What’s New Wednesdays: Education Edition

Book cover images taken from publisher’s websites & Amazon.com.
Look for this sign on the display box past the Reference Desk!

Welcome back to “What’s New Wednesdays!” Since the Spring semester has just begun, this week’s theme focuses on education. Wanting to make college work for you even though it can be expensive? We have a book for that! Need to write a college admissions essay? We have a book for that too!

  • Indebted : How Families Make College Work At Any Cost / by Caitlin Zaloom – “How the financial pressures of paying for college affect the lives and well-being of middle-class families. The struggle to pay for college is one of the defining features of middle-class life in America today. At kitchen tables all across the country, parents agonize over whether to burden their children with loans or to sacrifice their own financial security by taking out a second mortgage or draining their retirement savings. ‘Indebted’ takes readers into the homes of middle-class families throughout the nation to reveal the hidden consequences of student debt and the ways that financing college has transformed family life. Caitlin Zaloom gained the confidence of numerous parents and their college-age children, who talked candidly with her about stressful and intensely personal financial matters that are usually kept private. In this remarkable book, Zaloom describes the profound moral conflicts for parents as they try to honor what they see as their highest parental duty–providing their children with opportunity–and shows how parents and students alike are forced to take on enormous debts and gamble on an investment that might not pay off. What emerges is a troubling portrait of an American middle class fettered by the ‘student finance complex’–the bewildering labyrinth of government-sponsored institutions, profit-seeking firms, and university offices that collect information on household earnings and assets, assess family needs, and decide who is eligible for aid and who is not. Superbly written and unflinchingly honest, ‘Indebted’ breaks through the culture of silence surrounding the student debt crisis, revealing the unspoken costs of sending our kids to college.”–Book jacket
  • The Years That Matter Most : How College Makes or Breaks Us / by Paul Tough – “The best-selling author of ‘How Children Succeed’ returns with a powerful, mind-changing inquiry into higher education in the United States. Does college still work? Is the system designed just to protect the privileged and leave everyone else behind? Or can a college education today provide real opportunity to young Americans seeking to improve their station in life? ‘The Years That Matter Most’ tells the stories of students trying to find their way, with hope, joy, and frustration, through the application process and into college. Drawing on new research, the book reveals how the landscape of higher education has shifted in recent decades and exposes the hidden truths of how the system works and whom it works for. And it introduces us to the people who really make higher education go: admissions directors trying to balance the class and balance the budget, College Board officials scrambling to defend the SAT in the face of mounting evidence that it favors the wealthy, researchers working to unlock the mysteries of the college-student brain, and educators trying to transform potential dropouts into successful graduates. With insight, humor, and passion, Paul Tough takes readers on a journey from Ivy League seminar rooms to community college welding shops, from giant public flagship universities to tiny experimental storefront colleges. Whether you are facing your own decision about college or simply care about the American promise of social mobility, ‘The Years That Matter Most’ will change the way you think–not just about higher education, but about the nation itself.”–Book jacket
  • The Knowledge Gap : The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System–and How to Fix it / by Natalie Wexler – “It was only after years within the education reform movement that Natalie Wexler stumbled across a hidden explanation for our country’s frustrating lack of progress when it comes to providing every child with a quality education. The problem wasn’t one of the usual scapegoats: lazy teachers, shoddy facilities, lack of accountability. It was something no one was talking about: the elementary school curriculum’s intense focus on decontextualized reading comprehension ‘skills’ at the expense of actual knowledge. In the tradition of Dale Russakoff’s ‘The Prize’ and Dana Goldstein’s ‘The Teacher Wars,’ Wexler brings together history, research, and compelling characters to pull back the curtain on this fundamental flaw in our education system–one that fellow reformers, journalists, and policymakers have long overlooked, and of which the general public, including many parents, remains unaware. But ‘The Knowledge Gap’ isn’t just a story of what schools have gotten so wrong–it also follows innovative educators who are in the process of shedding their deeply ingrained habits, and describes the rewards that have come along: students who are not only excited to learn but are also acquiring the knowledge and vocabulary that will enable them to succeed. If we truly want to fix our education system and unlock the potential of our neediest children, we have no choice but to pay attention.”–Publisher description
  • From Couch to College : The Fast Track to Writing Standout Admissions Essays / by Lauren Gillespie – “If you’ve already built an orphanage in Africa or are on your way to curing cancer, great. You might not need help writing a terrific essay. But for everyone else, this book will help you transform ordinary human experiences into extraordinary–and memorable–admissions essays. For those of you curled in the fetal position with a rough draft crumpled in one fist, you can finally relax. Lauren Gillespie is the Chuck Norris of essay writing, and this brief guide boils the admissions essay process down to its most basic, accessible form. No more stressing, over-researching, or analyzing other people’s ideas. And you don’t need to read a 200-page ‘How To’ in order to write your way in! Whether you’re applying for college admissions, vocational schools, or study abroad programs, this entertaining, six-step guide will cut the fat and teach you how to write an amazing admissions essay…and quickly!”–Back cover

These books are located on the display box past the Reference Desk. Look for the sign posted above in this blog. If you need help finding these books, or would like to place any on hold, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for assistance.

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