Political Will and Improving Public Schools

Seven Reflections for Americans to Consider

By (author) Daniel Heller

Publication date:

25 June 2014

Length of book:

122 pages

Publisher

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781475805468

The essays in this book deal with situations or issues in public education which we need to address. While some of these situations seem clear and almost obvious, making the necessary changes and admitting the truth to ourselves is not necessarily going to happen easily.

The suggestions for education made here will require that Americans admit certain flaws in the system, some of which involve their own actions and attitudes. They will also have to be willing to make sacrifices for the larger good, such as allowing shifts in power and control. In other words, these changes will require political will, patience, and dedication if they are to be successful.

There are many ideas for fixing our schools. They all demand a kind of faith, a promise to withhold judgment for a while until the new strategies are fully tested to decide whether or not they are effective. People can be impatient, wanting instant answers. They can also want assurance of success before every agreeing to allow a change to happen.

These attitudes block experimentation and the attempt at change and improvement. Everyone will have to sacrifice, to take a risk, if we are to make real changes in the education system. All constituencies (students, teachers, administrators, parents, community members, institutions of higher education, teacher preparation programs, and unions) should be at the table. What they should be working toward is not their individual agendas or preservation, but the delivery of the best education possible to our youth.
What do woodstoves and ancient Eastern philosophy have to do with public schools and with treating our educational system’s weaknesses? Political Will and Improving Public Schools: Seven Reflections for Americans to Consider is a provocative critique and insightful assessment of the entirety of our current public school system, but also provides such practical and commonsense remedies that one has to ask why these have not already been fully administered. While Heller calls us all out of our comfort zones, the suggestions for real public school reform are not so far-fetched as to be the delusions of a dreamer, but are instead practical and feasible and certainly within the scope of the achievable. If you are despairing about the state of education, this book might just give you hope for a cure.