The chapter adds a lot to our discussions, I think, and is not terribly long or difficult to read. However…
The book is not written for a general audience but for professional educators. And, like many professions, teaching has its own vernacular that sounds like gibberish to outsiders (and, often, to us as well). So before you read, some terms defined:
-- Differentiated Instruction refers to teaching that is designed to meet the needs of a variety of different kinds of students within the same classroom. Think Modern Global. Here’s a link to a bit more detailed explanation from Wikipedia.
-- Understanding by Design is McTighe’s term for planning lessons with the final student learning in mind. So a teacher would decide what she wants kids to know, then design a unit that reached that goal, rather than doing a bunch of stuff then designing a test based on what happened. More info here.
-- Standards-based education is the broad movement over the last 30 years or so to devise broad student learning goals then test to find out whether students have met those goals. Think MCAS. More details, again from Wikipedia.
Hope that helps. Just drop me an email if you encounter some bit of edubabble that is impossible to figure out.