As the new school year begins, issues regarding our schools once again take the forefront for many of us. Please take a moment to check out D. A. Russell's views on high school education in his book, Lifting the Curtain.
Addressing the Issues:
A Teaser Intro to Lifting the Curtain
by D.A. Russell
The real problem in education today is that we look to our teachers to resolve huge social and parental issues, and systemic educational problems that extend far beyond the boundaries of the school, and far beyond the capabilities of even our best teachers. Some of these are as ludicrous as the parents sitting in front of me at that play expecting the cafeteria monitors to do a better job of teaching children table manners.
To understand the problems that pervade a system, you have to look at the system, not the parts.
Major organizations do not "fail" because of just a handful of bad employees. A couple "bad' teachers out of hundreds at a high school does not explain why education is failing across the USA. The problem is the system itself.
But there is good news. Large parts of this systemic collapse can be remedied quickly. It will not occur without courage, without pain, and without ruffling a lot of feathers. Expect strong opposition from legislators, a small number of teachers (especially the “clique”), school administrators, career bureaucrats, and a minority of parents. But you also will see strong and enthusiastic support from the overwhelming majority of parents, students, and teachers.
The bottom line—the changes detailed in the final chapter of Lifting the Curtain address the real, systemic factors causing our schools to underperform. Like any major change, there will be a lot of resistance. But the changes will work, and all of our children will benefit.
To learn more about the state of our educational system, and the steps needed to correct the problems, please visit the Lifting the Curtain website at http://liftingthecurtain.com/.
About the Author:
D.A. Russell has spent the last ten years as a math teacher in one of the urban high schools used as an example in Lifting the Curtain. He is an honors graduate of Dartmouth College, and received his master’s degree from Simon School, where he was valedictorian of his class. Russell is a decorated Vietnam veteran. He has two children that he treasures, and four grandchildren. His son is a police officer who served in the US Army in Afghanistan, earning a Bronze Star for valor. His daughter is a lawyer and his most passionate fan and honorary literary agent.
Russell has taught and coached children for decades. Few things are more important in his view than to cherish the children who are our real treasures in this world.
Title: Lifting the Curtain: The disgrace we call urban high school education
Author: D.A. Russell
Illustrated by Jessica Fitzpatrick
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