Steven Brill's new book on school reform: is the problem teachers unions?
Steven Brill's new book, "Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools" has gotten a lot of buzz in the past week. He's already shown up on CNN, the New York Times and NPR. Brill, a lawyer and founder of American Lawyer magazine, may be best known in education circles for his piece in the New Yorker on New York's rubber room.
From reviews of the book and interviews with Brill, the book appears to be a bit like a rerun of Waiting for Superman, in that it blames poor schools on the power of teachers unions. Although perhaps more nuanced than Superiman, his point is that performance doesn't count for the nation's 3.2 million public school teachers. In other words, you can walk into a classroom as a beginning teacher today and know that no matter how well you do your job over the next year or next two decades, you won't be paid anything more than the mediocre or even lousy teacher in the classroom next door.
Many people will find fault with his thesis, however, it is likely to be a good read and also a book that will get a lot of attention in the coming weeks.