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A Parent's Guide to Public Education in the 21st Century: Navigating Education Reform to Get the Best Education for My Child
     

A Parent's Guide to Public Education in the 21st Century: Navigating Education Reform to Get the Best Education for My Child

by Russ Walsh
 

What is a parent to make of the current narrative about public education in the United States? We hear that our public schools are mediocre at best and dysfunctional and unsafe at worst. We hear politicians and pundits arguing that the country will fall behind economic competitors like China and Japan, if our schools do not improve. We hear education reformers,

Overview

What is a parent to make of the current narrative about public education in the United States? We hear that our public schools are mediocre at best and dysfunctional and unsafe at worst. We hear politicians and pundits arguing that the country will fall behind economic competitors like China and Japan, if our schools do not improve. We hear education reformers, well-funded by corporate lions like Bill Gates and the Walton family, suggesting a smorgasbord of solutions from school choice to more rigorous standards and from increased standardized tests to test-based teacher accountability.

What is education reform and how will it impact schools, children and parents? What are charter schools and should I send my child to one? What is the impact of standardized testing on my child? Should I opt my child out of standardized testing? How can I make sure my child gets a good teacher? What does good reading and writing instruction look like? How should technology be used in the schools and at home?

A Parent’s Guide to Public Education in the 21st Century is written to answer these questions and help today’s parents sort through the weeds of educational reform to make informed decisions designed to get the best possible education for their children. The book starts from the point of view that public education is a vital institution, central to our democracy and economic independence, and then suggests ways that parents can not only get the best of education for their own children, but also support policies that will make the institution of public education stronger for future generations.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2016-07-11
Walsh (There’s a Giant in My Classroom and Other Poems from Around School, 2013, etc.) describes the current landscape of American public schools in this informative guide. Public education is a remarkable feature of the American experience, one that can prove transformative in the lives of children. Unfortunately, a number of factors have led to a system that’s anything but uniform: a patchwork of thriving or failing school districts that offer very different qualities of education. Walsh’s book, structured as a Q-and-A and divided into sections by topic, strives to answer questions, obvious and otherwise, that parents of a potential public school student should ask themselves. The author covers the current state of the education-reform movement (including its history, motivations, and achievement gaps) and looks at how to spot the qualities of a good school, how to prepare and assist one’s child outside the classroom, and the nuances of teacher quality, Common Core, standardized tests, and the charter school movement. Walsh’s questions are highly specific, such as “What does a developmentally appropriate middle school program look like?” and quite comprehensive. One can read the book straight through, but the format encourages readers to skip around to find answers to the questions that most concern them. As a parent, teacher, literacy specialist, and public school advocate, Walsh is well-versed in the practicalities and politics of public schools. Although the book is a nuts-and-bolts manual meant to address the realities of the system as it currently stands, Walsh makes a point of editorializing on movements and solutions that he thinks would improve schooling for everyone. The first thing to keep in mind, he notes, is that education is not a solution to poverty. Rather, he says, poverty is the main impediment to education: “If we can make significant strides in improving the economic outlook of the 24% of American children living in poverty, improved educational opportunity will be the joyous and very predictable outcome.” Until then, parents tasked with navigating this inequality will have Walsh as their guide. An extensive, well-organized work on the current state of public education.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781942146339
Publisher:
Garn Press
Publication date:
03/14/2016
Pages:
248
Sales rank:
965,194
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.52(d)

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