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Friday, April 17, 2015

Ask People Who Know About Today's Education


Title: Lifting the Curtain: The Disgrace We Call Urban High School Education
By D. A. Russell
Second Edition
Paperback: 276 pages
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2nd edition (January 5, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1506015980
ISBN-13: 978-1506015989
Blog tour by WOW (Women on Writing) WOW!
Buy the book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lifting-Curtain-2nd-disgrace-education/dp/1506015980

Review by Renee Roberson

In the first edition of Lifting the Curtain, Russell outlined the issues that are plaguing today's high school educational system, and offered solutions necessary to incite change. After releasing the book, he heard feedback from so many teachers that he decided to put together a 2nd edition so their voices could be heard. It also includes additional topics that weren’t in the 1st edition, such as the loss of electives in today’s schools.

The author is a retired math teacher who felt an overwhelming need to document the very real problems with education that are affecting the children both inside and outside the classroom, by spending three years surveying 760 teachers and students in 19 urban high schools in 15 cities in Massachusetts.

I learned a lot personally from reading this book. I truly had no idea how difficult the teaching profession has become to navigate. If you are a teacher, you can’t just expect a love and passion for teaching children will carry you through the obstacles he outlines in this book. You’ll be stonewalled by PDPs, standardized testing mandates, the pressure to pass children, bullying by school administrators, and much more.

But rest assured. This book is not just one teacher ranting about the problems within the public school system. The responses from the students and teachers he surveyed as part of the book’s research speak volumes, as does the following quote:

We seem to have asked everyone outside of the school building what is wrong with education, but ignored the views of everyone inside the building.

The final chapter of the book provides a clear and set of solutions to all the problems Russell outlines in the earlier chapters of the book. But to learn what they are . . . you'll have to check out Lifting the Curtain for yourself!



D. A. Russell has spent the last ten years as a math teacher in one of the urban high schools that is the subject of Lifting the Curtain. He is an honors graduate of Dartmouth College, and has his master’s degree from Simon School, where he was valedictorian of his class. Russell is a decorated Vietnam veteran. He has two children that he treasures, and four grandchildren. His son is a police officer who served in the US Army in Afghanistan, earning a Bronze Star for valor. His daughter is a lawyer and his most passionate fan and honorary literary agent. Russell has a passion for children that dominates his life. He has taught and coached children for decades. Few things are more important in Russell’s view than to cherish the children who are our real treasures in this world. He is a contributor for education matters to the Huffington Post, and runs a personal blog at: LiftingTheCurtainOnEducation.wordpress.com dedicated to letting teacher voices be heard in the real problems with education.


Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer who also blogs at www.reneespages.blogspot.com. When she’s not writing, researching, or reviewing books, she assists authors as a blog tour manager with WOW! Women on Writing, which provides authors with excellent service and out-of-the-box book promotions.

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