Monday, May 2, 2016

Book Review - A Parent's Guide to Public Education in the 21st Century @ruswalsh


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
Publisher: Garn Press
Publication Date: March 2016
ISBN: 978-1-942146-33-9
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: May 3, 2016

When it comes to education reform, a labyrinth has been created. Questions and worries about whether or not a parent is making the correct choices for their child’s education and future are constant. This maze of ideas, possibilities, learning what’s good and what’s bad…it seems to be never-ending, with no actual answers to be found, making the maze confusing to the nth degree. With this book, however (one of the first that actually earns the “guide” title), a parent can breathe a sigh of relief with the knowledge they gain from Walsh’s work.

Public education, as we’ve all played witness to, is slowly being buried. In fact, the “issues” that are appearing each day on news headlines and the internet make parents’ skin crawl. Obliterating the spelling program? Taking out handwriting in schools? Tossing public teachers aside to turn more towards “technological” education? It used to be simple: Go to school, learn, make memories and achieve your goals. Now, in 2016, that simple theory can no longer be counted on as being true.
What Author Russ Walsh offers up is a well-laid out book featuring chapters that focus on subjects parents must know in order to discover what’s best for their child. A chapter on education reform begins the guide, addressing everything from the history of education reform to describing the impact that it has on you and your child. Walsh also offers up the best resources in regards to where parents can find even more data, depending on their question.

Chapters cover the realm of charter schools, what they are, how they meet students’ needs, etc.; as well as the pros and cons of homeschooling. Clear answers are given regarding the debate of standardized tests, as well as how to find and choose the best, highest quality teachers for the classroom. But Walsh goes one step further, not only addressing the technical side of things, but also addressing the social and emotional needs of the child.

Our grandparents told us tales of going to school (walking, mostly...can you believe it?) without cell phones in their pockets, without worrying about bullies in the hallways or that the local public school would end up on the evening news because of a shoot-out in the hallways. The anxiety is bad enough in 2016 for the parent; safety is a huge dilemma. So learning everything that can be learned to help navigate the waters of 21st century education, to give your child the best shot at a fantastic future, is a must! With this book, a parent can do just that.

Quill says: Extremely well-written, extremely organized and understandable, A Parent’s Guide to Public Education in the 21st Century is essential for every parent.