How to Make Successful Students in One Year: A Model for the World

Nicholas Aggor

Publisher: AuthorHouse Pages: 517 Price: (paperback) $26.95 ISBN: 9781491825990 Reviewed: October, 2014 Author Website: Visit »

Industrial engineer and creator of an instructional math book series (plus a multiplication table chant audio) aimed at parents of middle-school-aged kids, Nicholas Aggor now steps up to condemn failing school standards and offer a prescription for overhauling the entire existing education system. Taking a cue from Al Gore, Aggor describes more than 200 “Inconvenient Truths” about education and the government and opines on how to remedy them to help children achieve success.

While his goal is admirable, his book, unfortunately, falters in several key ways. Aggor suggests the Department of Education (DOE) adapt the basics of engineering quality controls he used in his career in the automotive industry. In this way, he claims, there would no longer be problems with poor students, ineffective teachers, administration, or even government in the world at large. Such an outsized claim will be off-putting to many readers.

And while Aggor offers a multitude of advice on everything from the best type of tests to the positive role of rote learning, that advice is packaged ineffectively. There are no chapters, just brief sections devoted to various topics. Items often appear in multiple places throughout. Readers will find it impossible to reference specific topics of interest, as the Table of Contents is just an extensive listing of the sections, and the book lacks an index. It is also missing source notes or a bibliography.

Even putting organizational issues aside, Aggor’s answers to the issues he raises are overly broad and inadequate. For example, topics such as public vs. private vs. charter schools, and the national dropout crisis cannot be covered in a paragraph or two. The author even presumptuously suggests the way to making the Common Core effective is to require this book as mandatory reading for staff and administrators at every school district.

While there’s some validity to the issues aired here, parents and educators will find that this hefty narrative is long on polemic and far too short on usable advice.

Also available in hardcover.

Author's Current Residence
Riverview, Michigan
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