• The Knowledge Gap

  • The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System--and How to Fix it
  • By: Natalie Wexler
  • Narrated by: Natalie Wexler
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (657 ratings)

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The Knowledge Gap  By  cover art

The Knowledge Gap

By: Natalie Wexler
Narrated by: Natalie Wexler
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Publisher's summary

The untold story of the root cause of America's education crisis - and the seemingly endless cycle of multigenerational poverty.

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.

©2019 Natalie Wexler (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Essential reading for teachers, education administrators, and policymakers alike." (Library Journal starred review)

"Education journalist Wexler mounts a compelling critique of American elementary schools.... An informative analysis of elementary education that highlights pervasive problems." (Kirkus Reviews)

"For parents, teachers, and anyone who cares about the potential of education to brighten kids' futures, reading The Knowledge Gap will be an eye-opening experience. Through vivid classroom scenes and stories of would-be reformers, Natalie Wexler exposes a crucial aspect education that is often overlooked: In most American elementary schools, teachers are not given the training and support they need to provide deep, rich content - about history, social studies, science, language and the world around them. And students, especially vulnerable ones, suffer for it.” (Peg Tyre, author of The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Children the Education They Deserve)

"The knowledge gap is real, and its effects are profound. This book offers an accurate, engaging, and clear description of the problem and how to solve it. It’s a must-read for educators, parents and policy makers." (Dr. Judith C. Hochman, founder of The Writing Revolution; co-author, The Writing Revolution: A Guide to Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and Grades)