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The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  194 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Award-winning education journalist Peg Tyre mines up-to-the-minute research to equip parents with the tools and knowledge necessary to get their children the best education possible

We all know that the quality of education served up to our children in U.S. schools ranges from outstanding to shockingly inadequate. How can parents tell the difference? And how do they make su
ebook, 256 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good fast read for parents who don't have a background in education ... I felt like the intro over-promised a bit but still felt that overall there were some good tidbits of information. Would be a good book for starting a discussion amongst parents/teachers/administrators. Makes me wonder, if we all came to the table with real honesty, where could our kids wind up?? What if you knew a teacher's strengths and weaknesses and they knew yours as well as your child's ... and you all worked togethe ...more
Kate Robertson
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a helpful book if you are in the process of choosing an elementary school. As both a parent and a teacher with more than 20 years experience, I agree that there are some excellent teachers and some that do not need to be in the classroom at all. The teacher is the most critical element in a child's education -- more important than the school's reputation, the school's test scores (usually reported as averages for the school), or even the curriculum.

Whereas, Tyre was spot on for the math
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents of young kids
Shelves: parenting, education
This is a 3.5. I might have rounded up if it were not for some of the awkward writing and horrendous copyediting, including a reference to "pubic school." Really. Some of these books look like rough drafts that I would have been ashamed to show an editor.

Tyre provides parents with a few tools to help them recognize quality schools. She breaks down test scores and explains what we can and cannot glean from them and I especially appreciated her analysis of reading and math curricula. This is a qui
Shone Sadler
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
After reading Khan's One World School house, I appreciated the pragmatism of this book. Its extremely relevant today and provides an excellent guide for parents who are attempting to work within our current education system. As a parent, its one of those books I am grateful for having read now, but wish I had been able to read it 10 years ago.
Marissa Morrison
This is a fast read and a crucial book for anyone who is either teaching or sending a kid to school. Relying on a ton of research, Tyre highlights things that work in education--e.g. Tools of the Mind, Singapore math, phonics, aerobic exercise, summer enrichment, and teachers who were good students themselves. She also makes a strong case against the current obsession over high stakes tests.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. Covers much of preschool through high school schooling in America. The chapter on standardized testing and reference to Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us towards the beginning points out the futility and pointlessness of testing, especially standardized testing. Oddly, most of the following chapters are focused on evaluating good schools vs less than good schools based on test results of students in the good schools without discussion of what is a good test that ...more
Charles Sisson
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are interested in knowing what will lead to your child's best academic development, as a teacher I'll tell you I don't know of a better source of information.
Now, I know a lot of my friends out there are just on the brink of having a child in school, and I don't want to freak you out (too much). But I have to say, public education is not what it used to be. Adele is in school all day, they get only one recess (and it's before lunch, there is no play time after lunch), they have a snacktime (but it is a privilege, not a right, so sometimes they don't get snacks), and the curriculum is more intense than what I remember from 1st grade. Sure, she's learn ...more
371.192 TYR
CD 371.19 TYR
help select preschool, elementary school, middle school
Author has a fair knowledge about education history, talking about #1 important of good teachers, the necessary of recess time for children, all good. but totally no fundamental knowledge of math, and literacy, 不了解 math, and literacy 更不用说如何学。

Chap1 The preschool scramble
The quality of teacher;quality of curriculum; deliver instruction in thoughtful, deliberate, appropriate for your child p29

Campbell's law p67
Timothy Chklovski
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book does a good job of shedding light on what the common practices in education are, giving brief historical background that places it in context, and sketching out some political forces that shape factors such as teacher measurement.
Written in a lively style, it gives examples of kids and their parents.
The key chapters are on preschool, reading, arithmetic, other(highlighting importance of PE for achievement) and on importance of teacher quality.
Citing well reproduced studies where possibl
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
I always forget to update when I finish audiobooks. This book was decent. It was well-organized and made solid points and the research was excellent. That said, there is an awful lot of emphasis and responsibility put on the schools as the only/primary teacher of kids, even kids from upper/ middle class backgrounds, which I found a bit insulting. I get it- teaching kids should be done in schools, but I don't think parents should neglect to teach their preschool age children the basics going into ...more
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Research plus practical applications. Peg Tyre gets down to brass tacks, and every parent can use this information. It particularly affirmed my belief that reading to students is never a bad idea. As a language teacher, I want my students to hear the sound of the language as well as look at the words. This was also affirmed as being very important. Great stuff. My grandkids are being homeschooled, so I don't have to worry about how hard it is to get a good teacher, but the teacher is the key to ...more
Ben Iverson
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
I think that everyone who has a school-age kid should read this book. It does a really nice job of synthesizing a whole bunch of information, and directly and answering the questions that concerned parents would like to have answered about their child's education. Each chapter had some clear, major take-aways, and I felt like it at least gave me a clear set of things that I want to make sure that my kids' schools have. I also really liked that the book was very fair, and that it was not pushing ...more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short summation of the take-aways: There is no such thing as a perfect school. But that doesn't mean you should be content, accepting the negatives with the positives, about wherever your child ends up. There are no "perfect schools", but there are "good schools". Good teachers are one of the most important ingredients of good schools. But there are good teachers in bad schools and bad teachers in good schools. Paying money to make sure your child attends a "good school" isn't a sure-fire way ...more
Pamela Huxtable
I skimmed the section on preschool, since we are past that in this family...

This book doesn 't break any new ground, but here are some good takeaways for me:

Care about your school's test scores, but don 't go crazy. We know that's true. We chose not to send our oldest to our feeder pattern school because of the test results from that school(among other reasons). After he was accepted to the gifted program, which is housed in our feeder pattern school, we realized that we were being shortsighted.
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
As a parent who probably over-researches things, this was a helpful book. Despite the fact that my oldest child is in first grade, I haven't really dug into education yet. I can talk to you for an hour about the benefits of breastfeeding, but as for which way schools should be teaching things I'm sort of clueless.

For me, this book was reassuring. We bought our house BECAUSE of the school district, but just based on word of mouth (we were new to the area). Now I find that those silly unifix cube
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was interesting but not quite as good as the author's previous book "The Trouble with Boys". While her observations and science based assertions are somewhat interesting and maybe even helpful in looking at schools, the book is not without problems.

An example of a problem was in a chapter describing mathematical achievements. She shows the readers that other countries fair much better. Among them are a few Asian nations (China, Japan). She tries to come up with a scientific explanation
May 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book takes an assumption as to what makes a good school and cites research that support that definition of a good school. It is, of course, a persuasive book, but I wonder about the danger of not debating the definition of "good school". I could imagine someone writing the same book with the same assumption as to what makes a good school, but arguing totally different points by citing totally different research. I am left with a lot of doubts. I am also left with wanting to know more as a t ...more
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an informative book. The most important thing being that kids need good teachers more than anything. There are good and bad teachers in any school (I've seen them both). Parents need to know what goes on in their schools, volunteer, sit and listen, ask questions. Parents need to be involved in their students learning. Talk about a lot of things, start working on math skills at an early age, have art and science projects at home. Parents can't leave all the learning to the ...more
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting, education
This book was disappointing. If you're completely uninterested in your children but feel like you should be, then yes, maybe this breaks some new ground. There's some fun facts and some case studies, but none of that is translated into insightful actions. For example, the first take away on the chapter about reading: "Learning to read and to read very well are crucial to your child's well-being." No kidding. Most of the actions to take seem common sense to me. As for the biggest issue, picking a ...more
In the introduction, the author herself suggests coming back to later sections when your child is older, so I just read the intro and the first section, on preschools. Not really any new info here for me: kids this age need lots of play, need to learn through play, beware the strictly "academic" preschools, etc. Some talk about the Tools of the Mind program also highlighted in NurtureShock. My only real takeaway was the paramount importance of the teacher herself (or himself, but let's be real h ...more
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-beth-read
This book is specifically for those parents that are interested in providing their children with a public or private school education. It covers all aspects of the educational system starting as young as 2 years old for preschool all the way through college admissions testing.

This book as little benefit for those that prefer a home education for their children. There is value in the information about standardized testing as well as the sections pertaining to reading skills and mathematics. And
Aug 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fairly easy read from Peg Tyre. I did not find this book as useful as her prior work "The Trouble with Boys". But, there were some good tidbits and interesting facts that should be helpful as one's child progresses through the bureaucracy that is the school system. For example, I found the discussion of whether class size or a good teacher is more important interesting. This makes a good primer to begin educating oneself on the topic.
Michelle Williams
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education, parenting
This book was wonderful. I felt it accurately portrayed the state of education today, and it is very insightful as to what parent's can do to help their child(ren) receive the best education available. The author also admits several times that it will be very difficult and in many circumstances there is not a lot that can be done, save for true educational reform. If you have children, it will definitely heighten your level of anxiety!
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are the Cliffs Notes for how to advocate for your child and help him get the most out of school. Well-researched. Clear to follow. And full of sound advice. Should you have the opportunity to hear Peg Tyre speak, take full advantage. Her perspective comes across even more bright, entertaining and well-studied in person.
Peg Tyre makes some good points in this book written to help parents make their child's educational life more fulfilling. Many interesting statistics comparing education in the US compared to how other countries/cultures educate their children... with much less expense and much more success in certain areas of study.
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked looking at school from a different perspective, and I did feel like I got some good, interesting basic information about early reading and math instruction. This probably didn't need to be a whole book, though -- the summaries of other GoodReads users pretty much nail the take-aways in a paragraph or two.
Nathan Sharp
I am already quite daunted at the prospect of choosing the proper schooling for my children. This book did not help me out any in this regard, but it did provide some good information on useful teaching techniques and things that effective schools will do and not do.
I really only read one chapter in depth...the rest I skimmed. Her point about not judging a school based solely on test scores is a good one. I'm coming to believe that administration is one of the best factors for determining whether a school is "good" or not, so make sure to interview principals!
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book to any parent who has children in the public school system. We need to be more aware of what is going on behind the scenes at our children's school. It's so important to ask more questions and be involved in the classrooms!
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Helping Parents Make Sense of Schools? 1 4 Sep 17, 2011 02:09PM  
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