Overall, I thought this book was very even handed showing both parties strengths and weakness. Bob Woodard did a very detail account of going behind the scene to expose how complicated this political discussion was. He also captured the divides within each camp which convoluted the negotiation and even caused a having this debt ceiling crisis done one month earlier (as oppose to delaying the decision to the failed Super Committee). My only complaint is how detailed Bob did go within this book. Did I really need to know that Senator Jon Kyl rented equipment by the hour to do yard work? There were other passages that I felt didn’t add to the over story of this crisis. However, those personal quirks didn’t detract too much from this good book.
After watching Michelle Rhee from the side lines, I thought I would read her book to gain more insight into her thought process and tenure as Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools. I must say, I thought she was spot on in her assessments of putting Students First. My wife and I are in the process of looking where to send our child for Kindergarten. Our criteria were pretty simple we were looking at the quality of the teachers, teacher to student ratio, curriculum, differentiated services, and school facilities (classroom quality etc). We looked at the local public school and a few private schools. Although our local public school did offer some services we were still concerned about their differentiated lesson plans. I believe most parents are concerned about the quality of their children education and if it’s subpar what actions do they have to improve it. If you live in a low income/poor community, your options are probably very limited. This book basically states this should not be the case.
Michelle Rhee is absolutely correct when she says that we have to be an advocate for ensuring we have great teachers, access to great schools, and effective use of public dollars when educating our kids regardless of community. Ensuring that we hold ineffective educators accountable and not just move them to another school seems very rational to me. Educating our children is a bipartisan issue and holding our politicians accountable to ensure every community has access to our standing schools and educators should be the standard not the exception.
Several people will be turned off from this book because Michelle Rhee is on the cover, to me that would be a tragedy. After reading this book I went to her website and registered.
She was great.
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