Anne T. Henderson, Senior Consultant, National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement
“This clear-eyed, no-nonsense book contends that the past 50 years of education reform initiatives have managed to miss the most important part of the puzzle: Bringing parents and teachers together to support children’s success in school. Parents and teachers have been pushed aside or blamed, instead of receiving resources to build close and effective partnerships. Jack is an experienced hand at developing education policy and we would do well to heed his advice.”
James Harvey, Executive Director, National Superintendents Roundtable
“Fatigued by Reform, Jack Jennings’s latest book, gives you an intriguing front-row view of how federal policymakers ignored the famous ‘Coleman Report’ in favor of making schools jump through serial hoops of reform. They promoted equity, choice, standards, and tests — anything, in short, that let them ignore poverty and the disintegration of communities around the schools. Written in clear, no-nonsense prose by a legendary insider in the U.S. House of Representatives, Fatigued by Reform is a ‘must read’ for all interested in school policymaking.”
Christopher T. Cross, former Assistant Secretary of Education, and former Chairman of the Maryland Board of Education
“In Fatigued by Reform, Jennings brings a refreshing and much needed perspective on how the last half-century of major K-12 education reform efforts have impacted actual results, not just rhetorical claims, with actual evidence to support his conclusions. Based on his decades of experience in the national policy arena, Jennings adds much needed credibility to his analysis. Based on all of this, the underlying question is ‘Where do we go from here.’ Hopefully, this analysis will force the policy community to return to the key issues of teachers and teaching and how we move forward to close the equity gap.”
Terry Alban, Superintendent, Frederick County Public Schools, Maryland
“Jack Jennings does a masterful job in exploring five decades of federal education policy and the impact on our public schools. Using a seminal research study to support his recommendations, Jack Jennings eloquently reminds policy makers of the need to address social and economic policy to support school improvement as well. As someone who has worked in public education for 39 years, I appreciate Mr. Jennings’ candor and insightful recommendations! I sincerely hope this book generates a much-needed conversation to support public education in the United States!”
William Bushaw, CEO Emeritus, PDK International
“In Fatigued by School Reform, Jack Jennings looks back over the last half-century to thoughtfully research the question, why didn’t education reform work. Given his background, no one is better positioned to analyze these issues than Mr. Jennings.
“Jennings correctly identifies 50 years of the most significant reform efforts including equity, choice and the standards movement, which led to test-driven accountability. His analysis is candid, apolitical and insightful. But what is truly significant about this book is how Jack incorporated the 1966 seminal research from the Coleman Report into his findings.
“With a historian’s perspective, Jennings compares James Coleman’s findings against the four primary education initiatives. Importantly, he identifies compelling approaches to improve educational outcomes in the United States.
“Fatigued by School Reform is a must read for policymakers, education leaders, and academics. However, it is so well-written and engaging, it would be thoroughly enjoyed by other audiences including classroom teachers and parents.
“Fatigued by School Reform is a masterful analysis of education reform in the United States, of what worked and didn’t work in the past, and how student achievement could improve in the future — a must read for policymakers, education leaders, academics and others.”
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
“Fatigued by School Reform is a thought-provoking read that reflects Jack Jennings’ career-long commitment to protecting and strengthening America’s public schools for all — and especially for our least well-served students. Jack’s analysis of some of the major “reforms” of the last half-century rings all too true — too much test-based accountability and too little attention to poverty. And while I would place more emphasis on elevating the teaching profession, his conclusion that success in schools is not just an educational issue is fundamental. Today, communities across our country are in epic struggles to secure the supports and services that our children need and deserve. Policymakers would do well to listen to the countless educators and parents who are, indeed, fatigued by school reform — and to Jack Jennings history lesson that provides an important perspective on why.”
Charles Quigley, Founding Executive Director (retired), Center for Civic Education
“(Your book) is brilliant! It is clear, comprehensive, astute and a masterpiece of brevity. To cover the time period you did in 126 pages is remarkable.
“Your observations are very informative and entirely consistent with those I have had since I first entered the trenches in about 1957. The lenses you used to look at this time period have clarified many things I observed and I now have a better understanding of many things that were hazy.
“Your book should be required reading for anyone involved in educational policy to, among other things, avoid being doomed to repeat past mistakes and to engage in more enlightened and productive reforms”
From a letter sent to Jack Jennings by Chuck Quigley, July 2021. Used with permission.
Jennings’s book is available here: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781475851281/Fatigued-by-School-Reform