Your Garage Beauty Best Books of the Year So Far STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Wickedly Prime Handmade Wedding Rustic Decor Book House Cleaning gotpremiere gotpremiere gotpremiere  Introducing Echo Show All-New Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, starting at $129.99 Kindle Oasis Nintendo Switch Water Sports STEMClubToys17_gno
Customer Review

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time to Pick That Fight, January 6, 2012
This review is from: Push Has Come to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve--Even If It Means Picking a Fight (Hardcover)
As the grandfather of three children who suffer learning disabilities, I take great interest in books, like Steve Perry's Push Has Come to Shove, that offer new ideas about educating this country's children. I also share the sense of urgency implied by the title Perry chose for his book - including its subtitle: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve - Even if It Means Picking a Fight. It is past time that this nation gets serious about making the changes required to turn our public educational system around and, if picking a fight is the only way to do it, let's get started.

How bad is it? As evidence that it is very bad, indeed, I offer this heart-stopping quote from the chapter that discusses international test scores of school-age children:

"Finland's bottom 10 percent is better than our top 10 percent."

If this quote is factual, it is the most terrifying thing I have read outside a Stephen King novel in years. Imagine, for just a minute, what that really means. Let it sink in.

When one considers that a minimum of "43 percent of students at two-year colleges and almost 30 percent of students enrolled in four-year colleges" required at least one remedial course before they can begin their actual college-level work, it is impossible to argue that our public schools are doing right by the children we entrust to them. Too many parents, especially those whose children attend schools in white suburban areas, have been conned into believing that their schools are excellent because of the high percentage of students in those schools who rate as "proficient" on the standardized tests used to quantify such things. As Dr. Perry points out, students who earn a "proficient" rating on these tests are, in fact, performing below grade level and their parent's are being treated like fools.

Perry places the blame for the failure of our school system most squarely on the shoulders of teachers and the unions that make it almost impossible to fire them for anything less than sexual misconduct (and even termination for that crime is not always a "gimme" when the unions get involved). He even titles one of his chapters "Teachers' Unions: The Worst Thing That Ever Happened to Education," a chapter in which he exposes the absurdity of a system that unionizes to protect incompetent teachers at the expense of the students they are responsible for educating.

Push Has Come to Shove is not entirely negative, however, and it would be a failure if it were. Perry offers solutions that include school vouchers to be used to place children in charter and magnet schools, as well as in the existing public schools that are actually educating children properly. He argues that schools need an immediate redesign if we are ever to educate our children the way we need to get the job done. This redesign includes: "great teachers and great lesson plans, committed principals, a lengthened school calendar, the use of technology, and an updated curriculum."

I do not agree with everything in Push Has Come to Shove (especially with Perry's recommendation to hire the most "attractive" competent teachers to be found because students tend to relate to them easier), but Dr. Steve Perry is definitely on the right track. The alternative to trying some of the radical ideas espoused in the book is to accept the failed system that is already crippling this country. The choice is a no-brainer. It is time to "pick a fight."

Rated at: 4.5
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the guidelines and FAQs here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]