Mary Ronan Drew's Reviews > Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools

Class Warfare by Steven Brill
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's review
Dec 21, 2011

really liked it
Read from September 01 to November 17, 2011

Steven Brill has written another book about what's wrong with public education in the US and what can be done about it. Money hasn't worked. Charter schools show promise but can they be scaled up to the entire education system? Brill doesn't have the answer, and I respect him for that because I doubt there is one answer. But there are some things that are obviously making things worse and those things are fixable, starting with abolishing tenure. If just the bottom 5% of the worst teachers were replaced with mediocre teachers there would be significant improvement. Brill wrote the article, "The Rubber Room," about the hundreds of New York City teachers who were so obviously unfit for the classroom that they could not be allowed in one but who can't be fired because of the extremely powerful teachers' union. So they sit for years in a holding tank of sorts getting full pay. This book starts with that story and goes looking for solutions to this and other education problems. I spent a lot of time with this book, in effect reading it twice, and I recommend it to anyone who is in a position to do anything at all about our public schools.

2011 No 153

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