Every School: One Citizen’s Guide to Transforming Education (Updated)

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How would an entrepreneur reform education? In Every School, Don Nielsen draws on his business career and two decades as a school activist, to offer innovative solutions to the educational challenges facing our country. Lasting change, Nielsen argues, will not come mainly through local school boards, but rather through state legislative action that empowers school administrators to make choices in the interests of their students. The book is essential reading for parents, policymakers and citizens who want to improve the present system, and who have the courage to pursue the recommendations contained within. This updated version includes a “game plan” for a state with specific steps to implement the changes Nielsen recommends.

Every School is about fundamentally changing our public education system so it works for every school and every student.   These changes start with state law.

The book is divided into three parts;

Part One deals with the current system, societal changes that have affected schools, and defining the mission of school (what is an educated child).  It ends with a discussion of education unions.

Part Two describes three specific changes needed if public education is to work for every child.   This section deals with teaching, leadership and governance.   It also deals with specific changes to state law that impact these three areas.

Part Three deals with follow-on changes that would be appropriate, if the first three changes are made. Here we look at the longer day/year, individual vs. group instruction, technology and charters, vouchers and choice.

The book ends with a call to action.

Every School will provoke ideas and resolve among concerned policy makers, parents, teachers, school administrators, and will stimulate the concerned citizen.

Donald Nielsen

Senior Fellow and Chairman, American Center for Transforming Education
Donald P. Nielsen is a Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute and Chair of the Institute's program on public education reform. For nearly 30 years, he has devoted his life work to transforming public education. For two years, he traveled the country studying America's public education system and authored, Every School: One Citizen’s Guide to Transforming Education. Mr. Nielsen was awarded the Harvard Business School's 2004 Alumni Achievement Award. In 2009, he received the Leadership Award from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

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