Author: Hank Warren

Publisher:  iUniverse, c. 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4401-3400-5

Click Here To Purchase It Simply Must Be Said: A View of American Public Education from the Trenches of Teaching

In this thought-provoking work on the challenging environment of the public school in America, Hank Warren sets out to do the following: to separate the facts from the myths about teaching; to analyze the overwhelming differences between “educating” (teaching) and “education” (the entrenched bureaucracy); to examine crucial teaching, student and parenting issues; and to analyze the impact of legislation and case law decisions concerning children with disabilities on the school/learning environment.

Pivotal to the work are his five core recommendations aimed at improving the American Public Education system. His recommendations consist of the following: (1) All who wish to call themselves “educators” must be actively teaching in some capacity. (Warren believes that all school administrators should be intimately involved with the teaching process, unlike at the present, when they seem divorced from the process.) (2) Get class sizes down to ten students working with a properly paid professional. (Unlike at the moment, when classes tend to be more than twice that size, and where teachers are having to take on extra jobs in order to supplement their income.) (3) Eliminate grade leveling. (Warren believes that “allowing each child to move through the prescribed curriculum at his or her own pace would provide the ultimate incentive for students to work harder and progress faster.”) (4) Allow students full access to college degree study at whatever point they qualify. (In other words, allow local community college credits to offset course requirements at four year colleges/universities.) (5) Develop a comprehensive, broad-based standard of evaluation that eliminates the use of letter grades entirely. (In this way, rote and relatively meaningless learning will be done away with.)

Warren’s approach in It Simply Must Be Said is sage and measured, being based on decades of teaching experience. To survive the public school system at all is admirable, given that so many of those who approach teaching with high ideals and unrealistic expectations crumble within what, in some cases, is a few hours. Warren speaks with passion and feeling, sharing his own experiences and frustrations with a system that desperately requires honing to the needs of the modern-day classroom. This work should be enlightening to parents and, hopefully, might even reach the ears of some education administrators. On the international front, I found striking similarities between the government school system in South Africa and that described in the pages of this book. It Simply Must Be Said has much to say to educators both in and outside of the United States, and is written in such an accessible style that it should have a wide following.  

Click Here To Purchase It Simply Must Be Said: A View of American Public Education from the Trenches of Teaching