Renewal (Book Review)

Parents, principals, teachers, and community members will become the rightful school decision makers.

This book is written by a consultant and veteran educator/administrator Harold Kwalwasser. He uses real experience to assemble data and predict where education is going. Trends in education are explained and developed with frightening believability. Most importantly, he concludes, in light of data, the way it ought to go in the 21st century.

In one section of the book, he explains what he calls the four tiers of teachers. He praises the ones who can do a good job whatever the circumstances and decries the ones on the other end of the spectrum saying they need not even be in the profession. From that he springboards into ways we can retain, recruit, and develop those in the upper tiers to give our students the best education possible. He refers to the old model and staff as teacher centered (bad) and the new one “customer” focused (good). With families and students as our focus, we can innovate a system of education that truly benefits our country. This is true on the macro level (nationwide) as well as the micro (the school). The author explains what the new 21st century school district should look like. His models are stellar illustrations of what our future system can be. Furthermore, he tells us how we will get there. There is much material here and and it isn’t just relevant to administrators. Teachers, principals, superintendents, and staff members of schools will be better at what they do for reading this book. As a teacher, it helped me gain a clearer focus on what is going to be valuable going forward.

One of the more profound sections of the book is where he explains the school will become the central focus of a community (not the school district). The leader will become the principal instead of the superintendent. Parents, principals, teachers, and community members will become the decision makers and trendsetters for a school. What’s more, each school is likely to have a tailor made system that is less universal as past models of curriculum and instruction have been. There is tons of value in this book for teachers, especially those seeking assurance and direction in a changing era. I am a better teacher for reading this book.


Having been a public school teacher since 1997, I've gained valuable classroom experience. Sometimes a great tool is a dynamite lesson plan. These posts are from a real teaching journey. I hope they inspire you. Thanks for reading!

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