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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Miles to Equity: A Guide to Achievement for All by James Terry, Ph.D. CPA, and Kurt Hulett Ed.D., is a powerful book on how to bring positive change to school systems. This is a comprehensive, almost step-by-step guide full of direction and purpose, not just theory. It's actually been implemented, and it works. No one disagrees that the education system needs to be reworked, and the plan that the authors outline helps everyone succeed--students, teachers, parents, administrators, communities. One of the chief ideas they put forth is changing how the pay system works for teachers, saying that pay should be based on the quality of teaching, instead of years accrued. A bold school superintendent began with the idea of reworking the massive, malfunctioning, war-weary independent school district by implementing a new plan that would use teacher evaluation to determine pay. His tactic has military roots, and this is the philosophy he brings to change and leadership when dealing with large institutions such as education. To get teachers on board with the idea, the principals were approached first. The authors do a deep dive into a number of the methods he used to save the Dallas ISD in the span of three short but impactful years.
If education is important to you, you will love this book. Although you may not agree with all of the concepts and strategies discussed by Terry and Hulett, you will gain a good understanding of what can happen when someone decides to shake things up a bit in order to save schools, meaning students and what/how they learn, not just teachers and officials, though they need saving too. Teachers are as frustrated as everyone else, and most would love to see a positive change for our students. They shouldn't get all of the blame, and they actually have a lot of input into launching these changes. What I like is that the authors address ALL moving parts in question, and tell you how the change happened and can happen again. Seeing change could happen quicker than you think. It shouldn't take years for education to get back on track, yet until now, few people were willing or able to do much about it, or maybe they just didn't have a battle plan. Now they do, in Miles to Equity: A Guide to Achievement for All by James Terry, Ph.D. CPA, and Kurt Hulett Ed.D.