Early Reviews are in! Five Stars for A Parent’s Guide to Public Education in the 21st Century 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. Available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. More retailers coming soon. Ebook available April 21, 2016.
“Russ Walsh is a knowledgeable, insightful critic of the dogmatic school reformers who are driving American education back toward the 19th century instead of ahead into the 21st. His analyses are on par with those of Diane Ravitch, David Berliner, Yong Zhao … “- Dr. Don Ambrose, Editor, the Roeper Review
“A clear, concise parent’s guide to school in the age of education reform. In a discussion that has been characterized by a great deal of heat, Russ Walsh sheds some light and cuts through the fog of propaganda and PR. This is a clear, fair guide to what is in the best interests of your child, and what is just baloney. Best of all, in a discussion that is filled with questions about what’s best for the nation, Walsh helps parents answer the most important question—what’s best for my own child?” – Peter Greene, Author of the bookCurmudgucation: What Fresh Hell, Author of the “Curmudgucation” and Education Week Teacher “View from the Cheap Seats” blogs
“Russ Walsh’s new book is a distillation of years of experience and wisdom from an actual expert in the field. This is essential reading for any parent, teacher, school board member, administrator or anyone who cares about the U.S. education system.” – Steven Singer, Pennsylvania educator and public school advocate.
“Just finished this. It is the BEST book on public education!! I will be sharing it with my ELL students’ parents and my student teachers. I am going to apply what I learned to my own children.” – (five stars) Amazon
“Russ Walsh’s book arrived today by special delivery. That’s just what this book is: a special delivery to parents everywhere who want to be advocates for their kids in this confusing climate of so-called school reform. Mr. Walsh has touched a nerve! I thank him for showing up and speaking up to provide measured perspective and important research. This book is a winner!” – (five stars) Amazon
“This book is what is needed in education right now. It is a parent friendly book that explains all the ins and outs of the school system and helps parents advocate for their children. It is a great read for teachers too and can be a great resource to share at Back to School Night or parent meetings. A Parents Guide to Public Education explains aspects of education that are often questioned by people outside the field. For example, Walsh explains how teacher tenure benefits students and how current high stakes tests are affecting schools. A great read that I highly recommend!” – (five stars) Amazon
“A Parent’s Guide to Education in the 21st Century isn’t just for parents. It’s for anyone who wants to understand the “reform” agenda and what it has done to American public education. Call it “reform” 101. Walsh clearly outlines the ways that the “reform” movement has damaged the nation’s public education system and harmed the education of children. The book begins with a Bill of Rights for School Children…which should be posted in every public school in the nation. For teachers, he identifies best practices. For parents, he describes what a good school and good instruction ought to look like. He includes informative chapters on standardized tests, the privatization of public education, and the Common Core. A must read.” – (five stars) Amazon
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. Available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. More retailers coming soon. Ebook available April 19, 2016.
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.