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
“Russ Walsh’s Parent’s Guide is a must read for any parent who is trying to make the best educational decision for their children. It is a clear, thoughtful response that will give parents wisdom, confidence and ease. Walsh is not only a professional, life-long educator, he is a beautiful writer whose style is thoughtful, clear and easy to read. A Parent’s Guide is the best guide for anyone who cares about public schools.” – Carol Corbett Burris, Executive Director of the Network for Public Education
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.
A Parent’s Guide to Public Education
Coming soon. March 2016
Print ISBN: 978-1-942146-33-9
eBook ISBN: 978-1-942146-34-6
About the Author: Russ Walsh
Russ Walsh has had a forty-five year career in public education as a teacher, literacy specialist, curriculum supervisor and college instructor. He is currently the Coordinator of College Reading at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ.
After beginning his career as a secondary history teacher, Russ switched gears and earned a degree in literacy and then worked for much of his career in the literacy field, including stints as an elementary reading specialist, a Reading Recovery teacher and a literacy supervisor. He has taught at every level of education from kindergarten through graduate school. His major academic interests have been in reading fluency, content literacy, instructional practice and parental involvement in education.
Russ was active for many years with the International Literacy Association (ILA) and was a member of that organization’s Parents and Reading Committee, as well as the co-founder and chair of the Parents and Reading Special Interest Group for ILA. In those roles, Russ helped organize and deliver parent programs as a part of ILA’s yearly international conference. He has presented hundreds of workshops and papers for parents and teachers at local, regional, national and international conferences.