Class Warfare: Besieged Schools, Bewildered Parents, Betrayed Kids and the Attack on Excellence offers a first-hand account of the Great American Education War being waged from coast to coast, including the reading wars, math wars, testing wars, and other schoolyard scuffles reported almost daily by the nation’s media. Martin Rochester takes the reader on a field trip that begins with his own upper-middle class suburban school district in St. Louis and then moves on to inner-city locales and some of the best private schools, in showing how “pack pedagogy” has steamrolled parent resistance in promoting disasters such as whole-language, fuzzy math, multiple intelligences theory, teacher-as-coach, the therapeutic classroom, and all the other latest fads found in today’s schools.
A college professor, Rochester became deeply involved in public education as a result of his children’s misadventures in the classroom. After several years of trying to improve the status quo as a dogged volunteer, he graduated from involved parent to informed critic of a system in which “progressive” educators continue to assault the techniques of traditional schooling (ability-grouping, grades, homework, etc), allow nonacademic diversions to crowd out academic study, and subordinate a commitment to excellence to an obsession with “equity.” As a result of his experiences, Rochester concludes that all children are being victimized, not only the most gifted, but especially “average” students and those lower achieving kids whose needs are now supposedly driving the entire curriculum.
Martin Rochester began as a concerned parent and wound up creating a fever chart of what is wrong in our nation’s classrooms.