Zhao’s book, due out in late September and published by ASCD, is called “Catching Up or Leading the Way: The Future of American Education.” He acknowledges his thesis is “diametrically opposed to the more popular view of what American education should be like in the 21st century.”h/t Schools Matter
“Right now we seem to be stuck with the idea of standards as the panacea to fix all of America’s education problems,” said Zhao, University Distinguished Professor of education. “I don’t deny that the U.S. education system has problems, but I don’t feel the problems can be solved by standards and high-stakes testing. Rather, standards and high-stakes testing run the risk of ruining the advantages and great tradition of the system.”
Ironically, Zhao set out to write a book about the “repeated failures” of testing and standardization in his native China. But while Chinese officials are trying to “undo the damages” of that system, the Obama administration seems inclined to continue the limited standards-focused policy established by George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, Zhao said.
“I realized that what China wants is what America is eager to throw away,” Zhao writes in the book’s preface.