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Outspoken local school superintendant John Kuhn offers straight talk about the failures of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top and about his book, Fear and Learning in America.Click here for free audiobook download from Audible, and earn $15 for the PBC Podcast!
Kuhn published Test & Punish in 2013, and his new book is subtitled Bad Data, Good Teachers, and the Attack on Public Education.
In the opening minutes, Kuhn explains that he used to be conservative, but Rush Limbaugh and John Stossel caused him to re-think. We also talk about Michelle Rhee, who made a big splash with massive changes in the Washington, DC schools, then dropped out to move to California, marry the mayor of Sacramento, and launch a new nonprofit to promote her ideas. In his comments and quotes from the book, Kuh dispatches Rhee handily.
Kuhn rejects the common refrain that public schools are failing, and it's the fault of the teachers. He is critical of the emphasis on standardized tests, and argues that they do not give a true evaluation of the quality of a particular school.
We talk about charter schools, including those run by controversial Turkish billionaire Fethullah Gulen, and about the recent report that showed that 82% of public school teachers are white.