Push Has Come to Shove
Push Has Come to Shove
Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve--Even If It Means Picking a Fight
Crown, Hardcover, 9780307720313, 272pp.
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
“Have you been to a school lately? Have you sat through the six hours and forty-five minutes of excruciating tedium we send our kids to every day? When we ask our kids, “What’d you do in school today?” and they mumble, “Nothin’,” they’re telling the truth.”
Steve Perry is like no other educator you’ve ever met. He “gets it.” He understands why some parents are downright panicked about what’s going on in their kids’ classrooms, and how other parents, whose kids supposedly attend the “good” schools, still fear that their children are falling behind. As Principal of one of the best performing schools in America -- one that sends 100% of its mostly minority students to four-year colleges -- Perry delights in poking the system. Present him with a “truth” about how education is supposed to work and – count on it – he’ll show it to be false.
Dictatorial teacher’s unions despise Steve Perry. So do lazy teachers. So do entrenched, unimaginative school boards. So do reactionary “curriculum guardians” who – as a lure to get kids reading – cling to the same old stodgy texts.
“That’s okay,” say Perry. That means he’s making a difference. In this book, his priority is to help kids who don’t have the advantage of going to his school, Capital Prep. He wants to save your kid, and the kid next door, and the kid down the street from getting a typical third-rate American education.
If you’re a parent who has worried recently about how depressed your child seems when he dresses for school in the morning…or how little of what happens during the school day seems to sink into her brain… or how much of your child’s homework is busywork, you need this book.
If you’re a teacher who is putting your heart and soul into the job but are surrounded by colleagues who are “phoning it in,” you need this book.
If you’re a committed, forward-thinking principal who wants to get rid of the faculty bad apples, but are continually stymied by Mafia-style teachers-unions, you need this book.
*If you’re a citizen who worries about the $1 trillion-plus GDP loss that America suffers every year because our system of education doesn’t measure up, you need this book.
In this solution-oriented manifesto, Steve Perry covers the full range of issues holding back today’s students. He shows parents how to find great teachers (and get rid of the bad ones)…how to make readers out of kids who hate to read…how to make the school curriculum thrilling rather than sleep-inducing…how to conduct an all-important education “home audit”… how to “e-organize” if school boards and administrators aren’t getting the message…how to build a “school of the future,” and much more.
The era of third-rate education is over. Steve Perry isn’t going to let the fools and scoundrels get away with it any longer. Push has come to shove!
“Brutally honest in its indictment of the status quo, PUSH HAS COME TO SHOVE amounts to an urgent clarion call for change by a relentlessly uncompromising iconoclast…Luckily, Dr. Perry only needs to point to the triumphs of his own program as proof that his innovative ideas deserve some serious consideration.”
—KamWilliams, syndicated reviewer
“PUSH HAS COME TO SHOVE is a must-read for parents concerned about their kids and feeling powerless against the system. Dr. Perry empowers parents through his suggestions.”
—Springfield Examiner (MA)
“Dr. Perry brings his rich background as a leading American educator to the forefront in his Push Has Come to Shove. He makes his book sizzle with the provocative. If you are a teacher, a parent, or a taxpayer, Push Has Come to Shove is a must read!”
—New York Journal of Books
“This book is a timely addition to the debate on what's needed to fix the public education system. Readers will appreciate Perry's blunt, no-holds-barred, conversational tone as he aims to demystify school-based issues such as testing, accountability, what constitutes a good teacher, and teacher tenure…. Highly recommended for parents, preservice and working teachers, college students, and others who have a vested interest in the system.”
"A leading agitator for reform of the American school system outlines what needs to be done now, and why. Throughout the book, the author displays an admirably action-oriented approach, with plenty of advice for parents and others on how to get involved effectively."
"Dr. Steve Perry's refreshing honesty and fierce work ethic have made him successful in turning very bad schools into very good schools. This book he's written about how to help others do the same is pure gold."
“A stellar book…very powerful… Steve Perry, an extraordinary educator, is sick and tired of being sick and tired. America’s public schools are broken, and the kids who are bearing the brunt are mostly poor, black or Latino. Perry pulls no punches in showing that, while the kids fail, no one is accountable because the system protects the adults. This book will upset some people, but that’s okay. Change doesn’t come quietly, and our kids desperately need change.”
—Joel Klein, former New York City School Chancellor
"I've long been a fan of Steve Perry's blunt, no-nonsense approach to improving American education. It's why Black In America2 focused on his school and his leadership. This book boils down all his trade secrets and brilliant advice: it's a must-have, a must-read and a must-apply!”
"Steve Perry is an anomaly in the world of education reform. Not only is he a smart, savvy educator with a proven track record of success with urban kids, he is unafraid. He knows that fixing our broken education system means kicking up some dirt, and he does so unapologetically. There is no stronger defender of the rights of children to attain an excellent education than Perry. His book provides common-sense solutions to the seemingly intractable problems of public education and should be read by everyone who wonders what's wrong with our schools."
—Michelle Rhee, former Chancellor of the DC Public Schools and CEO of StudentsFirst
"Steve Perry is an extraordinary leader and a much needed voice in the education reform debate. He is a successful African American educator who has upheld the highest of expectations for his students and ensured that they meet them. By following his example, we can ensure that Black children in our country are no longer subjugated to lesser standards and poor quality schools. His commitment to improving the lives of children by refusing to accept mediocrity is second to none. In this book, Dr. Perry shows he is willing to do anything to fight for what is most important--our kids."
—Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento, California
"Amazing…Perry lays it all out here: how to get your kids a better teacher, a better curriculum, and a better future…It’s about time someone inside the education system pulled back the curtain on what’s lacking, so the common man can help his children get an exceptional education."
—Steve Harvey, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man