|About the Book|
Ron Voeller is concerned about what lies ahead for K–12 education in the US, and after reading this valuable book, which includes a list of the incompetencies, bureaucracies and miseries that have befallen the system, you’ll be worried too. It isMoreRon Voeller is concerned about what lies ahead for K–12 education in the US, and after reading this valuable book, which includes a list of the incompetencies, bureaucracies and miseries that have befallen the system, you’ll be worried too. It is most frightening to think that this book grew out of Ron Voeller’s very real experiences in public education, both as a teacher and an administrator: he’s not making this stuff up, and his concern is genuine. Among other issues, he is upset that children today have to deal with misguided accountability and standard-based learning requirements that often come nowhere close to meeting students’ needs. He’s concerned about the unnecessary hurdles and barriers that new teachers entering public schools have to face, which gradually whittle away their enthusiasm and love for the job. He’s angry that teaching, which is so valuable to every child’s development, is seen as a worthless profession and not treated with the respect it deserves. He’s also troubled by the home situations of many children: most parents are concerned about their children’s education, but confused by the conflicting information they receive about or from public schools, and so remain disengaged from their children’s school lives. However, Full Glass Half Empty is not all doom and gloom, even though it does supply this chilling insider’s look into education- Ron Voeller, who has spent the majority of his life in education, has come up with concrete methods for changing the essence of public schools in America. He takes the example set by “good” schools, teachers and results, and uses them to formulate a model to set things straight throughout the system. Full Glass Half Empty offers practical solutions: the do’s and don’ts in K–12 Public School Education are listed and discussed for all members of the public school’s communities. There are suggested action plan strategies for implementation by the State Departments of Education. The leadership and management personnel who should be responsible in each school district are identified, as are teacher action plan committees. By the end of the book the picture is looking a lot rosier, and the reader is left with the sense that the problem is “fixable” after all, as long as all components of the system work together. Some might find Full Glass Half Empty controversial, as Ron Voeller pulls no punches against those he feels are bringing the education system down. Indeed, quite often the book is downright satirical towards the system and its proponents (read the section entitled “K–12 Students’ Schooling Handbook,” for example!). However, he’s not trying to win popularity contests, he says- in his own words, he wrote the book out of “a genuine love and passion for genuine K-12 teaching and teachers, a respect for parents and providers who care, and, first and always foremost, a love and passion for the safety and higher learning outcomes of all K-12 public school children.” Full Glass Half Empty is a vital read for anyone involved in education, whether as a parent or provider, an educator—seasoned professional or new entrant into the system—or an administrator. Written in plain language that everyone will understand, the book is important because it’s an eye-opener and a tool to help parents and educators find ways to fill that half-empty education glass.