“In his 1959 book, The Sociological Imagination, the American sociologist C. Wright Mills underlined the fundamental importance of grasping ‘the trends of the era.’ He argued that it’s very difficult for most individuals to see the ‘big picture,’ an understanding of which is essential if one is to make one’s life count. For the young, grasping the trends of the era is understandably difficult. For the young determined to make life count by teaching, it’s indispensible. Seeds of Tomorrow displays that big, perspective-enabling picture.”
Teacher, Author, and Education Columnist
“Sharing her unique, insider perspective on school reform, Angela Engel offers readers documented reason for outrage but also community-based steps for change. If we roll up our sleeves and challenge the current push toward standardization, Angela’s plan will help us bring school policy back to our communities so that our children– tomorrow’s leaders–will have the foundation they need.”
Teacher, Author, and Education Leader
“Seeds of Tomorrow: Solutions for Improving Our Children’s Education is inspired, informed, written with keen insight and clarity–and to the point! I visualize Angela’s book and her enlightened advocacy spearheading a new beginning to wake up teachers, parents, the public, teacher educators…. I’m certain she will bring her passionate and articulate message to teacher groups, parent organizations, the media and politicians–very possibly guiding us into a new age where the welfare of all children and their families, not high-stakes testing and uniformity of so-called standards, becomes a national priority. My immediate reaction upon finishing reading Seeds of Tomorrow was one of sadness, guarded optimism and a call to action. Sadness for a value system that places the welfare of children below the sales of designer jeans and junk food, sadness for the lack of humanistic progressive leadership. Why guarded optimism? Because making the comprehensive and diverse needs of children and their education a national priority, which seems so obvious, requires many, many Angela Engels to speak up about the misguided educational policies–at the local, state and now, more than ever, the federal level.”
Author of Teaching as an Act of Love
“Angela Engel’s book, The Seeds of Tomorrow, Solutions for Improving Our Children’s Education, provides a thoughtful analysis of the current overemphasis on testing is schools, and the ramifications to children and the future of our nation. She presents a convincing argument for teaching our children not just facts and answers for the tests, but for thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and forming questions about themselves and their world. As she stated in chapter six, ‘The goal is not what you learn today, the goal is to expand your capacity to learn everyday.’ From her background as a parent, classroom teacher, administrator, and polity advisor, the author brings a unique overall viewpoint to this work as well as her concerns for all our children, our ‘Seeds of Tomorrow’.”
Former school librarian in Austin Texas
“A valuable guide for reconstructing an education that responds to the needs of heart and mind while contributing to a productive and just society.”
Dr. Henry. M. Levin
Teachers College, Columbia University
“Put your feet up, grab some tea and read this book. Engel writes as if in the kitchen with friends. She is candid, clear and offers up story after story as both a parent and a teacher on the challenges and the solutions to improving student learning. This book is special in tone, detail, analysis and passion. It is worth every teacher and parent reading Seeds of Tomorrow to understand why and how we have become a nation driven to judge and reshape our educational system through standardized testing, and what our children will lose and gain through this decision.”
Connecticut Commission on Children
President, Parent Leadership Training Institute
“Having worked with Angela to affect positive change in Colorado state educational legislation, I thought I would already know most of the information in Seeds of Tomorrow. I was wrong. From the very first chapter, I was amazed by how much I DIDN’T know about the history of standardized testing. There were moments when I was angered to tears by the accounts parents gave of their children’s humiliating experiences, and gasps of horror when I realized how broken our educational system really is at this moment in history. I have given copies of this book to my children’s principals, fellow teachers, and any parents whom I feel are willing to take a stand for the future of education in America.”
Mother, Educator and Citizen Advocate
“For everyone who cares about the well-being of every child, Angela Engel’s Seeds of Tomorrow presents a thoughtful, provocative, and well-documented case for discarding traditional standards when measuring educational achievement. And while recognizing that public investments in quality education may be the most important thing a society can do for its children, Engel makes the case for the nation concretely addressing poverty, family stability, health care, child abuse, and other needs which make learning more likely. To her credit she offers many of the policy and practice changes needed to inspire children to learn—and which restore confidence in adults that constructive change is possible.”
Michael Petit, President
Every Child Matters Education Fund
“Dear Angela, I just finished reading Seeds of Tomorrow and I wanted to tell you how much I loved it! Sometimes I get discouraged because education in America is going in exactly the wrong direction. Reading your book has given me hope again. When I got to the third paragraph on page 50, I cried. I lost my job because I spoke up against Reading First and to see in print what I have been saying for years was life affirming. Thank you!!!”
October 14, 2010
Review: Seeds of Tomorrow by Angela Engel (Paradigm Press, 2009)
“Seeds of Tomorrow by Angela Engel (Paradigm Publishers, 2009) is a treasure trove! When I was reading this extraordinary book, I found myself wanting to read fast, because it is packed full of information and easy to understand. And yet, I found myself rereading passages as well as pages, “lingering”—underlining and writing notes galore on the sides of the pages. This book became such a good friend of mine I did not want it to end.”
“In the Foreword for Seeds of Tomorrow, Deborah Meier’s writes, “It’s about time someone wrote this book.” I could not agree with her more. This would make a perfect selection for required reading in teacher education programs, as every educator will find hope and encouragement in this fabulous book. Much important and relevant information is contained in this insightful book. Glean important information about standardized testing, the standards movement that standardizes our young like widgets from a factory, the hoax of accountability by high stakes testing, the challenges of making choices, and what matters in learning.”
To pique your interest, here are a few choice quotes from Engel’s book, Seeds of Tomorrow:
“When we as a nation allow conformity over individualism, profit at the expense of progress, and measurement above meaning, we have diminished our capacity for greatness and limited our own potential for the extraordinary” (page 23).
“Unbeknownst to the masses, control over our nation’s public education system and the futures of our children have been slipped into the pockets of private enterprises. Our current accountability system has not only failed to root out the fraud and corruption, but also has institutionalized them in our children’s classrooms” (page 50).
“Government bureaucracy has taken us further away from the child-centered approach so necessary for guiding educational decisions and preparing our children with the wisdom, confidence, and abilities needed to overcome conditions of poverty and trauma” (page 83).
“Colleges and Universities are just now beginning to see the effects of children educated under a standardized model” (page 98).
In the last chapter, Engel speaks directly to teachers. She implores teachers to speak out for their students and themselves.
“I ask, if not us, then who? We are the professionals.”
“Run, do not walk to your computer or a bookstore and order, Seeds of Tomorrow, by Angela Engel. I love it and I know you will, too. Share this book far and wide with as many people as you can. It is a gem.”
Yvonne Siu-Runyan, Ph.D
Professor Emeritus, University of Northern Colorado
President-Elect National Council Teachers of English (2010-2011)
Former K-12 Classroom Teacher (All grades), District Reading Specialist, Language Arts Coordinator
40+ Years of Experience as an Educator