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Praise for Smart Kids, Bad Schools:  38 Ways to Save America's Future (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press)

“In this fast moving shake ’em up book, public school teacher, Brian Crosby, manages to enlighten, infuriate, stimulate, irritate and maybe energize readers who want to do the right things for our children but have never given themselves the time to think about how it can be done down at the old school house. He gives committed readers plenty of chores, chances and choices to make a comprehensive difference. If Crosby makes you angry or horrified, he’ll at least make you think and that trait is always a good precedent for action.”

--Ralph Nader

“Brian Crosby knows how vital it is that our kids get well-educated. Lots of people know that. But Crosby tells us what to do about it in a book that is at once cogent, readable, and provocative.”

--Ben Wattenberg, host of the weekly PBS program Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg and author of Fighting Words

"Crosby, a California high school English teacher with 17 years experience, wants America to fix its ailing educational system.  His earlier book, The $100,000 Teacher, focused on paying teachers better to encourage better performance; this latest proposes a broader range of changes, from student behavior to a basic rethinking of how quality education should be assessed. After explaining that he's arguing for a complete overhaul of the system, not some marginal tweaking of the rules, Crosby sets out his 38-point plan, in 38 brief chapters. He begins simply: building more inviting-looking schools, ending social promotion, enticing experienced teachers to troubled schools and reviving vocational education as an option for the non-college bound. These widely acceptable ideas buffer the shock from some of his more heterodox ideas—banning teacher unions, recognizing excellence in teaching with merit bonuses, ending teacher tenure, cutting special education spending, ending compulsory education after the ninth grade and giving up on smaller class sizes, because there simply aren't enough great teachers to staff twice as many classrooms. Crosby speaks from a world of experience; his “political incorrectness” may bother some readers, but many will appreciate his honesty and his willingness to think outside the box."

--Publishers Weekly, San Francisco Examiner, Washington DC Examiner

"One in every five Americans either attends or works in a public or private elementary or high school. For that reason alone, Americans should be concerned about the current sorry state of education and interested in making improvements. With 20 years of experience teaching English and journalism, Crosby offers 38 suggestions that include no homework and the abolition of teachers' unions. He begins with an appeal for physical structures that are roomy and engaging, and moves on to advocating smaller class sizes, no summer break, later start times, no school bells, and all-day kindergarten. He also argues for more-nutritional meals and principals with MBAs. In separate sections, Crosby tackles changes in curricula (bringing back vocational education and reducing reliance on standardized tests), teacher training, school funding, and parental involvement. Crosby offers a comprehensive and radical overhaul of failing American schools that threaten to weaken every aspect of American life, from the economy to homeland security. This is a passionate and radical look at what ails America's schools and how to make improvements."


"In this provocative follow-up to his first book, "The $100,000 Teacher," Brian Crosby proposes some radical new solutions to the systemic problems facing American public schools. Going beyond the merit pay and six-figure salary suggestions which have made his ideas controversial for mainstream educational thinkers, the twenty-year veteran of the L.A. public school system reveals important insights into the way we treat our schools. He examines the tricky knot of relationships between students, teachers, administrators, parents, and the legislators who hold the purse-strings. "Smart Kids, Bad Schools" is a thought-provoking look at what we can do to improve public education."

--Strand Bookstore, New York City




  "In a new book, Smart Kids, Bad Schools - 38 Ways to Save America's Future, an award-winning Natural Board Certified English High School teacher spells out why the schools are declining and what we can do about it. In just under 300 pages, this twenty-year veteran of the public school system offers his experience and advice to parents, education administrators, other teachers, and really all concerned Americans on how to fix a problem that has been more than 40 years in the making.

Told within a framework of five parts, the book has such intriguing and thought-provoking chapter headings as "The Good News: No More Summer School; The Bad News: No More Summer," "Let the Kids Sleep In," "Abolish Homework," "Outlaw Teachers' Unions" and "More Money Isn't the Answer."

The book is written in simple terms, easy to read, fast-moving, and at times even funny. Although he is still teaching high school English in the public school system, this author doesn't hold back one iota in his critique of the status quo. He hammers the education bureaucracy, teachers' unions, government programs, and even parents as willing or unwilling participants in the decline of public education. He is hard-hitting in his evaluation and makes his points at the top of his voice.

This author is opinionated, tenacious, and unrelenting in his passion for kids and the importance of creating a proper school system - he knows that better educated kids means a better tomorrow for all of us. And he knows that educating kids means not only teaching them reading, math and science, but teaching them right from wrong, good citizenship, and personal responsibility. It also means teaching some of our educators and parents a thing or two as well."

--Greg Crosby, Jewish World Review

“A very compelling narrative that points to the need for sweeping change in public education. . . . It’s about change and challenging assumptions, and it is bound to upset the status quo, most of which is obliged to justify its exalted titles and inflated salaries by making unilateral decisions or, to use a popular phrase used in high places, by 'staying the course.'”

--Dan Kimber, Glendale News-Press

"Even if you don’t agree with the suggested repairs, it’s still refreshing to see someone willing to bring up all the issues. Crosby’s writing style and teaching background make “Smart Kids, Bad Schools” an enjoyable and informative read."

--Burbank Leader

"An easy, fast-paced read. . . . excellent food for thought for any stakeholder in the system"

"I just had to write to you and say how much I enjoyed your most recent book, Smart Kids, Bad Schools.  I couldn't put it down and it is now thoroughly highlighted with yellow marker!  Your observations about the American school system are dead on.  It was nice to read someone who had many of the same views as I do, and a teacher at that!"

--Kindergarten teacher

"We need change in our public schools and I appreciate all the work that you have invested in your book.  I am also excited for the possibilities that someone will read your book and get as inspired as I have."

--Art teacher

"It's great to read a book on education that is actually written by a current veteran teacher as we rarely hear in the public what teachers think should be done to help our educational system. Why is it that politicians think they know better than teachers on how to help solve America's education crisis?

The book is not just for teachers...its for everyone as education is our foundation for this country. A very entertaining, yet thought provoking read." reader

"Mr. Crosby's book is a fairly quick read and many of his ideas for improving government-run schools are eminently sensible. . . .  I highly recommend "Smart Kids, Bad Schools" to anyone interested in improving the U.S. K-12 education system." reader

"You are an articulate writer and a keen observer.  I hope you keep hammering at the Establishment and get them to listen.  Public education NEEDS voices like yours."

Praise for The $100,000 Teacher:  A Teacher's Solution to America's Declining Public School System (Capital Books), awarded ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year in Education

From Publishers Weekly



 "There are some important ideas here... and a strong argument for awarding teachers good ones the status they deserve. "  



From Book List

"Using interviews with teachers, administrators, and union leaders, Crosby analyzes the current crisis in public education: veteran teachers leaving the schools and the declining prestige and compensation of the profession. This is a thought-provoking look at public education."

From Library Journal

"His argument is provocative and deserves consideration..."

From The Rochester Teacher

"This is the book that every teacher wants to write... Here are sound and well-researched ideas for teacher preparation, ... licensing thresholds, rubrics for evaluation, professional salaries, and career ladders... This book has a good index and an excellent bibliography."

From Naples News

"Is a good public school teacher worth $100,000 a year? Brian Crosby makes a good case that this might be so in his recent book The $100,000 Teacher."

From Ohio Times Leader

“If his plan ever became the law of the land, he would be declared a national hero by his peers, but would be public enemy number one for school boards.”

From Teacher Quality Bulletin

"...the book is lively, germane, and a fascinating read.

From readers around the country  

"...this is a well thought out and very interesting book about the current state of the American education system."

"If you are involved in the education system at all, a teacher, have children or care anything about the people that our country creates, you must read this thought provoking book! I can see why 'Publisher's Weekly,' 'The Library Journal,' and 'Teacher' have all covered this book with good reviews and why Bill O'Reilly has booked the author as a guest on 'The O'Reilly Factor.'"

"In his thoughtful, well-written book, Mr. Crosby cuts through the emotion, politics and misinformation that prevents improvement in our schools. He carefully and articulately lays out a logical, common sense solutuion---namely, if you want high quality sevices, provided by high quality people in a difficult profession, then you must pay commensurate salaries... His case is intelligently presented using statistical data as well as personal experiences from his years "on the front line" as a L.A. County high school teacher. The book is highly informational as well as conversational---a must read for anyone interested in public education."

"Thank you for writing such a wonderful, truthful, and inspiring book... I have heard myself expressing the exact same things you have written in your book to fellow teachers... Keep up the good work and remember that your message will be spread by teachers like me."

"A must read for anyone who cares about public education. Finally, a teacher not an outside consultant writes a book about the teaching profession. Brian Crosby accurately examines the long-standing problems with the antiquated public school system. His proposals, from paying teachers based on performance to a career ladder for teachers, could help revolutionize the teaching profession for the better, thus attracting higher talented people into it. Let's hope people read this to see how it really is like to teach in the public schools. Politicians could take a lesson from this book on how to improve our schools."

"Mr. Crosby's well-written book is a must-read for anyone interested in the state of our educational system today. I do not agree with every single thing he has to say, but he does come up with some good ideas and well-thought out solutions to our current public school problems. He states his case clearly and concisely. This is a book that should be read by every teacher in the country. Bravo to Mr. Crosby for a job well done!"



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