one of our most vital sources of economic growth and social welfare. They have flourished because of a system that has invested public tax dollars in their work and, more importantly, granted substantial autonomy to funding agencies and the universities. This system is now under attack, the university's preeminence endangered by the USA PATRIOT Act and other conservative policies. This revelatory and alarming book will show how this vital institution is at risk of tragically losing its dominant status and why a threat to the university is a threat to the health and wealth of our nation.


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