Steven Singer is one of those rare creatures- an edublogger who is actually a working public school teacher. And Garn Press has done us all the favor of publishing a collection of Singer's best work.
I'm a fan of books-by-bloggers. The thing about blogging is that each of us has certain themes and ideas that run through our work. But the act of blogging becomes a sort of thematic pointillism, each big idea being built over weeks and months and even years, like a strange attractor that emerges as a fuzzy, half-perceived shape. But when you take those bits and pieces and rearrange them, suddenly those big ideas pop right out.
Singer has four big topics to address-- racism, school choice, testing and teaching-- and he runs at them with passion and commitment. On the bac cover of the Gadfly on the Wall book, you'll find the blurb I wrote for it:
"In these troubled and troubling times, there is no one who writes more passionately about public education, teachers, and the struggle for justice and equity than Steven Singer."
Singer writes about the attacks of cut budgets and deprofessionalization of teaching and the bad ideas in the ed reform world (including the neoliberal outposts of the Democratic Party). He's willing to look at his own stuff (Chapter 1 is entitled "I am racist") and he does a good job of connecting the dots between policy discussions and the students in his own classroom.
And he is an uncompromising advocate for teachers, our unions, and our public school students. If you are a public school teacher and you want to read a book about education by someone who is unashamedly in your corner, this is the book for you.