What’s Wrong With Our Schools and How We Can Fix Them
by Michael C. Zwaagstra, Rodney A. Clifton, and John C. Long.517BuliCZ-L._SL500_AA300_
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Education
Publication Date: July 16, 2010

This book provides parents and other concerned citizens with a direct window into public education. It challenges faulty educational ideas with common sense reasoning and research evidence.

Available in bookstores across the country and online from Amazon.



Barbara Kay, “Better education the old-fashioned way,” National Post, August 31, 2010.

Mindelle Jacobs, “Self-esteem over skills,” Edmonton Sun, May 25, 2010.

Peter Jon Mitchell “What’s Wrong With Our Schools and How We Can Fix Them Book Review,” Focus Insights, September 25, 2010.

Katherine Hughes, (2011) “What’s Wrong with Our Schools and How We can Fix Them”, Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 49 Iss: 3, pp.335 – 336


“This fine and brave book more than delivers on its claim of common sense — an uncommon virtue in the world of school reform.  It will empower parents and liberate teachers.   I hope it will be widely read, for its message desperately needs to be heeded.”

E. D. Hirsch, Jr.
Founder, Core Knowledge Foundation


“If you read only one book on current affairs this year, make it this one. What goes on in our schools is at the core of all that happens in our country—what citizens know, what they believe, and how they behave.

The authors have marshaled all of the issues at stake in the so-called school wars, explained them lucidly and sensibly, and made recommendations that affect every American parent, teacher, school administrator, and taxpayer.

They illustrate all sides of the arguments in the vast and often confusing literature on the various aspects of the education debates and they offer practical answers to some of the most vexing questions of the day, beyond spin and image, ideology and the cant. An illuminating, eminently readable guide to the ways in which we could make our schools the instruments they should be for educating men and women to live in a democracy.”

Rita Cramer
Author of Ed School Follies: The Miseducation of America’s Teachers


“The sanest, most commonsensical education-reform book I have seen in many years, What’s Wrong With Our Schools is a trove of clear-thinking, hard-won front-line wisdom, rich experience and policy sagacity. Our schools and children will be a lot better off if the authors’ advice is widely heeded.”

Chester E. Finn, Jr.
President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute


“For parents puzzled by school rules and practices that don’t make sense to them, What’s Wrong With Our Schools is a useful corrective. It illumines the principal arguments now raging over education policy, and explains how to get in depth information that allows us bewildered parents and other onlookers to figure out who is right.”

Jay Mathews
Washington Post
education columnist


“This is simply the best book on the public school I have seen. Written in straightforward language, parents are informed about the foolish fads that still afflict our public schools. Consistent with the research and without condescension the book advocates a return to common sense.”

Mark Holmes, Ph.D.
Assistant Director and Professor Emeritus, OISE


“The authors do an outstanding job of puncturing the balloon of progressive education, explaining in straightforward, clear, and compelling fashion why much of American k-12 education has failed over the past couple decades. Whole language, fuzzy math, constructivism, and the usual suspects are nicely critiqued. As What’s Wrong With Our Schools indicates, the main culprit in all this is an abandonment of common sense by the gurus who dominate the profession. All in all, a great read, especially for parents wondering whether the emperor has any clothes or not.”

J. Martin Rochester
Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri-St. Louis