Book Review                                                    Page 44

Push Has Come to Shove 

Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve (Even If It Means Picking a Fight)    

by Steve Perry, Crown Publishing Group, New York, N.Y., 2011, 272 pp., $25 hardcover


In Push Has Come to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve (Even If It Means Picking a Fight), author Steve Perry tries to stimulate the reader to stand up for the educational future of children. Coming from a philosophy of valuing education, Perry knows the power of education and how it can allow an individual to rise out of an environment that might otherwise hold a student back. Each group from the teachers union, administration, teachers and parents is reviewed and dissected in a manner that has the reader thinking: what can I do to change the outcome if indeed these statements by Perry are correct?

The book’s chapters individually address the topics of inspiration, purpose, school, parenting, gatekeepers, outdated ideas and solutions. Perry, a social worker who most recently served as principal of the Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn., conveys that public education is not an urban or minority problem but a system that is failing to meet the futures of suburban students as well.

The strength of the book lies in the author’s ability to challenge our thinking as parents or educators. Parents will walk away from the book with strategies to become an advocate of their child’s educational future regardless if they are coming from a rural, suburban or urban community. Some data, however, lacked appropriate references to determine the validity of what was outlined.

I suggest using the book to generate healthy discussions in graduate-level educational administration courses.

Reviewed by William A. Clark, superintendent, Manheim Central School District, Manheim, Pa.



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