About the Book
According to Hal Kwalwasser, former General Counsel of the Los Angeles Unified School district and author of Renewal, A User’s Guide to Remaking American Schools for the 21st Century, it is the parents’ duty to drive school reform from the ground up. Parents who participate in their children’s school activities are able to see clearly a school’s strengths and weaknesses better than Washington and the states. Because of this, parents and taxpayers can play a key role in the reform of public education. Kwalwasser visited 40 high performing or transforming schools to see what works to get change accomplished and what it takes for an education system to succeed. He found that high performance and improvement in schools is indeed possible given commitment to institute change. His book can be used as a guide for parents to get their schools systems and districts to flourish.
About the Author
Harold Kwalwasser is the former General Counsel of the Los Angeles Unified School District. He is an expert on school management issues and education policy and politics. He currently consults and writes on education reform. Kwalwasser served on the staffs of three US Senators and was Chief of Staff to a California State Senator. During the Clinton Administration, he was the Deputy General Counsel/Legal Counsel for the United States Department of Defense. Collectively, his experiences give him a great understanding of the challenges of large bureaucracies, legislating, and the complexities of innovating in entrenched government organizations. All are at the heart of school reform.
My Take on the Book
Honest, forthright and open represent the book itself. I have to say that I loved the stories that this story shares of an education system in the brink and the steps toward renewal that districts can take to turn around education into something that all can be proud of. The author provides a clear roadmap for any and all who read this. This is a must read for any school district administrators, but at the same time any education advocates will also appreciate the contrasting views that the author provides into what working school districts do to make things work well and what failing districts need to do to update their practices. This book will open your eyes!
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