Garn Press Non-Fiction Books Encourage Us To Be Hopeful and Take Action Part One
Garn Press non-fiction books have a collective presence that is hopeful for the future. We encourage you to read them individually or as text sets for university and colleges courses, or in professional development courses for schools preK-12 grade.
The central image and warning of the book – “beware the roadbuilders” – is drawn from Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. The book presents a compelling argument that billionaires, politicians, and self-professed education reformers are doing more harm than good – despite their public messages. The public and our students are being crushed beneath their reforms.
In the wake of Ferguson and the growing list of sacrificed young black men – Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner – the essays in this book gain an even wider resonance, seeking to examine both the larger world of inequity as well as the continued failure of educational inequity. While each chapter stands as a separate reading, the book as a whole produces a cohesive theme and argument about the power of critical literacy to read and re-read the world, and to write and re-rewrite the world (Paulo Freire).
Praise for Beware the Roadbuilders: Literature as Resistance:
“Paul Thomas is the conscience of American education. He is our North Star. He writes about a ‘pedagogy of kindness,’ an idea unknown to policymakers these days. In these essays, he demands that we see the world through the eyes of others, that we open our minds and our hearts to the children and families left behind by our culture, that we place the demands of social justice above the demands of accountability and testing.” – Diane Ravitch, author of Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools
At Garn Press our respect for both Paul and his scholarship continues to grow and we place him alongside Maxine Greene for encouraging us to explore the dark side of human imagination.
Beware the Roadbuilders: Literature as Resistance
Anthony Cody is the winner of this year’s George Orwell Award for The Educator and the Oligarch, given by the NCTE Public Language Awards Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The Orwell Award was established in 1975, to recognize writers who have made outstanding contributions to the critical analysis of public discourse. An honor that is well deserved.
Praise for The Educator and the Oligarch
“The Educator and the Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges the Gates Foundation by Anthony Cody. While billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is undeniably well meaning, there is no greater distorting and destructive force in education. Cody, a longtime teacher in the Oakland school system, exposes the “non-profit” industry that has made significant use of Gates Foundation money in pushing high-stakes, standardized-test-based reform. Gates is at the root of our federal policy on education. Cody shows why business success doesn’t translate into universal wisdom.” – Chicago Tribune
At Garn Press we stand in solidarity with Anthony Cody in support of public education freed from the tyranny of oligarchs however benign they may seem to be.
The Educator And The Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges The Gates Foundation
Preparing the Nation’s Teachers to Teach Reading: A Manifesto in Defense of “Teacher Educators Like Me”, by Curt Dudley-Marling
Preparing The Nation’s Teachers To Teach Reading: A Manifesto in Defense of “Teacher Educators Like me” demonstrates the complete absence of a relationship between NCTQ’s assessment of the quality of teacher preparation in reading in given states and how well students in those states actually perform on national assessments of reading achievement.
Curt Dudley-Marling shows that the ultimate goal of many educational reform groups like NCTQ is to undercut public support for traditional public schools to pave the way for free market-based schooling based on competition and profit and where literacy is a commodity to be exchanged in the marketplace and individuals are mere cogs in an economic machine. Reading educators like Dudley-Marling, on the other hand, see literacy as a key to personal fulfillment and satisfaction and maintaining a participatory democracy in which the economy is shaped to the needs of citizens, not the other way around.
Praise for Preparing The Nation’s Teachers To Teach Reading: A Manifesto in Defense of “Teacher Educators Like me”
“This manifesto comes not a moment too soon. Curt Dudley-Marling offers a spirited defense of teacher educators rooted in the reasons they choose to teach. Those in the trenches will greatly appreciate the fresh ammunition he provides.” – Anthony Cody, author of The Educator and The Oligarch
“In this feisty volume, Curt Dudley-Marling provides a robust defense of an educational approach that is shockingly out of fashion in the policy world: a meaning-centered education that is irreducible to standardized test scores. Never afraid to stick his head in the lion’s mouth, he takes on many of the best-funded conservative, market-oriented educational observers (they are never participants) and refutes their dubious assumptions about the purpose of education and the preparation of teachers.” – Peter Smagorinsky, author of Teaching Dilemmas and Solutions in Content Area Literacy
Preparing the Nation’s Teachers to Teach Reading: A Manifesto in Defense of “Teacher Educators Like Me”
In an imaginary conversation at Café Griensteidl in New York City twelve venerable women scholars outdo nine very rich dangerously misguided men of enormous power.
Bill Gates appears and so does Sir Michael Barber of Pearson, along with Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth and Dorothy Lintott of Alan Bennett’s History Boys. Scenes from Isaac Asimov’s Nightfall and Italo Calvino’s Daughters of the Moon are folded in.
Sarah Montague of BBC’s Hardtalk, Jeremy Paxman of Nightline, and researcher and historian of education Diane Ravitch, all play their parts. Thomas Piketty of Capital in the Twenty-First Century briefly appears, as do Louis C.K. of Louie and John Cleese of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers.
With the title a parody on a nursery rhyme, this satire defies categorization. It conjures up all the powers of drama, tragedy, and comedy, with the help of the celebrated diners at Café Griensteidl, a teacher and parent demonstration, and rappers, in a New York street scene celebration where Amsterdam meets Broadway.
It is a cosmological allegory which combines scientific realism and musical comedy to set the stage for the last act in which twelve venerable women scholars appear to expose the political skullduggery, nefarious practices, avarice, and greed behind the coup d’état – officially called the Whole System Global Education Revolution – that is dismantling the US public school system, destroying democracy, and threatening the present and future lives of our children.
Praise for Save Our Children, Save Our School, Pearson Broke the Golden Rule
“The book is funny, learned, and zany.” – Diane Ravitch, author of Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools.
“It’s a great way to build insights into the political agenda of the corporate education reform movement in the US and UK.” – Yetta Goodman, author of Kidwatching and Valuing Language Study.
Save Our Children, Save Our School, Pearson Broke the Golden Rule