Praise for Schools on Trial
Schools on Trial is a terrific book, terribly important, written with the kind of energy that ought to stir a lot of students and then parents to resist the dismal status quo. Nikhil Goyal made me nostalgic: John Holt and I taught together in the first year of Upward Bound. George Dennisonand I became good friends three years later. Ivan Illichcalled me on the phone in 1968 (I had no idea who he was) and literally ordered me to spend a month with Paolo Freire. I can't tell you how grateful I am that Nikhil Goyal is bringing fuel to an old fire that Holt and Freire first ignited for us almost 50 years ago.
Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury and many other famous writers, artists, journalists, and computer coders would have failed in today's educational system. Schools on Trial will force you to think deeply about problems in today's schools.
Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures and The Autistic Brain
This well-documented, solid, highly engaging book gives me hope for the future of education. Nikhil Goyal does much more than explain the failings of our standard, coercive schools. He reviews the growing number of alternative educational routes that are empowering and joyful rather than demeaning and dreary. We look to the day when such choices are available to everyone.
Peter Gray, Research Professor at Boston College and author ofFree to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
Rarely do we think of high school students as prisoners, but Nikhil Goyal does and he should know because he was one until just a few years ago. His book is a powerfully written, revolutionary indictment of our system of schooling. Goyal makes a compelling case for the need to listen to the voices of kids and offer meaningful learning alternatives.
Tony Wagner, author of Creating Innovators and Expert in Residence at theHarvard Innovation Lab
I began by arguing with Nikhil Goyal (one of my favorite occupations), but by the third chapter of Schools on Trial, I was thoroughly in synch and found it provoking, insightful and a wonderfully clear read.
Deborah Meier, MacArthur Fellow, founder of the Central Park East school
A blistering critique of the damage and injustices wrought by standardized education and a visionary, practical vision of the essential alternatives that lie in our reach. Highly recommended for anyone with a serious interest in the well-being of our children and the sanity and health of our communities.
Sir Ken Robinson, author of Creative Schools andThe Element
As Illich, Holt, Gatto and others have done before him, Goyal reminds us that our public school system was modeled after the factories of the early 1900s, that much more powerful ways of educating our children are available, and that school as most people know it today is a relic that has no legitimate place in our country's future. Maybe Goyal will succeed where the other school reformers failed. For the sake of our children and our society, I certainly hope so.
Robert Epstein, Ph.D., author of Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence; former editor-in-chief, Psychology Today
Schools on Trial is a kaleidoscope of insights, a meteor shower of surprising enlightenments from the freshest, most just, vantage point on the institutional school scene that of the student victim. Only three short years after graduation from Syosset High School on Long Island, Nikhil Goyal offers the reading public his penetrating reflections on the myriad insults he, his classmates, and millions of young Americans suffer at the hands of a badly designed social machine, and shows how its malpractice can be fixed, almost without cost.
What doubles the fascination of Goyal s book is that Syosset High, from whence his observations stem, was ranked by Newsweek as the 143rd best high school in America and owns a truly impressive array of high awards in academics, athletics, and the arts. Mr. Goyal will show you, in clear language, what the news magazine and other honors-bestowers missed. Buy this one!
John Taylor Gatto, New York State Teacher of the Year, 1991; author of The Underground History of American Education and Dumbing Us Down"show more