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Not With My Child, You Don't: A Citizen's Guide to Eradicating OBE and Restoring Education
by Robert Holland, 1995, Citizen Projects Publishing, a division of Chesapeake-Capital Resources, Richmond, VA, 1(800)555-7606, 394 pps, $12.95.
Not With My Child, You Don't by award-winning journalist Robert Holland, explores one of the hottest issues in grassroots America today -- Outcome-Based Education. In community after community, parents have been alarmed to discover how the education, big business, and political establishments were pushing a brand of school restructuring in which mandated "outcomes" have more to do with children's sociopolitical attitudes than with their ability to read, write, compute, and comprehend their American heritage.
Not With My Child, You Don't is an unusual blending of journalistic investigation and citizen activism. Holland, the 1992 Mencken Award winner, carefully examines the theory and practice of OBE and traces its spread through Carnegie Foundation-funded activities, the Labor Department's SCANS system, a Hillary Clinton/Ira Magaziner collaboration similar to their failed health-care initiative, the National Governors Association's commitment growing out of President Bush's 1989 Education Summit, and big business, which sees OBE as a way to obtain well-socialized workers despite growing demographic diversity.
Following each of Holland's investigative reports, parent-activists from several key battleground states tell first-hand stories of how they became aware of OBE's infiltration into their community schools and what they did about it.
Not With My Child, You Don't does much more than simply tell the story of assorted outrages committed in the name of OBE. Holland and his collaborators emphasize the importance of proposing positive alternatives. The book examines in some detail the programs that citizens in Connecticut and Alabama put forth as grassroots alternatives to lavishly financed OBE. In addition, the book has specific advice about how to make a difference in a community debate by organizing town meetings, using the Freedom of Information Act, and lobbying lawmakers. Not With My Child, You Don't combines an important blend of reporting, analysis, human interest, and how-to advice.