Even thus, Wagner seems to place more value on critical thinking than actual employers do. I worked in the private sector for the past decade before entering this credential program. During that time I worked in retail, health information, government, and finance. Every one of those employers wanted people who could accomplish simple tasks and follow regulations. Critical thinking may be valuable in fields like business and tech development, but the overwhelming majority of individuals will not be going into those fields.
Wagner also details his visits to several classrooms at different schools, giving them a negative review based on what he saw as old-school teaching. It's probably just as unfair to judge a classroom based on a single unplanned visit as it is to give it a glowing review based on a planned visit where the teacher puts on a show. Schools are still in transition. I’m not convinced that every lesson can be a positively dynamic, interactive, engaging thing. I am all for collaborative work and assignments that unlock the higher levels on the depth of knowledge wheel, but doing those every day, in every class would be exhausting for the students and the teachers. There is still a place for Level 1 work.