The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview



David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$24.95
New Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
5 Local Warehouse Education- Conflict Resolution
12 Remote Warehouse Education- School Reform & Controversy

More copies of this ISBN

Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America's Schools

by

Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America's Schools Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The conventional wisdom, voiced by everyone from Bill Gates to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, is that public schools are so terrible that simply reforming them won't do the trick. Instead, they must be "transformed," blown up and then rebuilt, if they're going to offer students a good education. We relish stories about electrifying teachers like Jaime Escalante, who made math whizzes out of no-hoper teenagers in East LA, or inner city charter schools like the KIPP academies. But success in the public schools of an entire city-a poor, crowded city, with more than its share of immigrant Latino youngsters, the kind of kids who elsewhere will likely drop out or flunk out? That sounds as elusive and improbable as the Loch Ness monster.

But no school district can be all charismatic leaders and super-teachers. It can't start from scratch, and it can't fire all its teachers and principals when students do poorly. Great charter schools can only serve a tiny minority of students. Whether we like it or not, most of our youngsters will continue to be educated it is in mainstream public schools.

Improbable Scholars shows that there's a sensible way to rebuild public education and close the achievement gap for all students. Miracles aren't required-instead, we need to make smart use of what we already know can work. This is precisely what's happening in a most unlikely place: Union City, New Jersey.

What makes Union City so headline-worthy is its ordinariness, its lack of flash and pizzazz. The school district has ignored trendy, blow-up-and-rebuild reforms in favor of old school ideas like top-drawer early education, a word-soaked curriculum and hands-on help for teachers. When good new strategies have emerged, like using sophisticated data-crunching to generate pinpoint assessments of the help that particular students need, they have been folded into the mix.

A generation ago, Union City's schools were so bad that state officials threatened to seize control of them. But the situation has entirely turned around. Here's the reason to stand up and take notice-from third grade through high school, Union City students' scores on the high-stakes state tests approximate the statewide average. In other words, these inner city kids are achieving just as much as their suburban cousins in reading, writing and math. This is no one-year wonder-year after year, from 1990 onward, the students in Union City have steadily improved. In 2011 every senior passed the state's exit exam and received a diploma, and nearly 60 percent of those graduates enrolled in college. The best students are winning national science awards, Gates Millennium Scholarships, and full rides at Ivy League universities.

These schools are not just good places for poor kids. They are good places for kids, period. They pass the Golden Rule Test-- you'd be pleased if children you love were educated here.

Improbable Scholars will change your mind about the possibility of reviving public education.

Review:

"Too many American public school students, especially poor and minority students, lack basic reading and math proficiency and are educated by uninspired teachers. What to do? To find out, UC Berkeley education and public policy expert Kirp spent a year at in classrooms in a school district in Union City, N.J., that, improbably, works very well, despite its 20% poverty rate and substantial immigrant population. Among the keys to success are mutual help among teachers through mentoring, and more informal support among students through learning centers, as well as a sophisticated bilingual program. Kirp devotes a chapter to Union City's preschools, which are available to all and focus on pre-K language development skills. Particularly on the high school level, Union City isn't immune to the bane of contemporary education, 'teaching to the test.' However, Kirk shows how administrators and teachers mine test data to benchmark and help advance students' progress, so that 89% of those who begin high school graduate, compared with 74% nationally. The school system also benefits from a mayor who doubles as a state senator and has secured extra state education funding. This impressive book doesn't provide a blueprint, but the author describes seven guiding principles for how other school systems can achieve sustained educational success. Agent: Carol Mann, Carol Man Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

No school district can be all charismatic leaders and super-teachers. It can't start from scratch, and it can't fire all its teachers and principals when students do poorly. Great charter schools can only serve a tiny minority of students. Whether we like it or not, most of our youngsters will continue to be educated in mainstream public schools.

The good news, as David L. Kirp reveals in Improbable Scholars, is that there's a sensible way to rebuild public education and close the achievement gap for all students. Indeed, this is precisely what's happening in a most unlikely place: Union City, New Jersey, a poor, crowded Latino community just across the Hudson from Manhattan. The school district--once one of the worst in the state--has ignored trendy reforms in favor of proven game-changers like quality early education, a word-soaked curriculum, and hands-on help for teachers. When beneficial new strategies have emerged, like using sophisticated data-crunching to generate pinpoint assessments to help individual students, they have been folded into the mix.

The results demand that we take notice--from third grade through high school, Union City scores on the high-stakes state tests approximate the statewide average. In other words, these inner-city kids are achieving just as much as their suburban cousins in reading, writing, and math. What's even more impressive, nearly ninety percent of high school students are earning their diplomas and sixty percent of them are going to college. Top students are winning national science awards and full rides at Ivy League universities. These schools are not just good places for poor kids. They are good places for kids, period.

Improbable Scholars offers a playbook--not a prayer book--for reform that will dramatically change our approach to reviving public education.

About the Author

David L. Kirp, a nationally-known education expert, is James D. Marver Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. In seventeen books and scores of articles in newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, American Prospect, and the Atlantic, as well as in leading academic journals, he has covered the education waterfront from cradle to college. After the 2008 election, he served on President Obama's Transition Team.

Table of Contents

Introduction: High Stakes

Chapter 1 The Pie: Room 210, George Washington Elementary School

Chapter 2 New Kids on the Block: George Washington Elementary School

Chapter 3 Gruntwork: The System-Builders

Chapter 4 The Magic Kingdom: Preschool for All

Chapter 5 Mother Theresa meets Mayor Daley: Good Schools = Smart Politics

Chapter 6 Can These Eagles Soar?: Union City High School

Chapter 7 Where Fun Comes to Die (And Be Reborn): George Washington Elementary School — Reprise

Chapter 8: The Odyssey Continues: Union City School System, One Year Later

Chapter 9: What Union City Has To Teach America: Nationwide, Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Notes

Acknowledgements

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199987498
Author:
Kirp, David L.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Sociology | Education
Subject:
Education-General
Subject:
Education-Conflict Resolution
Subject:
General education.
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20130431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
6.3 x 9.4 x 1 in 1.1 lb

Other books you might like

  1. The Death and Life of the Great...
    Used Trade Paper $8.95

Related Subjects

Education » Conflict Resolution
Education » General
Education » School Reform and Controversy
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science

Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America's Schools New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$24.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199987498 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Too many American public school students, especially poor and minority students, lack basic reading and math proficiency and are educated by uninspired teachers. What to do? To find out, UC Berkeley education and public policy expert Kirp spent a year at in classrooms in a school district in Union City, N.J., that, improbably, works very well, despite its 20% poverty rate and substantial immigrant population. Among the keys to success are mutual help among teachers through mentoring, and more informal support among students through learning centers, as well as a sophisticated bilingual program. Kirp devotes a chapter to Union City's preschools, which are available to all and focus on pre-K language development skills. Particularly on the high school level, Union City isn't immune to the bane of contemporary education, 'teaching to the test.' However, Kirk shows how administrators and teachers mine test data to benchmark and help advance students' progress, so that 89% of those who begin high school graduate, compared with 74% nationally. The school system also benefits from a mayor who doubles as a state senator and has secured extra state education funding. This impressive book doesn't provide a blueprint, but the author describes seven guiding principles for how other school systems can achieve sustained educational success. Agent: Carol Mann, Carol Man Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , No school district can be all charismatic leaders and super-teachers. It can't start from scratch, and it can't fire all its teachers and principals when students do poorly. Great charter schools can only serve a tiny minority of students. Whether we like it or not, most of our youngsters will continue to be educated in mainstream public schools.

The good news, as David L. Kirp reveals in Improbable Scholars, is that there's a sensible way to rebuild public education and close the achievement gap for all students. Indeed, this is precisely what's happening in a most unlikely place: Union City, New Jersey, a poor, crowded Latino community just across the Hudson from Manhattan. The school district--once one of the worst in the state--has ignored trendy reforms in favor of proven game-changers like quality early education, a word-soaked curriculum, and hands-on help for teachers. When beneficial new strategies have emerged, like using sophisticated data-crunching to generate pinpoint assessments to help individual students, they have been folded into the mix.

The results demand that we take notice--from third grade through high school, Union City scores on the high-stakes state tests approximate the statewide average. In other words, these inner-city kids are achieving just as much as their suburban cousins in reading, writing, and math. What's even more impressive, nearly ninety percent of high school students are earning their diplomas and sixty percent of them are going to college. Top students are winning national science awards and full rides at Ivy League universities. These schools are not just good places for poor kids. They are good places for kids, period.

Improbable Scholars offers a playbook--not a prayer book--for reform that will dramatically change our approach to reviving public education.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.