Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is probably one of the best public policy minds in the United States today. Speaker Gingrich wrote Real Change before the term “change” became the buzz word of the 2008 election and when you read his book you can’t help but be impressed with the real changes that he suggests for America.
To the brainwashed folks out there let me say no, this book is not slanted towards a conservative point of view. In fact, Speaker Gingrich spends quite some time berating the current Republicans in Congress (and the White House) as well as those from the last few years. And yes, he gives it to the Democrats pretty hard, too. And for any independent minded American out there (* raises hand *) you can’t help but know exactly what Speaker Gingrich is talking about when he dresses down both parties.
So what are some of the changes that Speaker Gingrich suggests for our future? Well let me tell you a little bit about my favorite chapter in this book. First, Speaker Gingrich suggests a massive overhaul of the education system in America. As I work with schools of choice on a daily basis, I absolutely loved reading Speaker Gingrich’s ringing endorsement for charter schools. In case you do not know, charter schools are public schools of choice that hold lotteries to determine which applicants may attend.
The innovation here is that these schools are not regulated by the local school board and can choose to teach students in their preferred manner. The students are subjected to standardized testing and their test scores are highly scrutinized by the naysayers, but time and time again charter schools meet or exceed the local district’s achievements. Charter schools (in New Jersey at least) usually have a better rate of high school seniors who go on to college than their public school counterparts. But I digress…
Newt Gingrich tells a great story about the Detroit school system and how it rejected a multi-million dollar investment because the local bureaucrats (i.e. teachers and the teachers’ union) did not want to be held to a higher standard or put to shame by charter schools. Who winds up getting hurt when these people reject such help? The students.
Speaker Gingrich suggests at many points in this book that tax-free government prizes need to be established in order to get America’s scientists thinking about the same issues that America’s people are thinking about. For example, Speaker Gingrich suggests a tax-free $1 billion (with a “b”) reward for the first person/company to design a gas-free car that can be mass produced for the public. Anyway, Speaker Gingrich talks about the need to have better space travel and for America’s needs to lead the world’s innovative breakthroughs for this century.
I highly recommend that anyone who is interested in reading about what real change can mean for America take a look at Speaker Gingrich’s book. What makes the ideas in this book so compelling is that Speaker Gingrich’s new think tank, American Solutions, backs up all of the ideas with nonpartisan poll results showing an overwhelming majority of Americans agreeing with the changes proposed. Again, this is a great read for those of us who are looking for real change that puts America on the right path.