The Library Journal

“Public schools are myth magnets. Sometimes these myths denigrate the vocation (“anyone can be a teacher”), while others question the focus of curriculum (“teachers need to focus less on arts, more on STEM”). Myths can have a long history behind them or reflect more current debates around school choice and charters. In this new book, a trio of education researchers—William Ayers (Teaching Toward Freedom), Crystal Laura (education, Chicago State Univ.; Being Bad), and Rick Ayers (education, Univ. of San Francisco; An Empty Seat in Class)—attempts to set the record straight by unmasking 19 of the most common untruths. Each chapter begins with a two-page section summarizing the myth. A much longer critique follows, in which the authors illustrate their points with concrete examples or case studies of particularly effective schools. At least three chapters focus on issues surrounding teachers ‘unions. In this way, the book would make a solid companion to Jane F. McAlevey’s No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age, which closely examines the 2012 Chicago teachers’ strike. VERIDCT: The authors do their best to present a balanced work, as when they confront some of the uglier aspects of the history of teachers’ unions. Recommended for academic libraries serving teachers-in-training.”

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