Praise

Educational entrepreneurs are proving that the calcified delivery system of public schooling can be shaken up and retooled for the twenty-first century. Hess and his colleagues look at the phenomenon from every angle in this rich assortment of essays. Some are descriptive, others draw fascinating analogies to other industries—but all are full of useful data and provocative arguments. This is a book that provides plenty of fuel for discussions about where school reform is headed. — Nelson Smith, President, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

If you believe America’s schools can be changed for the better, then here’s a book for you. Hess and his colleagues explore a new breed of educational revolutionaries and the difficult contexts in which they labor. There is a bit of everything between these covers, from the risk and messiness of it all to the promise. — Chris Whittle, Founder and CEO, Edison Schools, and author of Crash Course

Educational entrepreneurs are playing an increasingly visible role in shaping the future of education in America. This insightful book offers a window into how this movement has evolved, the hurdles it faces, and its growing impact on our nation's schools. — Michelle Rhee, CEO and President, The New Teacher Project

This is a wise and practical analysis of how school improvement works, at the school and district level. Supovitz shows us the successful practice of instructional leadership in a real setting with real problems and constraints. This is a basic source for anyone interested in large-scale school improvement. — Richard F. Elmore, Gregory Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education

The Case for District-Based Reform is a wonderful book. I have been working closely with leading school districts in the last decade and Supovitz captures all the key issues. Great, powerful insights, clearly expressed--Supovitz nails the problem and promise of the role of the district in bringing about meaningful, sustainable reform. — Michael Fullan, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

The Case for District-Based Reform is a must-read for leaders interested in sustaining long-term district success. — Arlene Ackerman, Professor of Practice, Teachers College, Columbia University, and former Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District

Michael Feuer knows education scholarship better than almost anyone in the United States. In this new book, he deploys that knowledge to help us understand both the importance and the limitation of science in studying education. His argument is one that should be engaged by all of us who study and teach education. This is a must-read for faculty, students, policymakers, and practitioners alike. — Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, Charles Warren Professor of the History of American Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Cognitive psychology and behavioral economics have much to teach us about the complexity and limits of human reason. Michael Feuer draws on those teachings—and on his deep experience in applying science to educational problems—to build a timely and persuasive case for a patient and incremental approach to education reform. — Michael McPherson, President, The Spencer Foundation

It is unfathomable that, in light of recent efforts to close the student achievement gap, the body of research examining the impact of collective bargaining by teachers on public education is so scant. What are the facts and how do we find them? Hannaway and Rotherham rightly raise the issue and put forth real alternatives. — Andrew L. Stern, President, Service Employees International Union

School districts and unions are among the most conservative institutions left in our country. Their reluctance to budge from the status quo and their fierce resistance to competition adversely impact student achievement, teacher quality, and fiscal equity. Hannaway and Rotherham confront the 800-pound obstacle to renewing public education and set the stage for a vigorous debate that is long overdue. — Alan Bersin, California Secretary of Education

We have waited decades for such a comprehensive overview of collective bargaining and teachers unions. A fascinating mixture of solid empirical studies and balanced, informed debate. — Mike Kirst, Professor of Education and Business Administration, Stanford University

This volume moves teacher collective bargaining from the sidelines to the center of the policy debate over public education. Its contributors fill the spectrum from those who want to weaken or eliminate union power to those who want to strengthen and reform it. As the editors note, the book started with a conversation; it will stimulate many more. — Charles Taylor Kerchner, Hollis P. Allen Professor of Education, Claremont Graduate University

Online Professional Development for Teachers is the right book at the right time, an invaluable work that shines a powerful spotlight on teacher learning for the new century. Dede’s insightful analysis pulls it all together into a coherent framework, helping the reader appreciate trends, features, and implications of this powerful force for educational change. — Kathleen Fulton, Director, Reinventing Schools for the 21st Century, National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future

Chris Dede is one of the most forward-looking educators in the field, with a keen awareness of the rapid evolution of information and communication technology. This book examines the potential of online and blended professional development to build teachers’ ability to innovate and effect transformational change in schooling in order to provide all students with 21st-century knowledge and skills. — Bonnie J. Smith-Skripps, Dean, College of Education and Human Services, Western Illinois University

This book is a tremendous gift to K-12 education. As a school leader always looking to build professional capacity among my staff, I welcome Dede's design-based research and forward thinking about online teacher professional development. A must-read for funders, policymakers, and school leaders. — Mary Skipper, Headmaster, TechBoston Academy

Online Professional Development for Teachers captures the innovation and excitement of this growing field. The case studies provide the best available picture to date of the scope and potential for lifelong professional learning on the Internet. This volume is essential and interesting reading for researchers and educators who design and study innovative learning environments. — Sharon J. Derry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This valuable book reminds educators, and the public at large, of our collective responsibility for developing highly qualified teachers. It speaks in particular to school administrators about the critical role they play in ensuring that their schools retain effective teachers. It is filled with sound advice and practical, useful information--an indispensable volume for all who have a stake in recruiting and keeping the best teachers for our schools. — Peggy S. Kemp, Headmaster, Fenway High School, Boston, MA

An absolute must-read for every educator and policymaker in the field. This book is by far the most comprehensive effort to date about where we've been, where we are, and where we should be heading. It provides the reader with solid strategies for system accountability, instruction, and assessment, and it provides the basis upon which educational equity can be achieved for students with disabilities. — Judy Elliott, Assistant Superintendent for Special Education, Long Beach (Calif.) United School District

This book is indispensable for all school administrators. Hehir describes with enormous clarity the final battle on the civil rights front in America—making sure that disabled students receive a quality education. If you are looking for the right thing to do rather than mere compliance, you’ll cherish the message and the meaning of this remarkable discussion by a first-rate scholar/practitioner. — Carl A. Cohn, Superintendent, San Diego City Schools

Thomas Hehir’s book should be required reading for education practitioners, students, disability advocates, and parents throughout the United States and abroad. His unique professional background, coupled with deep insights into the effect of ableist views on disabled people, results in a book that shows how to improve both students’ outcomes and educators’ satisfaction with their performance. — Judith E. Heumann, Advisor for Disability and Development, World Bank

Chilling Admissions is an important contribution to a debate which often has relied more on rhetoric than reason. It will help elevate justice's side of the argument. — Julian Bond, Chairman, NAACP

This may be the most important book in higher education today. At a time in which affirmative action is under siege, this volume offers the facts--research on the consequences of repealing affirmative action, and urgently needed, workable alternatives for maintaining diversity on campus. It is a must read for anyone who cares about or is responsible for the future of America's colleges and universities. — Arthur Levine, President, Teachers College, Columbia University

The collection in Chilling Admissions is an important and desperately needed contribution to informed policy judgments about affirmative action in higher education. Its great value is to bring facts into what has become, more and more, a sterile and abstract ideological debate, fueled by political appeals to those who feel threatened by minority groups. I hope it is widely read, and stimulates more thoughtful discussion on its own level. — Burke Marshall, Professor, Yale Law School, Former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

An interesting, timely, and well-informed book on the impact of present efforts to eliminate affirmative action in college and university admissions. It illuminates many complexities that should inform debate on the subject. — Nathan Glazer, Professor of Education and Social Structure, Emeritus, Harvard University

Sheds vitally important new light on the effects of affirmative action. Enormously valuable. — Diana Chapman Walsh, President, Wellesley College

Chilling Admissions sheds light on one of the most heated subjects in U.S. higher education--the use of race-conscious affirmative action in admissions. The nine essays in this volume include detailed reports and analyses from the front lines of California and Texas, where affirmative action has been banned and universities, forced to radically redesign their policies, are struggling to devise viable alternatives for promoting campus diversity. Together, these essays place the current crisis in historical and legal context while raising the troubling issues of race, testing, and the definition of "merit" in college admissions. At the same time, they cast doubt on some widely held views about the actual impact and costs of affirmative action. The diversity of American higher education is often and properly described as the system's great strength. By taking 'affirmative' steps, colleges and universities have worked for a generation to create the diverse environments essential for learning and crucial for a healthy, productive society. For those concerned about the future of American higher education and our role in the society, this is an important book. — Stanley Ikenberry, President, American Council on Education

A remarkable mixture of theory and practice…This work is vital for teachers exploring themes from everyday life and connections between the inside and outside worlds of teaching and learning. It also reflects the tensions between these two worlds, and how schools provide the place where these tensions play out…The Complex World of Teaching is a fascinating contribution to the conversation on teaching and learning. — Betty Rosa, Superintendent, New York City Community School District 8

A valuable—and surprisingly vivid—portrayal of the actual experience of teachers and students, both in the classroom and beyond it. The mystery and joy that are at the heart of classroom teaching, and which seldom come across in academic writings, are presented here with a tenacious energy that I especially appreciate. Teachers everywhere will be grateful. — Jonathan Kozol, author of Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools and Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation

It is a rare volume on teaching that begins with the perspectives, experiences, and voices of children and adolescents. Student experience, in school and out, serves as an anchor for this ambitious compendium. It underscores the urgency that compels us to understand more fully what teaching requires, how it succeeds or fails, and what conditions enhance or diminish its promise. Schoolteaching is a complex practice in any time and place, as these authors attest. Its complexities multiply when teachers and their students do not share cultural histories, economic circumstances, or language. In juxtaposing these pieces, this book will no doubt provoke debate and suggest new possibilities for practice and research. — Judith Warren Little, Professor, University of California-Berkeley

There are those who imagine we can reach a better future by simplifying our understanding of who we teach and what we teach. By contrast, the authors of this collection believe that complexity is the name of the game in describing who we are as human beings, both as teachers and as learners. This wonderful collection of essays is about why complexity is important, and why it must remain so. These are voices worth listening to, and also fun to read. — Deborah Meier, Principal, Mission Hill School, Roxbury, MA, and author of The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons from a Small School in Harlem

The Latino student population in this nation is growing by leaps and bounds, and these students are being met by hostile policies such as anti-bilingual and anti-affirmative action practices. Every educator should pay close attention to the policies recommended and history documented in this book. — Teresa Montano, United Teachers Los Angeles

The Elusive Quest for Equality is an important contribution that advances the conversation of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the impact it has had on the educational expectations of Mexican Americans. — Rodolfo Acuna, California State University at Northridge

Some of the best minds in the field inform us that many of our present difficulties (e.g., biased testing, segregation, language issues, and access to institutions of higher education) have deep historical roots….The most powerful message of this book, …in my opinion, is that policymakers and other school reformers would do well to learn more about the history of education as it has developed for Chicanos/as. Knowing this history is essential for understanding the implications of present reform initiatives. — Ruben Donato, University of Colorado at Boulder

The Elusive Quest for Equality builds a solid case for the resilience and tenacity of the Mexican American struggle for equality in education. It also provides an indispensable background for educators and a moral guidepost for anyone who determines educational policy in the United States today. — Manuel S. Espinosa, Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, CA

At long last, the rich qualitative research resources of a decade of the Harvard Educational Review are together in one readily accessible volume. Not only will readers have important perspectives from critical social science disciplines, but the many theoretical arguments and case studies are now side by side. The value of Acts of Inquiry is not just as a collection of some of the most thoughtful and biting work of the field, but also as a timesaver for teachers and students. Who hasn't searched frantically for that HER article that addressed exactly the point a student raised in class? As required reading in qualitative methods classes, it will outshine many of the resources now available for its breadth and comprehensiveness. — Yvonna S. Lincoln , Texas A&M University

This collection of articles succeeds in bringing together an unusual assortment of writers and ideas that further the conversation on the nature, issues, and uses of qualitative research. It is definitely a volume to use as a teacher, student, or practitioner in pursuit of insight and information about qualitative research. The many articles, divided into six sections, inform the reader not only by their content, but also by their often extensive bibliographies. — Alan Peshkin, Stanford University

Acts of Inquiry in Qualitative Research provides the kind of examples I search for to use in my qualitative research methods class—diverse and thoughtful articles that will not only deepen students’ understandings of (and questions about) research methods, but also stimulate their interest in and thinking about a variety of educational topics. Acts of Inquiry is a fine collection of articles and a valuable accompaniment to any qualitative research methods text. — Corrine Glesne, University of Vermont

In teaching qualitative research methodology, I give students articles and papers that explicate as well as illustrate the concepts I introduce. Acts of Inquiry in Qualitative Research does both, and it does them in one volume. Even better, it does them well! For those who do, read, and write interpretive research, Acts of Inquiry is a valuable and unique resource that offers both breadth and depth. — Sharon Rallis, University of Connecticut

Long overdue, this excellent collection of essays serves to bring qualitative research to the forefront of social science inquiry. — Norman K. Denzin, University of Illinois at Urbana

Perspectives on Language and Literacy: Beyond the Here and Now deftly tracks seminal shifts in cutting-edge ideas, arguments, and research on education over the last thirty-five years. Readers intrigued by the Big Ideas that have influenced North American research in education from 1964 on will find no better source than the rich, telling, and fascinating account narrated by this timely compilation of important papers from the Harvard Educational Review. — Martin Nystrand, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Editors of the Harvard Educational Review have provided a great service to educational scholars by assembling, in a single volume, some of the most important theoretical and empirical examinations of language and literacy of the past forty years. Taken as a set, this collection offers incredible range. We encounter the entire developmental spectrum of language and literacy practices from preschoolers to adults at work and home. We learn about issues of practice and policy for both first and second language learners, in the United States and abroad. And we meet the full range of academic disciplines, epistemological perspectives, and methodological approaches that have marked the study of language and literacy during this period. One could use the collection as the cornerstone of a rigorous and exciting graduate seminar, or just enjoy revisiting so many classics without having to track them down in a library. — P. David Pearson, Michigan State University

Perspectives on Language and Literacy, a set of seminal readings from the Harvard Educational Review, will provide valuable insights to anyone who works with students or devises educational policy. The book explores questions of language and literacy from a variety of perspectives, and includes venerable classics that should be in every educator’s library. Some of the authors are cognitive developmentalists interested in children’s mental processes, while others take a sociocultural approach; several chapters deal with bilingualism and crosslinguistic issues, and the book’s final section provides critical evaluation of language and literacy education. This volume provides a welcome set of readings on these complicated questions. — Jean Berko Gleason, Boston University

This volume incisively portrays how the most important role in pre-college education—the principal—can lead in preparing teachers and students to meet the challenges of our 21st-century knowledge-based civilization. — Chris Dede, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Nancy Hoffman brings us--in their words--the experiences and ideas of women whose work built public education, and who changed it. This remarkable book brings life and light to many of the most important moments in the history of schooling, and should be read by all who study schools--or care about them. — David K. Cohen, John Dewey Collegiate Professor of Education and Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy, University of Michigan

In this second edition of Nancy Hoffman’s acclaimed history, we discover the struggles and joys of women who did some of the most important work in early America—they taught. Hoffman is especially attentive to the experiences of African American teachers as she gives us a fuller sense of how race and gender were mixed with education. In Hoffman’s history there are many lessons for today. — Johnnetta Betsch Cole, President, Bennett College for Women

If we were to choose one book that every teacher and every parent should read, it would be Nancy Hoffman's Woman's "True" Profession. Hoffman traces the history of teaching from the days of the one-room schoolhouse, to the schools of the rural South after the Civil War, to the teeming urban classrooms of the early twentieth century. This celebration of teachers and teaching places them in the honored position they deserve. This new edition will take its place on the bookshelf of classics on American Education. — Katherine C. Boles and Vivian Troen, Coauthors of Who's Teaching Your Children

The abbreviations and designations may change--LEPs, ELLs, bilingual, language minority, immigrant, or refugee students--but no matter what they are called, these are among the students most in danger of being lost in our elementary and secondary schools today. Educating them is not only an imperative; it is also a moral challenge and an awesome opportunity. A rare bridging of theoretical perspectives and practical strategies, Teaching Immigrant and Second Language Students is a refreshing answer to this challenge. It provides a wealth of information and is certain to be an invaluable resource for teachers, principals, policymakers, and other educational leaders. — Sonia Nieto, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and author of Affirming Diversity

Dick Elmore guides us to a clear, common sense strategy for linking educational policy and instructional change. He wants standards, incentives and professional supports that add up to a coherent system because '. . . teachers have to feel that there is some compelling reason for them to practice differently, with the best direct evidence being that students learn better. . .'Now that’s the heart of the matter. — Sandra Feldman, President Emeritus, American Federation of Teachers

Professor Elmore takes on many of the toughest education issues: improving teaching, taking programs to scale, managing performance accountability. His thoughtful analyses offer deep understanding and some hope for our future. — Marshall S. Smith, Director, Education Program, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Former Undersecretary of Education

In my work with policymakers and practitioners over the past decade I've drawn repeatedly upon these Elmore essays. This volume will now find its way into my courses on education policy. — Robert B. Schwartz, Former President, Achieve, Inc. and Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education

The findings of Racial Inequity in Special Education indicate a trend with chilling implications for our education system. The overidentification of minority students in special education and the subsequent isolation, stigmatization, and inferior treatment they receive reconfirms the notion that education in America falls short of offering a level playing field for all. By compiling this body of valuable scholarship, Losen and Orfield have unearthed the contours of the problem as well as promising blueprints for resolving it. — U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah (D-PA)

Meant to address the special needs of children with disabilities, federal and state special education laws have produced troubling racial results. This book's vital evidence and thoughtful recommendations can restore the vision of equality that should guide appropriate schooling for all children. — Martha Minow, Professor of Law, Harvard University

Racial Inequity in Special Education provides important direction, for those of us in Congress and for those in our schools. The authors show us where we need to do better to ensure equal educational opportunities for all of our students, whatever their race or socioeconomic status. Where school leadership fails to address those issues that have an adverse impact on children of color and children with disabilities, we must bolster our efforts to protect every child's civil rights. — from the foreword by U.S. Senator James Jeffords (I-VT)

This timely volume presents indispensable perspectives on changes we need to introduce into our college and university classrooms in order to enrich those classes and enhance the academic achievement of minority students. Race and Higher Education is a must read for all teachers, administrators, and students who have a stake in the ever-greater diversity of our colleges and universities. — Dean Whitla, Director, National Campus Diversity Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education

This is an informed, balanced, carefully researched series of essays on a timely and important topic. It offers clear insights into the benefits and problems of racial diversity in higher education. — John B. Williams, College of Education, University of Maryland

"School teachers, administrators, and community members who want a better understanding of standards-based reform-of how we got here and why-will benefit a great deal from this book. These contributors, who have been at the forefront of national discussions about improving schools, cogently lay out the complexities of educating youth to high standards. They make a convincing and inspiring case for why reform should focus on what counts the most: improving teaching and learning. If you read one book on this important anniversary, it should be A Nation Reformed?" — Ramon Cortines, former Chancellor, New York City Public Schools

A deep, insightful, balanced appraisal from an extraordinary array of 'school reformers'-scholars, practitioners, and policy analysts-who have stayed the course for 20+ years. What they have learned and what they know about the barriers that still lie ahead is a must read for anyone concerned about the future well-being of our children, our schools, and yes, ultimately, 'our nation at risk.' — Anthony Bryk, Director, Center for School Improvement, University of Chicago

Dropouts in America can make an enormous difference in reducing the shamefully high level of school dropouts in communities across the country and make it far more likely that young students will graduate from high school and go on to college. Schools, communities, parents, and students alike can benefit from the promising models and concrete steps suggested here, and unlock the American dream for literally millions of the nation's youth. — Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Gary Orfield and his colleagues have done us a great service by lifting the lid on one of the unacknowledged secrets of the recent drive for high-stakes tests and punitive sanctions in our public schools: an escalating dropout crisis that is seldom mentioned in the education circles of our nation’s capital and one that is taking its highest toll on children of minorities. Dropouts in America is an absolutely essential book—timely, urgent, and disturbing. — Jonathan Kozol, Author of Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope and Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools

This collection of powerful and profound essays fills a longstanding void between educational practice and cultural theory. Readers will gain insight into the ways in which education is influenced by larger cultural currents in society, and as those connections are made clear, new ways of understanding and intervening will also become evident. — Pedro A. Noguera, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University

Cultural Studies and Education delves into the intersection of two fields that remain largely disconnected in the United States. In an era of narrow and regressive educational policy, this volume reminds us what educational discourse can be: an exciting conversation about the relationship between culture, power, and society. These essays--both old classics and new--should be at the center of our debates about the future of education. — Nadine Dolby, Northern Illinois Universty

This book is a must-read primer on the fast-changing landscape of educational technology in our schools. Its lucid accounts from both practitioners and researchers answer the big-picture question of 'Where is the field heading?' as well as the more immediate 'What should a teacher do Monday morning?' Better Teaching and Learning in the Digital Classroom charts a path to help acheive the goal of its title. — Milton Chen, Executive Director, The George Lucas Educational Foundation

This unique and timely book answers multiple questions regarding the efficacy and use of technology to improve teaching and learning. All teachers will find something of use in this volume. a wise principal would purchase this book as an indispensable tool for in-school technology discussions. — Milli Pierce, Former Director, The Principals' Center, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Afterschool Education deepens the understanding of anyone-policy makers, capacity-building organizations, program administrators, partnering educators, afterschool program leaders-who is invested in the effective use of afterschool resources to support young people's growth and progress. — Sam Piha, LCSW, Director for Community School Partnerships

Hess’s compilation provides a thoughtful, reasoned, and frequently pointed examination of K-12 philanthropy, a sector accustomed to accolades and sheltered from the impulsiveness of the ballot box. This volume invites the sincere reflections and heated discussions that are urgently needed among policymakers, educators, and the philanthropic community as educational philanthropy increasingly seeks to improve our nation’s schools. — Stefanie Sanford, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

This is a groundbreaking volume for education reformers and philanthropists. The wealth of research presented here surveys the landscape, raises critical questions, and illuminates the challenges for us all to consider as we strive to change public education and provide all children with the schools they deserve. — Wendy Kopp, Founder, Teach for America

UDL bridges ideals and best practices to make equal education for all students a reality. The visionaries and researchers at CAST have led the charge to define UDL and deliver it into practice. Like the concept itself, this book is a single resource, one that provides access to the many facets of UDL. The variety of resources within this book informs us what UDL is, why it matters, and how to do it. — David Scanlon, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

Over the past decade, researchers at CAST pioneered the concept of Universal Design for Learning. The Universally Designed Classroom is a timely and comprehensive examination of the issues pertaining to UDL, from definition and conceptualization to implementation. This book is a blueprint to turn promise into reality. — Michael L. Wehmeyer, University of Kansas, and Director, Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities

The Universally Designed Classroom provides a rich understanding of how and why all classroom instruction can be fully accessible to every child. Finally, we have a complete reference on what UDL means, why it is important, and how to use its principles in designing curriculum and instruction. — Patti Ralabate, Senior Professional Associate for Special Needs, National Education Association

Today more than ever, higher education stands as the gateway to the kind of society we will become. Higher Education and the Color Line is a major contribution to contemporary debates about how that gateway should be constructed against the backdrop of race, gender, and class in American society. — Lee C. Bollinger, President, Columbia University

Inclusion is the single greatest challenge facing colleges and universities in the United States. This is especially true in states like California, where the so-called minority will soon be the majority. This book is an incredible resource for those of us on the front lines who are trying to ensure that our institutions serve the entire population, not just those who by virtue of an accident of birth are among the privileged classes. — Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley

This outstanding book presents leading-edge research on racial inequality in higher education and specific policy recommendations to improve minority access and success. It is unique in that it pays equal attention to African American and Latino issues. Anyone who is concerned with equal opportunity in higher education will find it indispensable. — Jorge Chapa, Director of Latino Studies Program, Indiana University, Bloomington

Impatient with the slow and sometimes stagnant pace of urban school reform, many observers are calling for bold and brash interventions. San Diego, under Alan Bersin, is a prototype of this approach, which one of the chapters in the volume summarizes as ‘Do it fast, do it deep, and take no prisoners.’ In Urban School Reform, top scholars turn their microscopes on the San Diego experiment, providing a nuanced assessment of an effort that is certain to be analyzed—and argued about—for years to come. — Jeffrey R. Henig, Teachers College, Columbia University

Alan Bersin has been a visionary school superintendent in San Diego. He has moved with bold strokes and sought to transform the very culture of the dysfunctional school system that he inherited. This invaluable book chronicles his efforts in a thorough and balanced manner. It is essential reading for those who are serious about urban school reform. — Joel Klein, Chancellor, New York City Board of Education

Each essay provides the next-best thing to being a participant-observer during the San Diego reform effort. A must-read for the committed urban school reformer. — Deborah McGriff, Executive Vice President, Edison Schools

It is wonderful to find an educational book that offers both pedagogy and practical classroom applications. A Practical Reader in Universal Design for Learning was written for classroom teachers and school administrators, and it provides a wealth of implementation strategies, model lessons, and teacher reflections. This easy-to-read book will be an immediate and useful resource for all educators. — Quentina Timoll, Educational Technology Consultant, Louisiana Department of Education

This is the definitive primer on Universal Design for Learning. It will be immensely helpful for teacher education candidates, graduate students, and in-service teachers —in both classes for new teachers and professional development classes for experienced ones. — Bob Hughes, Dean of General Studies, South Seattle Community College

This is a must-read for all educators who are genuinely interested in promoting practices that remove artificial barriers to learning. It is presented in user-friendly language that can be easily applied in the classroom. The promise of universally designed instruction through flexible means can become a reality. This book shows us the way in real-life examples. — Markay L. Winston, Director of Student Services, Cincinnati Public Schools

An excellent resource for educators, parents, and any adult who seks to understand adolescents and the turbulence and confusion that often affects young people during this period of their lives. A poignant, insightful, and practical analysis. — Pedro Noguera, Professor, New York University

Understanding Youth really does understand youth! It is essential reading, especially for those who work with adolescents in challenging circumstances. — Nancy Hoffman Director, Early College High School, Initiative, Jobs for the Future

As a new teacher, I especially appreciate the clarity with which the authors outline the research [on adolescent development] and its implications for my teaching. — Manuel Rustin, Social Science Teacher, John F. Kennedy High School, Sacramento, CA

Nakkula and Toshalis organize what we have learned about the development of young people—some of whom are presented in a series of individual portraits—and chart ways that we can best serve them. — Theodore R. Sizer, Founder, Coalition of Essential Schools

Nichols and Berliner provide a hard-hitting and thoughtful critique of today’s overreliance on high-stakes testing. This is a must-read for anyone concerned about the unintended consequences of education reform. — Paul D. Houston, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators

The cumulative impact of the accounts Nichols and Berliner lay out before us is staggering. They punch it home: The moral impact of NCLB may be as dangerous as its educational effects. — Deborah Meier, Senior Scholar, New York University

Collateral Damage delivers a healthy dose of hard truth. It should be required reading for policymakers and concerned citizens. — Jeannie Oakes, Presidential Professor and Director, UCLA Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access

Nichols and Berliner provide a carefully reasoned analysis laced with frightening accounts drawn from public schools. This readable volume eviscerates the premise that our schools can be evaluated with a single indicator. If you care about public schooling, this book is essential. — W. James Popham, Professor Emeritus, UCLA

A breathtaking book. With all the talk about ‘doing something’ about teacher education, here is a rare example of a book that actually does something. It offers a fascinating opportunity to play with the critical ideas confronting us as educators. Transforming Teacher Education must get into the hands of those thinking seriously about educating America. — Deborah Meier, Senior Scholar and Adjunct Professor, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University

The appearance of a new book by this team of extraordinarily thoughtful teacher educators is an event worth celebrating. The book details what it took to accomplish what many thought could not be done—creating and sustaining a model of teacher education, rooted in a vibrant intellectual and professional community, in the context of a large, bureaucratic public university. We learn from Transforming Teacher Education what it takes to create ambitious programmatic change, and all the pleasures and challenges entailed in such an effort. — Pam Grossman, Professor of Education, Stanford University

At last! A fascinating, deep, and honest analysis of the reform effort of a large teacher education program, using principles, theories, and values from small, elite boutique programs. This book describes the successes, dilemmas, and nightmares of the process, interspersing research, analysis, and reflection. It should be required reading for any teacher education program undergoing major reform. — Virginia Richardson, Professor of Education, School of Education, University of Michigan

Teacher educators in programs large and small will be inspired and instructed by this book. The members of Team One remind us of the folly of those who believe that there are shortcuts to preparing teachers to do well the difficult work confronting us today. — Marvin Hoffman, Founding Director, North Kenwood Oakland Charter School, and Associate Director, Urban Teacher Education Program, University of Chicago

This clearly written and insightful l book tells the story of the reform of teacher education at Michigan State in the 1980s and 1990s. In large research intensve universities, teacher education is often low in the list of institutional priorities. This work described in this book clearly demonstrates how a top reserach university can develop high quality and cutting edge teacher education programs that play a large role in influencing teacher education across the nation. This book is must reading for all who are intersted in teacher education reform. The lessons learned by these teacher educators about the complexities of creating genuine and progressive reofrm in a large university like Michigan State can be of benefit to us all. — Ken Zeichner, Hoefs-Bascom Professor of Teacher Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In its comprehensive account of school reform efforts in Boston, this book offers insights into the immense and necessary project that is contemporary urban school reform. It should be of interest to all who have a stake in urban school reform throughout the country. — Richard W. Riley, Former U.S. Secretary of Education

A Decade of Urban School Reform should be required reading for every educator and policy-maker in this country. Success is possible, but as Boston demonstrates, it requires leadership, a unified partnership among all stakeholders, and an unwavering focus on student achievement. — Eli Broad, Founder, The Broad Foundations

Reville's impressive book analyzes a significant decade of educational reform in arguably one of the most closely watched urban districts in America; it shows that even when all stars are aligned, change and improvement come slowly. — Richard Stutman, President, Boston Teachers Union

A Decade of Urban School Reform tells the story of Boston's successful urban school reform under Tom Payzant's extraordinary leadership. Through these essays, we learn the ingredients for success: a research-based theory of change, support from a mayor with a longstanding commitment to education, a laser-like focus on instruction, cooperation from teachers unions, central office reform, and unusual partnerships. Reville and his colleagues have assembled a compelling and honest case study with implications for the nation. — Kathleen McCartney, Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education

This book shows how complex—and daunting—is the task of improving a large city's schools. But, it also offers hope because it documents how Tom Payzant, through enlightened leadership and persistence, laid the groundwork for better schools in Boston. — Jack Jennings, President and CEO, Center on Education Policy

While there was once a time when a large school system simply kept to itself and the mayor never got involved in education, those days are now gone. The building of ‘smart education systems’ requires the full realization that our schools cannot succeed on their own, and our cities cannot and will not prosper without good schools. — Bill Purcell, Mayor, Nashville, Tennessee

The thesis of this insightful volume—that smart schools require smart communities, with knowledge of how to leverage family and community capital in service of academic excellence —will require much greater national attention and significant public resources if meaningful and lasting educational transformation is to be achieved. — Wendy D. Puriefoy, President and CEO, Public Education Network

It really does take a city, and this collection of essays by some of America’s most informed students of urban school reform shows just why, and more importantly just how. Rich in theory, analysis, and example, these essays lay out a vision for smart education systems. The idea is powerful and the vision compelling. We will be talking about this book, and hopefully acting on it, for a long time. — Don McAdams, President, Center for Reform of School Systems

The school of the 21st century will reach beyond the traditional boundaries of the ‘little red schoolhouse’ to enlist the support of parents and communities. With the publication of City Schools, the Annenberg Institute is again at the cutting edge of school reform. — Robert Hughes, President, New Visions for Public Schools

City Schools provides a broad analysis of the systems and conditions that must be overhauled if schools are to level the playing field for poor and minority students and educate all students to higher standards. Rothman has assembled a group of thoughtful educators to guide us through the complex issues that challenge public school systems and the communities they serve. It is compelling reading for anyone interested in the work of improving schools. — Judith Johnson, Superintendent, Peekskill (N.Y.) City School District

ProComp has established a foundation for future efforts to change how teachers are paid. This book reveals the details of the brave effort to rethink teacher compensation through labor-management collaboration. And when it comes to education reforms, the details are precisely the toughest part. — Adam Urbanski, Director, Teacher Union Reform Network

When the history of the triumph of pay-for-performance teacher compensation is finally written, this book will be one of the key sources. Gonring, Teske, and Jupp recount the process, explain the initiative, and foreshadow what’s next for this issue. In doing so they make clear why Denver has played a signal role in this debate. — Andy Rotherham, Cofounder and Codirector of Education Sector

Everyone says we must attract better teachers and pay them for the right results. Denver is one of the few places that is doing something about it. Performance pay is hard to design well and even harder to manage politically. In this book, key insiders show us how it can be done. — Paul T. Hill, John and Marguerite Corbally Professor, and Director, Center on Reinventing Public Education, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington

Minding the Gap is an invaluable resource for policymakers and practitioners interested in eliminating the gap between secondary and postsecondary education. It focuses on those factors that must be addressed if the gap is to be eliminated: the lack of coordination between secondary and college curricula; dramatically different approaches to funding for public schools and higher education; and the lack of coordinated data systems spanning the educational continuum, from kindergarten through college. This is a ‘mustread’ for all those interested in increasing the number of American college graduates. — Freeman A. Hrabowski III, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

This comprehensive collection offers a bracing examination of the anachronistic divide that separates K–12 schooling and higher education, to the detriment of both. It explains how this state of affairs came about, why it’s a problem, and what can be done about it. The contributors provide concrete and concise guidance on implementation, promising models, policy, data systems, and financial aid. This is an important book for educators and reformers serious about reinventing high school and tearing down the barriers to college access. — Frederick M. Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute

In today’s economy, a college education is a must for every citizen. Minding the Gap shares innovative strategies for improving the delivery system of college so it is affordable and attainable for every child in America. — Mike Easley, Governor of North Carolina

Minding the Gap highlights the importance of raising the bar for high school and postsecondary education in the United States. Most important, it acknowledges that we must do a better job of reaching out to underserved and low-income communities to raise the educational level of their students and to provide them with the critical skills needed for the future global workforce. — Charles B. Reed, Chancellor, California State University

This book of insightful case studies fills a void long felt by educational administrators in search of practical, real-world training tools. It will serve as a catalyst for the tough conversations district leaders need to have about achieving high-quality outcomes for all students. The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems has used many of these cases with great success, and we are excited that they are now compiled into a single collection. — Dan Katzir, Managing Director, The Broad Foundation

Managing School Districts for High Performance brings a laser-like focus to the core issues facing American education today, namely: How do we build first-class public education institutions and strategies to coherently drive effective learning and teaching and high student achievement? — Jon Schnur, Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder, New Leaders for New Schools

Managing School Districts for High Performance brings a laser-like focus to the core issues facing American education today, namely: How do we build first-class public education institutions and strategies to coherently drive effective learning and teaching and high student achievement? — Jon Schnur, Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder, New Leaders for New Schools

This volume is not a treatise about how schools and districts should work. Rather, it provides a deep immersion in the real dilemmas involved in advancing school district reform. Anyone who works through these cases cannot help but come away with a more informed vision for change, a more reflective orientation about the interrelationships among the multiple tasks involved, and a more prudent grasp of what it takes to educate all children to high academic standards. The course of study presented by Managing School Districts for High Performance should be required professional education for anyone charged with advancing a coherent agenda of school improvement in our diverse, demanding, and rapidly changing society. — Anthony S. Bryk, Spencer Professor of Organizational Studies, Stanford University

This set of case studies offers practitioners, policymakers, and scholars the opportunity to learn from the collective wisdom and real-life experiences of educational leaders involved in systemic transformation. Implementing coherent reform strategies designed to improve and sustain student performance often takes place in a vacuum. As a former urban superintendent, I believe that these selected educational case studies provide a compelling forum for shared experiential teaching and learning. — Arlene Ackerman, Christian A. Johnson Professor of Outstanding Educational Practice, Teachers College, Columbia University

This collaboration between the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education provides a set of analytical tools to address the most complex and challenging issues facing urban public schools. The contemporary case studies document actual choices and constraints and point to patterns and similarities across organizations, from urban schools to corporate environments. — Carol Johnson, Superintendent, Boston Public Schools

“This collection of highly readable cases offers insights on implementing the Data Wise school improvement process. Data Wise in Action will lead the way in guiding teachers, principals, and other stakeholders to overcome organizational and cultural barriers to student success. — Kenneth K. Wong, Chair, Department of Education and Director of Urban Education Policy Program, Brown University

Data Wise in Action testifies to the challenges and triumphs of using data to improve student achievement. I have begun the Data Wise process at my school and I am seeing a real change in how the faculty views data. It is no longer a dreaded, dirty word but a valuable tool to improve teaching and learning. The bottom line is: Data Wise definitely works and yields great results! — Denise Jamison, Principal, The Williamsburg Middle School Academy, Brooklyn, New York

Data Wise in Action portrays the challenges educators face in building a collaborative, data-driven culture. Through each case study, the authors show how a systematic focus on data helps teachers make better instructional decisions and, through lots of teamwork, sharing of information, and collaboration, allows schools to become learning organizations focused on improving achievement for all students. — Jonathan P. Raymond, Chief Accountability Officer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, North Carolina

Drawing on the experiences of educators in a diverse array of schools, Data Wise in Action provides a wealth of practical guidance for creating a strong culture of data use. Readers will learn from the challenges and successes documented in each chapter. Data Wise in Action is an invaluable resource for schools or districts that want to use evidence to improve the quality of instruction—not just raise test scores. — Laura Hamilton, PhD, Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation

This book issues an urgent call to action to anyone concerned about the lagging success rates among minority children in American schools and the repercussions for our country’s future. Ronald Ferguson not only surveys the bleak terrain surrounding the achievement gap, but provides all of us with a road map to reach higher ground. — Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone

Toward Excellence with Equity is an important book written by one of the nation’s foremost experts on education and economic development. Ronald Ferguson’s pioneering work on black/white disparities in student skill levels and achievement-test scores has significant public policy implications. This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about narrowing the racial gap in educational attainment and earnings. — William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University

This book combines high-quality research, judicious insights, brilliant speculation, and common sense to set forth strategies to reduce the achievement gap dramatically. It is particularly compelling in calling for a comprehensive social movement that will not only transform schools but establish strong communities, effective parenting, and powerful peer cultures. — Henry M. Levin, William H. Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Ferguson conducts an authoritative review to show that disparities in academic performance can be closed by strong parental engagement and by parents working in partnership with schools around a shared vision of success for their children. The reality is that educators can’t do it alone. This highly intelligent book gives policymakers, educators, and parents essential tools for closing achievement gaps between high-performing and low-performing schools. — Susan Zelman, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ohio Department of Education

Toward Excellence with Equity is essential reading for any businessperson who cares about the well-being of children and the future quality of the American workforce. — Bridgette Heller, Chairman of the Executive Leadership Council and Global President of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby, Kids, and Wound-Care Division

“Too much of the debate over technology in education has been about whether it is needed. Andrew Zucker cogently makes the case for shifting our focus to how to use technology effectively. It is time to move beyond techno-cheerleading and focus on the educational leadership and vision it takes to use technology to transform learning. Finding that thoughtful balance is why every educator and policymaker should read Transforming Schools with Technology. — Keith R. Krueger, CEO, Consortium for School Networking

Transforming Schools with Technology shows how technology must be an integral part of any effort to redesign and improve schools. It emphasizes the importance of visionary leaders and how—with the smart use of digital technologies—necessary reforms can occur in our schools and classrooms. — Nancy Roche, Board Chair, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia

Andrew Zucker’s book is an indispensable resource for educators and decisionmakers—a balanced, coherent, and insightful discussion about the use of computers and digital tools on behalf of enhanced teaching and learning in our schools. Zucker’s firsthand experience of technology programs at the national, state, and local levels provides a unique perspective on both the promise and pitfalls of investing in digital tools. He takes on big and compelling educational goals for technology: making schools engaging and relevant; reaching all students; attracting, preparing, and retaining high-quality teachers; and improving the ways in which we measure and account for learning. Without fanfare or hype—and with a measured, clear, and jargon-free writing style—Zucker shows how some schools are being transformed and why today’s digital tools are essential for students, teachers, and school administrators. — Linda G. Roberts, Former Director, Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education

Renewed interest in the uses of social science evidence for public policy has prompted a vigorous debate about the quality and utility of education research. The essays in this volume contribute important insights into a range of complex and contested issues. Researchers, policymakers, and consumers of education scholarship need to have this book. — Michael J. Feuer, Executive Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education in the National Research Council of the National Academies

The current devotion to ‘scientifically based research’ indicates great faith in the ability of research to influence policy. Yet the policy-research nexus has not been examined in recent years. Ironically, the messy complexities of the research-policy connection don’t lend themselves to the research designs currently in most favor. Therefore, this book fills an important void. Under what circumstances and in what ways is research influential today? Can we create better incentives and support for the conduct and use of research that is both rigorous and relevant to policy? These and other questions make for fascinating reading. — Susan Fuhrman, President, Teachers College, Columbia University

When Research Matters asks the questions that are rarely asked about the difficult road from research to policy. For the classroom educator, the unevenness of the road from research to policy makes the next leg of the journey—from policy to practice—that much more difficult. This volume gives us all a deeper understanding of the reasons research is often poorly translated into practice. — Pascal D. Forgione Jr., Superintendent of Schools, Austin, Texas

City realizes that the important part of the story is not about the numbers—it’s about the people. Within each chapter she weaves together seemingly disparate considerations such as values and beliefs, policies and funding, vision and hope. She delineates clearly the choices that each school leader makes, capturing the possibilities and the paradoxes of each step down the road. — Larry Myatt, Founding Headmaster, Fenway High School, Boston, Mass.

District administrators often think in very narrow and traditional ways about how to use resources. By offering a rich description of the change process in two urban high schools, Resourceful Leadership opens up a dialogue about new ways to think about and use resources. Combining the ‘hard’ analysis of resource use with the ‘soft’ but equally important side of the change process (vision, hope, trust, ideas, and energy) is an important contribution. This well-written and timely book offers powerful lessons for school and district leaders. — Jim Kushman, Director, Center for School and District Improvement, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory

Resourceful Leadership paints a rich portrait of the day-to-day complexity involved in leading school improvement. Liz City has thoughtfully woven together strands from research, practice, and policy. The result is a realistic and vivid description of the central challenges in the vitally important work of school leadership. — Paul Reville, President, Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy; Chairman, Massachusetts State Board of Education; and Director, Education Policy and Management Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education

A brilliant, thoughtful, and provocative analysis. Charles Payne shows why almost thirty years of school reform has brought so little change to urban public schools. Rooted in the reality of the Chicago Public Schools, Payne’s book contains lessons that are relevant to schools everywhere. — Pedro Noguera, New York University

Charles Payne’s book is likely to anger teachers and administrators, conservatives and liberals, school reformers and the foundations that fund them. All will see themselves depicted as naïve about what it takes to improve urban schools. Many will see themselves depicted as part of the problem rather than part of the solution. At the same time no reader who has spent much time in urban schools will deny the accuracy of Payne’s insights—for example, about why improving high schools has proved so much more difficult than improving elementary schools, why more resources alone won’t produce successful urban schools, and why the choice of a particular whole school reform program is not the critical decision. While his analysis is deeply sobering, Payne shows that improvement in urban schools is possible—and indeed that significant improvements have already taken place. — Richard J. Murnane, Harvard Graduate School of Education

This is a wonderful book, absolutely essential reading for educators, policymakers, and community and civic leaders who are committed to creating schools that promote high achievement for Black and Latino students. Payne helps us understand the challenges and possibilities for the transformation of urban schools. This is a smart book—one that should change our conversation about the reform of urban schools. — Theresa Perry, Simmons College

Inclusion has come to higher education! More than explaining what the law requires, Burgstahler and Cory have given us a primer on how universal design in education can improve university and college life for everyone. — Douglas Biklen, Dean of the School of Education, Syracuse University

Burgstahler and Corey have put together a groundbreaking, comprehensive text that brings together all the best information about the theory and practice of Universal Design (UD) and its potential in higher education. As a paradigm of inclusion, UD offers a modelfor addressing issues of equality, accessibility, and social and intellectual integration.Demonstrating the breadth and depth of this powerful model in higher education, thistext covers the application of UD in campus design, student services, faculty development, instructional technology, academic administration, and classroom instruction, from first-year courses to advanced study. — Brenda Jo Brueggemann, Professor of English & Disability Studies, The Ohio State University

It is wonderful to have one book that explains and gives illustrations of Universal Design in one fell swoop! I’ve read and re-read descriptions of what UDL is, but am always left wondering how to put it into action. This books answers that question. — Judy Elimelech, Coordinator of Disability Services, Missouri Southern State University

Real Leaders, Real Schools breaks new ground with its in-depth profiles of five school leaders in the Boston Public Schools. It sheds new light on how school leaders can achieve positive results for all students by providing support to staff and students in courageous, focused, creative, and innovative ways. The book provides a wealth of insights into school leadership—and how leadership can be shaped by continuous learning and reflection. — Thomas Payzant, Professor of Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and former Superintendent, Boston Public Schools

The well-written, inspiring accounts of leadership in Real Leaders, Real Schools tell us much about the current state of education. The book reveals how improvement too often requires almost superhuman funds of stamina and talent from its leaders—and a willingness to go against the prevailing culture of teaching and supervision. A penetrating study of schools and school leadership. — Mike Schmoker, author of Results NOW: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning

Real Leaders, Real Schools confronts the most important question in education today: What difference can school leaders and teachers make in schools that are confronted with seemingly overwhelming challenges? With compelling cases and a thoughtful synthesis of evidence, the book provides important insights not only for those serving high-poverty schools, but for everyone committed to educational equity and excellence. — Douglas B. Reeves, Founder, The Leadership and Learning Center

This volume comprises some of the deepest thinking to date on many of the most pressing issues related to school reform. Its authors tell us not just what must be done, but how to do it. I recommend this book most enthusiastically. — Clayton M. Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School

The last decade has witnessed an unprecedented wave of social entrepreneurs who have set their sights on improving America’s K–12 education system, yet this phenomenon has gone largely unexamined—until now. Frederick Hess and his team of analysts offer an honest examination of what is considered by many to be the most exciting—and most promising—sector of public education. Questions about scale, replicability, and systemic impact are sure to dominate the education policy landscape for years to come, and this work takes the first stab at laying out these important issues. — Joe Williams, Executive Director, Democrats for Education Reform

The Future of Educational Entrepreneurship illuminates the emerging ecosystem of ‘edupreneurism’ in the United States. It is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the confounding complexity of the supply side of education reform—and certainly for anyone wishing to enter the field. By reading this book, new edupreneurs can relinquish their naiveté while maintaining their passion for improving public education. The book is right on target and may even tell too many of our secrets. And yet, a movement that fails to critically assess and reform itself can’t expect to improve anything else. This is powerful stuff. — Caprice Young, President and CEO, California Charter Schools Association

The Transformation of Great American School Districts provides fascinating portraits of the governance changes now occurring in America’s major urban school systems, along with a trenchant discussion of the extent to which these changes signal a new direction for American education. The book will make a strong contribution to research on the politics of education in the United States and shows the promise of applying insights from the new institutionalism to research on educational governance. — Brian Rowan, Burke A. Hinsdale Collegiate Professor in Education and Research Professor, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

An important analysis of the evolution of urban education and some provocative ideas about what might be next. Whether your interest is urban schools or American education more generally, you’ll learn from this book. — Andrew J. Rotherham , Co-Director of Education Sector, Member of the Virginia Board of Education, and Author of Eduwonk.com

This cogent collection employs a cultural/historical lens to assess the challenges communities face in their decades-long struggles to transform failing urban school systems. These groundbreaking reflections make a persuasive case for devoting more attention to the political, cultural, and social dimensions of district reinvention—an endeavor that is often treated as a technical challenge alone. — Warren Simmons, Executive Director, Annenberg Institute for School Reform

This is an important book by seasoned analysts of education reform. Their grounded, long-term perspective provides insights that gets our thinking out of the weeds and provides clarity about where urban education reform has been and where it is going. — Jane Hannaway, Director, Education Policy Center, Urban Institute

Learning from L.A. provides a detailed analysis of a system in transition. The authors make a fine distinction between reform ‘projects’ and systemic, institutionalized reform movements—both of which are necessary to propel deep-rooted, dynamic education reform. They identify initiatives that can be the springboard for widespread institutional transformation. This account of a changing school system, with its focus on grassroots politics and processes, will prove particularly useful to both educators and policy-makers. It is a refreshing reminder of the challenges of urban education reform. — Peter McWalters, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

Learning from L.A. is both an outstanding political history of educational reform and a first-class, theoretically sophisticated analysis of how institutions change. — Mark Blyth, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University

Alternative Routes to Teaching is a timely, thoughtful book about one of the most pressing and controversial problems in American education today. This volume brings new and much-needed sophistication to ongoing debates about teacher preparation. — Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Professor of Education, John E. Cawthorne Millennium Chair in Teacher Education for Urban Schools, and Director of the Doctoral Program in Curriculum and Instruction, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

A better book on this subject could not have been written. Alternative Routes to Teaching is a must-read for everyone involved in planning for the future of teaching. — Emily Feistritzer, President and CEO, National Center for Education Information, National Center for Alternative Certification

At a time when the education of teachers is undergoing tectonic shifts, this work by Grossman, Loeb, and their colleagues represents an invaluable contribution. They introduce evidence where empty rhetoric has reigned and offer prudent evaluations of the available data to inform a policy debate dominated by ideology. — Lee S. Shulman, President, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus, Stanford University

Beyond Tracking is a must-read for school leaders and policymakers. The ideas in this book point towards an educational system that provides enriched learning experiences for all students, so that they will be able to succeed in further studies and in the workplace, and so that they can make notable contributions to the common good. — Gene Bottoms, Senior Vice President, Southern Regional Education Board

Beyond Tracking offers a compelling view of multiple pathways and how they might transform American high schools. In its insistence that fundamental reforms are needed—and in its detailed consideration of how reformed high schools would better prepare students for both college and work—this book is an indispensable contribution to efforts to reimagine, and improve, high school education in America. — Ramon C. Cortines, Senior Deputy Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District

Beyond Tracking is a call to arms. Especially notable is that it presents citizenship as a core element of student learning. This link between learning and citizenship has been undervalued in our current quest to reform American public schools. — Wendy D. Puriefoy, President, Public Education Network

This book provides a powerfully optimistic view of what can happen when policy makers, system leaders, and educators operate around common point of view about student learning and school improvement. This is important guidance for the next generation of school reform in the U.S. Every U.S. educator should read it. — Richard F. Elmore, Gregory Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education

How to Change 5000 Schools is a powerful, practical, realistic, deeply interesting account of the key ideas and strategies for raising the bar and closing the gap for all students in public school systems. Politicians and education reformers of all stripes will devour the ideas in this immensely rich and positive book. — Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto

Ben Levin draws on his considerable experience as a researcher and policymaker to outline a comprehensive theory of action for school reform. The scope of the book is quite breathtaking, the analysis is authoritative and its insight encourages one both to reflect and act. Written with passion, wisdom, and humanity, Levin’s book will be essential reading for this and the next generation of educational change workers. — David Hopkins, HSBC iNet Chair of International Leadership, Institute of Education, University of London

What makes a great school? Kay Merseth and her colleagues have looked inside some of the nation’s best public charter schools and unlocked their secrets. Through engrossing case studies and thoughtful scholarship, this book shows how these schools use their freedom to realize the high expectations they hold for all students. This is a book with plenty of ‘lessons learned’ for charter schools—and for other urban public schools as well. — Nelson Smith, president and CEO, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Teachers, principals, and anyone else who is serious about closing the achievement gap should read this book. Merseth and her colleagues take you into the classrooms and corridors of five of the best schools in the country and paint a detailed picture of the very specific strategies, beliefs, systems, and cultures that make these schools really work for kids. It is an inspirational and practical how-to guide for school reformers. — Dacia Toll, co-CEO and president, Achievement First

Kay Merseth and her colleagues take readers on an insightful tour of some of the nation’s most innovative and inspiring schools. — Thomas Toch, Codirector, Education Sector

In this marvelously readable account, Kay Merseth and her team provide eye-opening portraits of five top-flight charter schools at work. Detailing just what these schools are doing when it comes to culture, staffing, organization, and instruction, the authors explore how and why these schools are succeeding. The result is a series of invaluable lessons for educators, policymakers, and reformers. — Frederick M. Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute

Turn a gaggle of scholars loose on a vital subject—the relation of education research to education practice—and if you are lucky, you get a collection like this. It draws on the authors’ long experience and reams of research to provide lessons worth pondering by everybody from the Congress to the classroom. — Carol Hirschon Weiss, Beatrice B. Whiting Professor, Emerita, Harvard Graduate School of Education

With all the fuss about evidence-based decision making, The Role of Research in Educational Improvement makes a stellar contribution. The chapters cover the full range of issues from federal, state, district, and school levels. In each case instruction is the focus. This invaluable resource, at once comprehensive and focused, unravels the mystery of research and makes it accessible. A great read whether you are in the schoolhouse or the statehouse. — Michael Fullan, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

This book offers important assessments of recent school desegregation strategies and asks whether they have fulfilled the constitutional requirement to ‘establish justice’ and ‘promote the general welfare.’ It is an important contribution to our assessment of the ongoing legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, which many scholars feel was the most significant U.S. Supreme Court case of the twentieth century. — Charles V. Willie, Charles W. Eliot Professor of Education, Emeritus, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University

In an era of unitary status, ‘color-blind’ school-choice policy, and a Supreme Court with four justices who argue that the creation of racially diverse schools is not a compelling state interest, we need more than ever the insights into separate and unequal schools found in From the Courtroom to the Classroom. — Amy Stuart Wells, professor, Department of Sociology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Popham shares the wisdom gained from a lifetime in education and assessment. He reminds us, with humor and clear examples, that there are ways to build accountability systems that do not lead to excessive test preparation, teaching to the test, or attempts to cover curricula more rapidly than is sensible. Unlearned Lessons helps us to see the folly of repeating our errors again and again. — David C. Berliner, Regents’ Professor, College Of Education, Arizona State University

A wise and witty analysis of six obstacles to better schools from one of the nation’s foremost testing experts. Popham identifies persistent flaws in the way we approach education—and shows how to fix them. Anyone frustrated by the current wave of test-driven reforms will enjoy this guide to bringing more sense to schooling. — Jack Jennings, president and CEO, Center on Education Policy

Given all that has been written about what ails American education and how to fix it, seldom are the problems and possible solutions captured so cogently, and in terms everyone can appreciate. There is much here that demands careful attention by educators and policymakers alike. — Jim Pellegrino, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Education, University of Illinois at Chicago

Listen up! Instructional Rounds redefines the teaching profession. There is no other book on school improvement like it. This is a powerful, specific, accessible treatment of what it means to get in the classroom in order to make a difference in the daily lives of teachers and their students. — Michael Fullan, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

At last, we have a book that moves school and district leaders closer to the classroom. The authors challenge the myth of leadership as an isolated, hierarchical exercise focused on grand plans and visions and bring us back where we belong—amid the complex reality of students’ and teachers’ daily lives. Full of practical, specific, and compelling evidence, Instructional Rounds in Education will have a profound influence on educational leaders who are willing to invest the time to observe, listen, and learn. — Douglas B. Reeves, founder, The Leadership and Learning Center

In instructional rounds, the front-line work of improving classroom practice becomes everyone’s work. Drawing upon their experience in thousands of classrooms across the country, the authors provide clear direction to teachers, principals, central-office staff, superintendents, and others interested in forming school- or district-based networks with a laser-like focus on instruction. Instructional Rounds in Education is a powerful resource for anyone interested in working smarter to make instruction effective for all students. — Larry Leverett, executive director, Panasonic Foundation

By sharing real-life vignettes, the authors carefully detail the utilization of instructional rounds as a systematic and collaborative process to engage educators in meaningful reflections about what occurs daily in classrooms. Applause to City, Elmore, Fiarman, and Teitel for providing a step-by-step approach that will yield significant results for colleagues who choose to network and grow together. — Deborah S. Delisle, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ohio Department of Education

Every person working to improve America’s schools should consider the real-world lessons in this book. — Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO

An exceedingly tight, targeted, and well-told story . . . MCPS got it right. Will we? — Arlene C. Ackerman, superintendent of schools, School District of Philadelphia

As this book shows, closing the achievement gap is doable; the question is whether we have the will to get it done. — Joel I. Klein, chancellor, New York City Schools

Leading for Equity is a game-changer. Every school board member, county official, superintendent, union, and business leader should take note. — Anne L. Bryant, executive director, National School Boards Association

Leading for Equity is a must-read for anyone who still doubts that a school district can enable students of all backgrounds to perform at high levels. — Dan Katzir, managing director, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

The district’s success in improving the achievement levels of minority and low-income students and dismantling barriers to high performance have made it a model for other districts nationwide. — Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators

Leading for Equity shows what it is going to take to begin to close the achievement gap: courageous, collaborative, wise, and creative leadership. Useful to scholars and practitioners alike, this book is a valuable addition to the literature of change. — James P. Comer, Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale University Child Study Center

Leading for Equity is not just a story of bold, visionary leadership, it’s a road map for helping all schools succeed. — Jim Hunt, former governor of North Carolina (1977–1985, 1993–2001)

The writers demonstrate what happens when a school district aims high and lines up everything to reach the ‘North Star’ of high academic achievement for all students. Superintendent Jerry Weast and the Montgomery County education community lead the way for school districts everywhere. — Richard W. Riley, former U. S. secretary of education

This behind-the-scenes look at the leadership, vision, and determination of superintendent Jerry Weast and his colleagues presents a practical blueprint for superintendents and everyone else concerned about education reform. — Charles Kolb, president, Committee for Economic Development

Some educators believe that there is no remedy for the achievement gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged school children. Dr. Jerry Weast, the hard-charging superintendent of Montgomery County Schools is not one of them . . . This book carries a message that all serious educators and all who care about America’s future should take to heart. — Roger Wilkins, Clarence J. Robinson Professor Emeritus, George Mason University

Here is a book that articulates that it’s going to take more than testing or one ‘right’ answer to improve our schools! Spotlight on Student Engagement, Motivation, and Achievement will help educators and policy makers understand the complex challenges involved in teaching for engagement and reaching beyond the classroom. Anyone concerned about the state of education should read this thoughtful book. — Marya R. Levenson, Harry S. Levitan Director of the Brandeis Education Program, Brandeis University; codirector, Public Schools for Tomorrow

High school leaders know that motivation is a critical factor in student achievement. This collection poses challenging questions for us: Are we focusing on students’ assets, rather than deficits? Are we listening to student voices about how to improve our school? Does our curriculum support students’ quest to develop their own identities? Do we teach students how to cultivate appropriate social behaviors? Are we building supportive, caring relationships with students and their families? These questions—and our answers—can help connect student engagement with our school improvement efforts. — Laura A. Cooper, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Evanston Township High School, Evanston, Illinois

This timely volume responds to President Obama’s call for a renewed focus on teacher effectiveness as a central component of education reform. With thoughtful contributions from many prominent educators, it offers a range of ideas for improving teacher compensation, professional development, and accountability in our nation’s schools. — Representative George Miller, D-CA, chairman, House Education and Labor Committee, U.S. House of Representatives

A Grand Bargain for Education Reform advocates for increasing the professionalism of teaching by working with educators as full partners in school improvement. Although I don’t agree with every recommendation in the framework, the substance of focused professional development, improving teacher evaluation, enhancing career opportunities for teachers who remain in the classroom, and differentiating compensation offers educational leaders an innovative path to improved teaching and learning. — Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO

Considerable consensus has been built around the notion that a high quality teacher is the single-most important factor in a child’s education. A Grand Bargain for Education Reform moves the discussion to the next level, proposing new ways to evaluate and compensate the men and women who play such a crucial role in determining the fate of modern school reform efforts. — Joe Williams, director, Democrats for Education Reform

A perceptive educator focuses on the critical step to better schools: paying teachers more for teaching well. — Lamar Alexander, U.S. Secretary of Education (1991–1993)

This book offers a dynamic collection of authors, whose combined experience and expertise is unmatched. Their collective message makes this book a good blueprint that school communities can use to build systems that will lead to great success for schools and children. — Gerald L. Zahorchak, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education

The use of UDL principles will ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to learn. These principles are not only helpful for students with disabilities but they benefit all students by increasing understanding and engagement. An important discussion of needed policy changes, A Policy Reader in Universal Design for Learning will help us incorporate these valuable elements into teaching diverse learners. — Dennis Van Roekel, president, National Education Association

This is a must-read collection for all those who want to understand the genesis and evolution of policy thinking about universal design for learning. One of the most exciting developments in pedagogy in a quarter century, UDL is an essential tool to improving teacher preparation, curriculum design, classroom instruction and assessments. This is a definitive work. — Madeleine Will, former U.S. assistant secretary of education; parent advocate

UDL has the capacity to profoundly remake our education system. This book is an essential primer on UDL and an exhortation for deployment of UDL into the mainstream of education policy. — Stephen P. Crosby, dean, McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

Curtis and City reveal the emperor without clothes when they conclude that too many educational systems have a ‘strategic plan without a strategy.’ Their insights give teachers, leaders, and policymakers long-overdue relief from the tyranny of planning processes that elevate the production of documents over meaningful progress in teaching and learning. The authors challenge the common enthusiasm for multiple initiatives and replace it with remarkable focus and impact. This is a wise and important book. — Douglas Reeves, chairman, The Leadership and Learning Center

This practical guide to developing and implementing system-level improvement strategies is a must-read for leadership teams committed to driving concrete results for all students. Through a blend of theory and real-world examples, City and Curtis draw a road map for spreading excellent teaching and learning across an entire school system. — Stacey M. Childress, lecturer, Harvard Business School

The authors of Community Organizing for Stronger Schools make a compelling argument that organizing can, and does, strengthen public education. This is the first analysis to document the link between community organizing and improved student educational outcomes. It also identifies effective strategies to mobilize communities, build coalitions, and collaborate with educators. In the end, this book offers a new paradigm for understanding how urban schools and the communities they serve can work together to improve education for the students who need it most. This book is a ‘must-read’ for school reformers and policy makers, indeed, for all who care about educational justice. — Mark Warren and Karen L. Mapp, codirectors, Community Organizing and School Reform research project, Harvard Graduate School of Education

This is a welcome contribution, original and challenging. I don’t believe any previous book has shown so clearly the wide variety of ways organizing can reshape schools. Nor has any book drawn together such an impressive body of data, much of it quantitative and longitudinal, to support claims of organizing’s effectiveness. At a time when much of the national discussion proceeds as if top-down models were the only way to think about reform; this volume offers a much-needed alternative vision. — Charles M. Payne, Frank P. Hixon Professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

This book offers an unusually detailed look inside some of our best run school districts. Heather Zavadsky offers honest assessments, highlighting not only the inspiring successes, but also the many daunting challenges that remain. Very enlightening! — Ronald F. Ferguson, faculty cochair and director of the Achievement Gap Initiative, Harvard University

Bringing School Reform to Scale highlights the practices in five districts that won the prestigious Broad Prize—and shows how important fundamentals of good practices (including rigorous standards, aligned curriculum, and smart investments in human capital) can lead to great schools and successful districts. — Mark Schneider, vice president, American Institutes for Research; former commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics

The media are good at spotlighting random school successes, education reforms that subsequently seem to evaporate. Why is it so difficult to sustain and spread productive change from school system to school system? The answers to these questions are crucial, and Bringing School Reform to Scale is a powerful contribution to an accumulation of knowledge regarding these issues. — James W. Guthrie, Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, Vanderbilt University

The analysis of the five high-performing districts points to practices, beliefs, systems, and structures that have led to dramatic turnarounds. The compilation of this work provides a road map toward scalable reform. — William R. Hite, superintendent, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Maryland

One of the biggest challenges facing educational leaders today is finding strategies to keep our best and brightest teachers in our nation’s classrooms. Mentoring new and veteran teachers is critical to meeting that challenge. New Teacher Mentoring: Hopes and Promise for Improving Teacher Effectiveness is a must read for educators who are serious about transforming America’s classrooms. — Beverly L. Hall, superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools and 2009 National Superintendent of the Year

A combination of theory and practice makes this book particularly useful to educators who are responsible for the success of new teachers. The wisdom, experience, and dedication of the authors ensures that the field has a book that will endure as a valued resource for decades. — Stephanie Hirsh, executive director, National Staff Development Council

Ellen Moir and her colleagues are world leaders in teacher mentoring. Tens of thousands of children and young people would be far worse off had it not been for the significantly better classrooms that their well-mentored teachers have created. Moir and all those at the New Teacher Center know how to do mentoring, how to improve mentoring, and how to achieve all this on an immense scale. Here, they show just how well they can write about mentoring too. If you are a teacher or want to help one, then read this book! Its rigorous, evidence-based analysis and riveting prose will inspire you, inform you, and spur you on to do even greater things for your own and other teachers’ students. — Andy Hargreaves, Brennan Chair in Education, Boston College

This is my kind of book. Instead of sifting the stats and talking to experts about general trends, the authors have gone deep into one school district and told an exciting story. — Jay Mathews, education columnist, Washington Post

An incredible account that I wish I had read thirty-five years ago. — Deborah Meier, author, The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem

Cuban and team get away from the old small versus big debate and into the real transformation puzzles. It’s all there—struggle, resistance, leadership issues, the muscle foundations, parents, and community engagement. Against the Odds is a great resource for the small schools movement. — Mike Klonsky, director, The Small Schools Workshop

This timely volume provides invaluable insight into the opportunities, challenges, and lessons of entrepreneurial reform. Stacey Childress offers engrossing, up-close looks at acclaimed entrepreneurs like KIPP, Teach For America, and Wireless Generation as well as at cutting-edge districts. This is essential reading for actual and aspiring entrepreneurs and those who work with them. — Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies, American Enterprise Institute, and author of Education Unbound

For the past decade, Stacey Childress has taught the quintessential course in education entrepreneurship at Harvard. With the release of this incredible case book and the accompanying instructor’s guide, she is offering an enormous gift to the field. These volumes provide a powerful intellectual framework for a series of carefully selected cases that illustrate the key strategic, leadership and operating issues, challenges, and opportunities these important change agents face in trying to transform public education. Childress’s teaching notes are worth their weight in gold, providing a rich and nuanced context for the work, scaffolded teaching advice, and the insights of a truly gifted instructor on the art of case method questioning and facilitation. — Kim Smith, founder, NewSchools Venture Fund

A powerful toolkit for understanding social entrepreneurs and the challenges they face. Childress has compiled a rich set of case studies and nested them in the context of education today. This book should be on the shelf of anyone who wants to understand or participate in these ventures. — Andrew J. Rotherham, cofounder, Education Sector and author of Eduwonk.com

This book of cases is the best source on innovation in K-12 education. No other source makes it so clear that school improvement comes from hard thinking and open-minded problem solving, not ideological warfare. — Paul T. Hill, John and Marguerite Corbally Professor, and director, Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington Bothell

We know that most school districts operate in a short-term reactive environment. Few have a strategic vision of the core problems of practice that merit their sustained attention, much less a focused, data-driven plan of action for solving them. This book, with its sharp focus on coherent systems that demand commitment from people at every level in schools and school systems, provides frameworks for new ways of thinking about sustainable transformation. — Anthony S. Bryk, president, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

If we want better student outcomes in public education, we need to improve how we recruit, retain, and reward our most valuable asset—our teachers. Unfortunately, many school districts are clueless about how to effectively address these core issues. This book provides practical, concrete guidance on how to do it right. For the sake of our children, let’s hope it’s widely read and followed. — Joel I. Klein, chancellor, New York City schools

It has become clear in recent years that that the best way to improve learning outcomes for kids is to give them exposure to great educators. This book does an outstanding job of clarifying the challenges we must overcome on human capital, and it is a critical primer for anyone seeking to run a great urban school district. — Timothy Daly, president, The New Teacher Project

Salaries and benefi ts are the largest expenditure in any school district. All of us must manage our human capital more effectively to leverage these expenditures and increase student achievement. This book addresses four major elements: pathways into teaching, induction and tenure, leadership opportunities and performance management, and compensation and rewards. If seamlessly integrated, they constitute a comprehensive management blueprint that will benefi t students and adults. — Peter Gorman, superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, North Carolina

This volume thoroughly documents the evolution of an important model for educational improvement. Beyond insights about school design in an era of sophisticated technology, it delineates a process for developing and refining innovations. Its ideas will prove useful for teachers, administrators, parents, school board members, the business sector, and policy makers. — Christopher Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard Graduate School of Education

I have little doubt that innovations—technological and otherwise—will transform schools and education in coming years. This volume provides important insights into the challenges of provoking such change at an accelerated pace. — Mitchell D. Chester, Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

A well-reasoned analysis of a dramatic reform effort. Sober, yet optimistic, and above all realistic, it shows that school reform is not for dreamers with silver bullets—or for the faint of heart. — Jane Hannaway, director, CALDER/Education Policy Center, The Urban Institute

Cullinane and Hess have assembled a strong and balanced group of analysts who chronicle a highly innovative attempt at high school reform. School leaders should find this book illuminating as they think through what it takes to foster changes in the core technology and instructional norms of schools. This book will be a mustread for the policy and reform communities, who often imagine technology as a transformative force in school improvement. — Kent C. McGuire, dean, College of Education, Temple University

With this book, Brent Stephens gives new meaning to the term ‘reflective practitioner.’ An accomplished educational leader himself, he gives us a highly nuanced, well-researched, and disciplined view of the hard work of school improvement. Improving Struggling Schools is a much-needed corrective to conventional, simplistic ‘turnaround’ views of school improvement. — Richard F. Elmore, Gregory Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education

State education agencies charged with ‘turning around’ struggling schools need to confront the reality of school improvement planning richly detailed in these case studies. We have rarely examined, as Stephens has here, the ‘powerful allure and...drag’ of the compliance-focused response that most state intervention practices provoke. This has to change. Stephens points to a promising new direction for our work. — Karla Brooks Baehr, Deputy Commissioner for Accountability, Assistance, and Partnership, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Stephens brings a profound, almost novelistic empathy to the experience of schools struggling with dilemmas of instructional improvement. He unites this empathy, the product of years in the classroom, with a truly lucid understanding of how larger policy and implementation frames interact with the micropolitics and unique cultures of people in schools. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the next phase of educational reform. — Andrés A. Alonso, CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools

Stephens defines the next level of work in school improvement and accountability in hopeful and tangible terms. For all believers in excellent education for all, this book elucidates the path from vision to reality. — Brian G. Osborne, superintendent, School District of South Orange and Maplewood, New Jersey

[These] four major issues . . . reflect an accurate understanding of the next level of work states and districts must undertake if the initial promise of standards-based reform is to be realized. After twenty years of experience there is very little pushback to the core ideas of the standards movement . . . There is widespread recognition, however, that it is one thing to enunciate these principles and quite another to be able to implement them in ways that will genuinely enable all students to leave high school college- and/or career-ready. While there are no magic bullets for educational improvement, the Obama administration is betting that the states that adopt more rigorous standards and richer assessments, develop more powerful data systems, invest in the development of great teachers and leaders, and aggressively focus on turning around their lowest-performing schools will show the most progress in improving student performance in the next decade. The thoughtful essays in this volume can provide useful guidance to policymakers and practitioners as they move to address these four areas for improvement. — Robert B. Schwartz, Academic Dean and William Henry Bloomberg Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Comprehensive research and analysis that will frame the conversation about Advanced Placement and other rigorous college preparatory curricula for years to come; critically important for students, teachers, and public policy makers alike. — William Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid, Harvard College

American science and mathematics students continue to be outperformed by their international counterparts. The typical suggested remedy: to increase enrollment in AP courses. Policy makers and practitioners need to consider the findings of this book and reevaluate the purpose of the AP program. — Dennis M. Robbins, associate professor of science education, Hunter College (CUNY)

Advanced coursework, standardized testing, college readiness, time to degree, and related cost-benefit considerations are timely issues for academic and legislative decision makers. The editors offer a rich collection written in an accessible style that will be an essential resource for school administrators, admission and guidance personnel, and policy analysts. — Louise Lonabocker, editor-in-chief, College and University, and executive director of student services, Boston College

As a parent, college advisor, AP Biology teacher, and AP [exam] reader, I gained many insights—some affirming and others disconcerting. Sadler’s eloquent summary recommendations should be read in every school that offers or is considering offering AP courses. I will be recommending AP to many colleagues. — Paula Petterson, science teacher and head of college advising, Ridgeview Classical Schools, Fort Collins, Colorado

With education becoming more competitive, schools are encouraging more students to take AP classes as to improve their ranking on national surveys. This book provides research and advice to guide schools on what is best for their students. — John Morrison, AP physics teacher, Troy High School, Troy, Michigan

This DVD can help any educator learn to use classroom observation as well as data to improve student achievement. It engages teachers in a powerful way to work reflectively and collaboratively, and shows educators how to turn theory into practice. — Peter Gorman, superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, North Carolina

Key Elements of Observing Practice is an elegant set of tools that demystifies the process of powerful collaboration focused on improving instruction and student achievement. It is profoundly respectful of teachers. The resources provided can help schools develop the habits they need to tackle the most knotty problems facing schools today. — Alan Dichter, coauthor of The Power of Protocols and director of leadership development, Portland Public Schools, Portland, Oregon

This DVD puts the Data Wise process in context. It’s one thing to read about school improvement but to see it in action is so empowering. We could see ourselves doing that work, having those conversations. The videos and discussions served as a springboard to taking our work to the next level. Thirty-eight minutes saved us years! — Kalia Reynolds, principal, West Park Place Elementary, Newark, Delaware

The teachers in these videos share their experiences and insights related to observing one another's practice with honesty and thoughtfulness. Their stories resonated with our teachers and made the concept of observing classroom practice tangible, practical, and meaningful. — Maryanne Stalnaker, literacy specialist, Portland Public Schools, Portland, Oregon

Adams and his coauthors do not shy away from the difficulties involved in reforming school finance. They acknowledge the challenges that must be addressed in creating political conditions to support new finance systems and call for an aggressive research and development agenda to guide the process of change with good evidence about what works to improve student learning. — Janet Hansen, vice president and director of education studies, Committee for Economic Development

Smart Money is an unprecedented book that tackles head-on the need to redesign and reorient school funding systems toward student learning and more strategic resource use. These thoughtful and informative analyses are especially timely as educators, policy makers, and the public strive to raise academic standards for all students in difficult economic conditions. — Margaret Goertz, professor of education, University of Pennsylvania

Written by the leading scholars and policy analysts in the field, this volume is laden with smart ideas for making our educational financing system a catalyst for experimentation, innovation, and improved student performance. — Martin Orland, director of evaluation and policy research, WestEd

This analysis by some of the wisest people in the school finance world, with Jacob Adams’s masterful introduction, should be required reading for the architects of the next reform wave. — Robert F. Sexton, executive director, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

One of the most thorough and balanced works on what we have learned about charter schools. Both thoughtful and provocative. — Henry M. Levin, William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education, and director, National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

The Charter School Experiment is a balanced and scholarly assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of charter schools, which should inform the current policy debate. — Diane Ravitch, research professor of education, New York University and nonresident senior fellow, Brookings Institution

Faith in charter schools is skyrocketing. But as Washington tells states to open more charters, does this politically sexy innovation actually work? When their performance flags, why? How might inventive schools actually challenge the status quo? Squarely addressing these questions, this book arrives at just the right time. A must-read for parents, educators, and reform leaders, not to mention White House staffers. — Bruce Fuller, professor, education and public policy, University of California, Berkeley

This book enters the unexplored territory of diverse schools under urban central office management. It highlights the varied goals, political dynamics, and outcomes in different city contexts. It integrates this diversity with overarching concepts and actors, such as foundations and the federal government. It adds significant value to our understanding of school reform and parent choice. — Michael Kirst, professor emeritus, Education and Business Administration, Stanford University

Portfolio management models represent the newest approach for organizing a large urban school system. As the first significant effort to examine this new and evolving governance reform, this important book places the reform in its broader theoretical, political, and policy contexts, and provides a rich description of the four trailblazing districts now using various versions of the model. Among other things, the book makes it clear that this governance reform model, like those that have preceded it, is no panacea. — Helen F. Ladd, Edgar Thompson Professor of Public Policy, and professor of economics, Sanford School, Duke University

This thoughtful and comprehensive text on portfolio management describes both ‘how’ and ‘how well’ this new reform is working. Its comprehensive handling of the subject sets a foundation for understanding and improving this largely untested reform idea. This book brings reasoned analysis and debate to a new but largely untested model for education reform. — Gary Miron, professor of education, Western Michigan University

David and Cuban bring a wealth of background knowledge to their task that allows them to bring clarity to some of the most important policy choices confronting us, without compromising the complexity of those choices. This work is practical, provocative, and eminently readable. — Charles M. Payne, Frank P. Hixon Professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

David and Cuban write in a balanced tone about a wide array of politically charged education reforms. With each reform they explore its origins, the problem the reform set out to solve, and the research on its efficacy. Their book cuts concisely and clearly to these critical aspects of each reform, making it an excellent primer for anyone new to these ideas and a perfect review for anyone who has been in the field and wants a reasoned and historical perspective. — Heather Kirkpatrick, vice president of education, Aspire Public Schools

Two veteran educators bring fierce idealism and trenchant analysis to the examination of every imaginable issue in American education—from merit pay to phonics, from closing the achievement gap to computers in the classroom. This lively and thoughtful book will provide grist for many good debates among educators and those who care about our schools. — Kim Marshall, former Boston Public School principal, Editor of the Marshall Memo

This volume provides a comprehensive examination of the consequences and implications of challenges to affirmative action for racial equity and diversity in public higher education. Although focused on California’s Proposition 209, the volume offers useful insights for public and institutional policy makers in other states, as well as for education researchers. — Laura W. Perna, professor, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

A thorough and masterful treatment of an important and complex subject. What it chronicles is the first step in the gradual asphyxiation of race-based affirmative action. The book represents an extraordinary blending of social science, legal, and policy perspectives. It illustrates a skillful use of administrative data by an impressive array of scholars and day-to-day practitioners. There are important lessons here, not only for higher education but for the broader American public. — Thomas J. Espenshade, professor of sociology, Princeton University

The book does a nice job juxtaposing research with important perspectives on policy to give a rich, insightful examination of what happens when universities are not allowed to use race in their deliberations. Of course, the answer is complicated given the complex nature of race in America and the admissions process. This type of nuanced analysis is needed in what are sure to be future debates about affirmative action. — Bridget Terry Long, professor of education and economics, Harvard Graduate School of Education

In this well-researched, well-written, timely new book, Pappano takes us from the theory of education reform to the practical examples and inspiring, dedicated people on the front lines of making troubled schools work. With detailed case studies and thoughtful analysis, Inside School Turnarounds makes clear what is working and what more needs to be done. This is a must-read for policy makers, education reformers, and anyone committed to the goal of providing all of America’s children with the high quality public education they need and deserve. — Alan Khazei, cofounder, City Year and author, Big Citizenship

This courageous book reveals what’s really happening in school reform today. It breaks the story of how some dedicated educators are forging bits of success, one student at a time, under incredibly daunting conditions. The author’s clear-headed account touches on all the hot buttons in education, from teacher unions to high-stakes testing, without getting snagged on the usual ideological hooks that have stalled our progress. — William Damon, professor of education and director, Center on Adolescence at Stanford University

Once again, Pappano has captured and humanized many of the challenges associated with urban public education. Inside School Turnarounds highlights some of today’s most effective practices in urban education and considers their applicability in the turnaround context. This is the beginning of a very important story. — Evan Rudall, CEO, Uncommon Schools

In this timely and important book, Pappano skillfully captures the complexity of the school-turnaround challenge. Inside School Turnarounds makes it clear that there is no silver bullet, no easy answer, but that there are a set of lessons and promising practices that we should be careful not to ignore. — Jesse Solomon, director, Boston Teacher Residency

This is a wonderful text that should be required reading for teacher education programs. Based on literature, best practices, and syntheses of learning sciences and social realities, the book debunks myths held by even the most open-minded and well-intentioned people in our society. It provides immensely helpful examples of strategies for reducing opportunity gaps for disadvantaged children, so that they too can reach—and exceed—their goals. — Lee E. Limbird, Dean, School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Business, Fisk University

If you thought excellent teaching is based on instinct rather than learning, think again. Start Where You Are, But Don’t Stay There offers wonderfully vivid case studies of practicing teachers who have learned to succeed teaching students who come from backgrounds dissimilar from—and sometimes similar to—their own. In this significant and uplifting book, Milner shares his optimism and his wisdom about teachers’ potential to become border-crossers who can reach all of their students by first reaching into themselves. — Christine Sleeter, professor emerita, California State University, Monterey Bay, and president, National Association for Multicultural Education

This engaging and informative book is enriched by compelling examples of teachers in the process of becoming adept at their craft. Milner provides educators with the knowledge, insights, and inspiration that will help them to create schools in which all students have equal opportunities to learn. — James A. Banks, Kerry and Linda Killinger Endowed Chair in Diversity Studies and founding director, Center for Multicultural Education, University of Washington, Seattle

A thoughtful and insightful analysis of what it takes to educate all children, especially those who have traditionally been poorly served by our nation’s schools. The ideas and recommendations presented in this book will serve as useful guides to educators, policy makers, and others who are seeking ways to create successful schools. — Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

The stories Milner tells about instructional competence, caring, and facilitation are compelling examples of culturally responsive teaching in action and effect. They show that educational excellence is truly possible for children of color in U. S. schools. — Geneva Gay, professor of curriculum and instruction, University of Washington

This book is a must-read for educators at all levels. It showcases teachers and students improving together and doing what it takes to succeed. We will use this book as a resource for turning around our school! — Perry L. Daniel, principal, Prescott Middle School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Teaching as a Moral Practice provides a coherent and articulate framework for navigating the contested terrain of dispositions for teaching. The series of case examples offers a valuable resource for teacher educators concerned with preparing teachers to act morally and ethically as professionals. — David Carroll, associate professor, Woodring College of Education, Western Washington University

Developed theoretically, framed around policy considerations, and couched in practice, this book argues for teacher-preparation programs that conceptualize, develop, and assess dispositions to richly inform the ethical and moral practices of future teachers. The editors do not shy away from asking hard questions or from highlighting the challenges faced in bringing dispositions fully into the ‘knowledge and skills’ conversation. — Lisa M. Stooksberry, director of certification standards, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

This book brilliantly shows that the essence of effective educational reform is not to be found in plans, punishments, or performance incentives, but in professional interactions and relationships. A good idea is only worth something if you can spread it around, and this book shows you just how that’s done. Using leading-edge thinking and solid research techniques, it demonstrates in clear and accessible prose why networks are the core means by which change does or doesn’t happen. It should and will be essential reading for all researchers and reformers eager for effective change that will spread and last. — Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

Alan Daly and his team of scholars are to be commended for bringing social network analysis to bear on pressing issues in education. This powerful new analytic strategy offers a window into the social workings of schools in ways that previous methods have not. The authors in this volume have asked important questions about the role of social networks in school reform, the expansion of teacher professional knowledge, and the diffusion of innovative practices. It will be read with interest by scholars and practitioners alike. — Megan Tschannen-Moran, associate professor, The College of William & Mary

If you’re interested in the rescue of urban school children and wondering why the top-down ‘superhero’ superintendents aren’t having much success with organizational change that stands the test of time, Daly provides many of the answers. This groundbreaking book explores the social networks and relationships that are a critical part of the work in schools, especially those relationships that are meaningful to classroom teachers and principals—the truly heroic people who make a difference in the lives of children on a daily basis . . . A must-read for reformers at all levels. — Carl A. Cohn, professor and codirector, Urban Leadership Program, Claremont Graduate University (former superintendent of the Long Beach and San Diego school systems)

Public debate rages over the complicated issues of high-stakes testing, school accountability, and merit pay. In Value-Added Measures in Education, Doug Harris offers a detailed, reasoned, and accessible explanation of what standardized test scores can truly measure and how we can design educational accountability systems that improve teaching and learning. A much-needed voice in this rancorous conversation! — Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators

Value-added measurement is at the heart of today’s efforts to reform accountability, teacher evaluation, and teacher pay. Yet those responsible for these systems are often unsure of the practical challenges or potential pitfalls. Doug Harris, one of the nation’s leading authorities on value-added, has rendered a signal service in penning this accessible, practical ‘user’s manual.’ Value-Added Measures in Education is essential reading for district leaders, policy makers, reformers, and educators. — Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies, American Enterprise Institute

Value-Added Measures in Education offers an important paradigm shift in our understanding of how federally mandated test data should be used. Currently test data is used to compare different cohorts of students to one another. Harris shows that we will be able to meet students’ needs better if we place our focus on individual students’ learning year to year. — Christine A. Erickson, elementary teacher, Stoughton Area School District, Stoughton, Wisconsin

Doug Harris’s book provides a clear explanation of value-added models and their potential value in improving education for the nation’s children. While neither advocates nor critics of value-added models will find that the book totally supports their position, members of both camps will learn a great deal from it. Value-Added Measures in Education provides thoughtful, constructive advice about a host of practical issues that confront educators who implement this approach to accountability. The recommendations that conclude the book reflect the best available research knowledge and, most important, are sensible and actionable. — Richard J. Murnane, Thompson Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Customized Schooling dares the reader to look at what schooling could be like if we end our reliance on the one-stop-shop schoolhouse. Alongside a score of policy leaders, esteemed researchers, and on-the-ground practitioners, Hess and Manno lay out the case for individualizing education so that student, teacher, and district demands are heard and followed. What are the contours of such a system? How will it handle financial, data, and accountability concerns? And how will we listen more effectively to the wants of education customers? This volume provides fuel for the crucial discussion of these and other questions. — Clayton M. Christensen, Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Rick Hess and Bruno Manno argue that contemporary education is ‘an anachronism in today’s world of specialized services.’ The book persuasively puts forth a strong rationale for abandoning past practices and provides a compendium of cutting-edge innovations and innovators. Do not put this book aside; read it again and again. Customized Schooling is an essential book for those of us committed to the transformation of learning in the United States. — Gene Wilhoit, executive director, Council of Chief State School Officers

What a gift for the inquisitive reader on school choice! The variety of topics and willingness of the authors to ponder what has been learned from the evidence is in stark contrast to the usual ideological lectures and interpretation. The reader will learn much about current policy questions and answers, and the further questions that arise from the evidence. — Henry M. Levin, William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

School choice is a heated topic in education policy circles, often driven more by political proclivities than by solid data and analysis. In this volume, noted scholars use hard analytic lenses, rich data, and sophisticated methods to examine school choice as a nuanced education reform strategy that transcends standard political platitudes. — Jane Hannaway, director, Education Policy Center, the Urban Institute/Calder Center

In this wonderful book, Soo Hong expertly navigates the tricky terrain between home and school. Instead of dwelling on dysfunction, she cuts to the core: the need to build trusting relationships and equalize the distribution of power. This is hard, painstaking work, and she illuminates it with authentic and insightful detail. This book will advance our understanding about why family engagement must be a core strategy for school improvement. — Anne T. Henderson, senior consultant, Community Organizing and Engagement, Annenberg Institute for School Reform

Soo Hong’s A Cord of Three Strands is a fine ethnography of the power of education organizing in the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. It reminds us of the urgent need to find new ways to cultivate the tacit and often underutilized resources of parents and community members in our urban areas. This inspiring account shows how schools can be transformed and pupil achievement raised when we blend our finest professional development with the excitement of grassroots participatory democracy. — Dennis Shirley, professor, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

Soo Hong has given us a rich, nuanced, and beautifully written account of one of the most important community organizing efforts to improve public schools in this country. A Cord of Three Strands shows how immigrant parents can become leaders in their schools and communities. Hong analyzes in great depth and careful detail the deep collaborations that the Logan Square Neighborhood Association has forged with Chicago schools to help make them more responsive to Latino immigrant families, so that they become centers for broader community building and revitalization. This compelling account of relationship building and leadership development offers vital lessons for educators and all Americans who care about the education of immigrant children and the future of our public schools. — Mark R. Warren, associate professor of education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

An extraordinary analysis of the New York reform effort: the volume is respectful of the scope and intensity of the Bloomberg-Klein reforms, yet it penetrates the hype. These collected chapters present big city education reform in their true light: as very hard work requiring years of sustained effort. If you want feel-good fairy tales about Gotham, read elsewhere. If you want compassionate truth, read this book. — Charles Taylor Kerchner, professor, Claremont Graduate University

Education Reform in New York City provides clear and comprehensive analyses of an extremely complex set of very high-profile reforms. It also provides a template for analyzing multipart, interrelated efforts that escape easy characterization and appraisal. The authors have done a splendid job of bringing clarity to a complicated story. — Susan H. Fuhrman, president, Teachers College, Columbia University

This is an important book. Its breadth does justice to the ambition and complexity of New York City’s Children First reforms, as seen through the perspectives of both critics and advocates. Let the debates continue and enrich other communities wrestling with the challenge of turning around urban schools. — Andrés A. Alonso, CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools

This outstanding volume provides a highly engaging and thorough look at a critical era in New York City’s public schools. The authors clearly articulate distinct approaches to systemic reform while highlighting the interconnections between them. Education Reform in New York City offers insights applicable to reform efforts all over the country. — Ellen Moir, CEO, New Teacher Center

This collection of well-researched essays offers a comprehensive view of an educational landscape that is changing under our feet. People who think they understand American higher education are likely to find many surprises in this insightful book. — Richard H. Brodhead, president, Duke University

U.S. higher education is both enormously successful and essential to our future, yet it is endlessly frustrating for its lack of innovation and ruthlessly rising costs. This important volume tackles the conundrums that surround this most conservative of enterprises and points the way toward improvements in the educational performance of our colleges and universities. Essential reading for both those within and outside the academy. — David W. Breneman, University Professor and Newton and Rita Meyers Professor in Economics of Education, University of Virginia

In the twentieth century, America built the world’s best system of higher education, one that combined openness with excellence. But can it maintain its lead in the twenty-first century? Reinventing Higher Education offers not only a clear-eyed assessment of the state of American higher education—it also provides a compelling, indeed inspiring, blueprint for how the system can remain the best in the world. This book is essential reading for America’s captains of higher learning—and indeed for anybody who cares about the future of the country. — Adrian Wooldridge, management editor and Schumpeter columnist, The Economist

At a time when schools are changing quickly, understanding technology’s role in our 21st century education system is important to everyone. The chapters in Nancy Walser’s engaging, informative collection cover virtual classes, online testing, Web tools like blogs, educational video games, and more. The strengths and weaknesses of these innovations are illuminated with wit and insight. — Andrew Zucker, senior research scientist, Concord Consortium

Nancy Walser has compiled a comprehensive and engaging book on the potential of technology for learning. From blogs and wikis, to mobile phones and games, technology is not only a motivational force for students, but also creates deeper, richer, and more authentic possibilities for building knowledge in ways that challenge our traditional assumptions about educating for the future. — Margaret Honey, president and CEO, New York Hall of Science

This is a stunning achievement. The authors mined a trove of data about public school teachers dating back to 1955, then asked a diverse group of thoughtful men and women to analyze, interpret, and comment. Interspersed among the essays are anecdotes from teachers and former teachers, some of which will tug your heartstrings. You will have favorites among the essays—I did—but very few will disappoint. The American Public School Teacher is a modern-day book of revelations. — John Merrow, education correspondent, PBS NewsHour

The American Public School Teacher provides an unflinching look into the classrooms of our nation’s schools and offers an overview of the current environment that could serve as a survey course on public education. The authors have convened a stellar lineup of scholars, teachers, government leaders, and policy makers to dissect and prognosticate about the future of schools. The result is an honest, provocative assessment that underscores the complications of meeting our oft-stated national goal of helping all students achieve at high levels. — Anthony S. Bryk, president, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Improving schools requires improving teaching. But how can we do that? What does it even mean to be a good teacher in today’s world? With historical perspective, data analysis, and informed opinion, The American Public School Teacher provides a range of answers from top scholars and national education leaders. A must-read for anyone who cares about our most important school resource. — Douglas N. Harris, associate professor, Educational Policy and Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Drury and Baer’s examination of teaching, based on an intriguing compendium of survey data collected over the past half century, is sharp, heterodox, and even-handed. At a time when the teaching profession and the role of teachers’ unions are more hotly debated than ever, I enthusiastically recommend this thoughtful volume to educators, policy makers, and would-be reformers. — Frederick M. Hess, director, Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute

I used to think that our best education researchers, policy analysts, policy makers, and practitioners were too busy with their own work to indulge in honest and reflective reconsideration of their positions and opinions. And now I think, thanks to this extraordinary volume, that our field is blessed with scholars and educators whose honesty, modesty, and capacity for self-correction establish ever stronger foundations for optimism about the future of our work and its relevance to the future of our schools. — Michael J. Feuer, dean, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University

Reflection and learning from experience can change the ways educators think in real time about how to improve the work of school reform. A must-read for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. — Thomas W. Payzant, professor of practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education

This extraordinary book could not be more timely or more important . . . This collection makes clear that, if we actually want to create high-quality schools for all children in the United States, our strategies must emulate the best of what has been accomplished in public education both here and abroad. — From the Foreword by Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University

This book shines because it offers what is central to school reform: a commitment to wonderful teachers. It offers those of us in colleges of education a lot to think about—and a lot to do. — Mari Koerner, Dean, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University

Surpassing Shanghai should be on the reading list of everyone who aspires to improve American education. The message is clear: If we are serious, we have to stop simply comparing California to Connecticut to Kansas. It’s time to swim in deeper water with Singapore, Ontario, Japan, and others who are eating our lunch. — John Merrow, education correspondent, PBS NewsHour and president, Learning Matters

Tucker and his colleagues challenge us to ask why the U.S. is pursuing a reform agenda that differs markedly from what other advanced countries have found essential for creating good schools—high quality teachers, fair funding, and coherence in the system of education. After reading this book, one is left with the question: Is the U.S. so unique that an agenda so different from that of other countries can improve our schools? — Jack Jennings, president and CEO, Center on Education Policy

Marc Tucker has assembled revealing descriptions of the ascent of Shanghai, Finland, Japan, Singapore, and Canada to the highest levels of international achievement in education. The book crystallizes the successful practices and patterns emerging from these top performers and then ‘takes the gloves off’ to contrast the efforts of high-achieving countries with current reform thinking in the U.S. . . . My big takeaway from Surpassing Shanghai is that success will come down to our collective will and our sustained commitment to thoughtful systems reform. — Gene Wilhoit, executive director, Council of Chief State School Officers

The importance of this volume lies not in the prescription of best practices but in the strategic ‘toolbox’ of skills and frameworks that the authors share. For providers seeking better ways to promote both growth and quality, this book will prove invaluable. For policy makers, parents, philanthropists, and educators seeking to understand how to help charter schooling deliver on its promise, this volume will prove an invaluable resource. Finally, the authors’ savvy suggestions for aligning mission, institutional operations, and stakeholders offer a strategic vision that holds promise not only in the charter sector but also for those in traditional district schools. — from the foreword by Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies, American Enterprise Institute

This book is a brilliant combination of theory and real-world cases. Free of the pointscoring common in charter school books, it focuses on the breakthroughs and mistakes made by people dedicated to the success of poor and minority children. Potential charter starters will learn from this book and so should those who know little about charter schools but support or oppose them on partisan or ideological grounds. — Paul T. Hill, John and Marguerite Corbally Professor and director, Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington, Bothell

The Strategic Management of Charter Schools should be required reading for anyone thinking about opening a charter school, anyone currently leading a charter school, and anyone sitting on the board of a charter school. — Richard Barth, CEO, KIPP Foundation

Nancy Hoffman offers a clear-eyed analysis of the American youth development problem and what we can learn from our European competitors, their successes and their failures. She suggests workable solutions in moving from a ‘completion’ agenda to a ‘learning for jobs’ agenda. This is a necessary read for those who are serious about addressing the real education needs of American youth in their transition to a productive adulthood. — James R. Stone III, professor and director, National Research Center for Career & Technical Education, University of Louisville

Schooling in the Workplace sheds new light on the urgency and effectiveness of integrating academic work and career preparation to help more young people succeed in the workforce. It is the right approach, now is the right time, and—as we are experiencing in California—it is achievable. — Anne Stanton, Program Director for Youth, The James Irvine Foundation

Nancy Hoffman takes us on a tour of countries that do an impressive job preparing their youth for careers through programs that situate learning in the workplace. As a country struggling with persistent high school dropout rates, achievement gaps, and the lowest youth employment rate in six decades, the United States should closely examine the policies of those countries that the author highlights: they point clearly to how we  can do a better job preparing youth, particularly disadvantaged youth, for the world of work in our complex society. — Betsy Brand, executive director, American Youth Policy Forum

The discourse of inclusion in the United States has clung to thin examinations of professional practices and standardized notions of student deficits. This volume offers a thoughtful remedy by exploring the cultural and political dimensions that contribute to the construction of human difference in a variety of local contexts. Appreciated in contextual complexity, inclusion is much more than a question of disability and accommodation. It presses us to question our highest purposes and hopes for schooling. — Scot Danforth, professor and director, School of Teacher Education, San Diego State University

At a time when most countries are struggling to develop more equitable education systems, this book provides a rich and valuable resource of ideas. Drawing on accounts of developments in diverse countries, the volume is unusual in the way that it conceptualizes inclusive education as being about a broad range of groups that are vulnerable to marginalization, exclusion, and low achievement. — Mel Ainscow, professor, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

This powerful collection of cross-cultural analyses penetrates the dilemma of implementing inclusion and equity within the contexts of vastly differing cultures and histories. Unique in its range of empirical and theoretical perspectives, Inclusive Education persuades us that, while it is impossible to devise a one-size-fits-all model of inclusion, the hallmark of education in the twenty-first century must be a global commitment to the search for equity. — Beth Harry, professor and chair, Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Miami

This is a timely and important book. Pivotal Moments is filled with practical ideas on how to expand access to college for students who have traditionally been underserved and underrepresented. Drawing on an extensive body of research, Espinoza presents an analysis of what it takes to get more students ‘college ready’ which educators, counselors, and anyone who works with youth will find insightful and illuminating. — Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University

One of the most significant public policy challenges of the twenty-first century is to figure out how to increase college going for low-income youth. Roberta Espinoza provides clues to how individuals inside or outside the classroom can empower students and put them on the path to college. This is a well-researched book with an important message: yes, individuals can make a difference! — William G. Tierney, university professor, Wilbur Kieffer Professor of Higher Education, and director, Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, University of Southern California

“Roberta Espinoza’s compelling and insightful book helps explain the transformative impact that a college-educated adult—such as a teacher or counselor—can have on the life of an educationally disadvantaged student. The Pivotal Moment of academic intervention in the educator/student relationship has the potential to alter the life trajectory of these students—and our collective well-being.” — Jamie P. Merisotis, president, Lumina Foundation

It is refreshing to read Espinoza’s eloquent accounts of the moments when educational possibilities are created for underserved students. Most important, these are intentional—not chance—encounters, a fact that points toward a systemic, institutional approach to supporting educational equity. — Hugh Mehan, professor emeritus of sociology, University of California, San Diego, and founding director, Center for Research on Educational Equity, Access, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE)

This is an extraordinary book. The chapters cover practical applications of formative assessment in mathematics, science, and language arts, including the roles of technology and teachers’ professional learning. I found my own thinking about formative assessment constantly being stretched and challenged. Anyone who is involved in education will find something of value in this book. — Dylan Wiliam, professor emeritus, educational assessment, Institute of Education, University of London

New Frontiers in Formative Assessment brings needed attention to little-discussed issues on the testing debate, such as how to make formative assessment an intrinsic part of instruction rather than an interruption, and how an assessment can be ‘for’ rather than ‘of’ learning. It will be immensely helpful to planners and school teacher teams as well as to those who study assessment. — Ellen Guiney, senior advisor, Boston Plan for Excellence

Noyce and Hickey provide a more nuanced and thoughtful treatment of what we know about formative assessment than I have ever seen collected in one volume before. The resulting insights are compelling, exciting, and motivating, and will affect the work I do, starting immediately.” — Susan M. Brookhart, senior research associate, Center for Advancing the Study of Teaching and Learning, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Better use of formative assessment has the power to transform schools by bringing classrooms to life. With a practical orientation, rich examples, and proven experience, this team of writers in math, literacy, and science shows where the cutting edge in formative practices is now and where it is likely to extend in the near future. An excellent and timely contribution. — Jere Confrey, Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University

This thoughtful volume avoids ideological posturing and instead asks important questions about what the federal government can and cannot do well in supporting education. The cast of contributors is top-notch and with enough differences in focus and perspective to make for a stimulating collection that you’ll want to read in full. — Jeffrey R. Henig, professor of political science and education, Teachers College, Columbia University

With this book, Rick Hess and Andrew Kelly have brought together a diverse group of researchers and policy analysts on a topic that is critical, improving K–12 education. Carrots, Sticks, and the Bully Pulpit will be a crucial resource for lawmakers, policy makers, and anyone interested in improving the quality of education in America. — Jeb Bush, chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education and former governor of Florida

A must-read for every education policy maker in the field, especially every state education leader who is directly affected by federal education policies and actions. As we chart an important course to follow on No Child Left Behind, it is imperative that we recognize the past—since ‘what’s past is prologue.’ — Paul G. Pastorek, chief counsel, EADS North America, former superintendent of education, Louisiana

Carrots, Sticks, and the Bully Pulpit is a must-read for any lawmaker who wants to understand the history of federal education policy and its implications for our schools, as well as for any teacher who wonders why the classroom they entered with optimism and hope has become so mired in paperwork and bureaucracy. — Robert Scott, commissioner of education, Texas

This essential book brings fresh attention to enduring topics and themes in adolescent literacy development, expanding our understanding of the importance of content-area literacy and how disciplinary ways of thinking connect to student motivation, language, race, and identity. It offers a multidimensional introduction to important issues related to improvement of literacy instruction at the school and district level. — Joshua F. Lawrence, assistant professor, University of California, Irvine

This compelling book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date view of adolescent literacy for multiple audiences: teachers, administrators and curriculum leaders, teacher educators, and researchers. It raises awareness of the importance of literacy as a foundation for learning in all content areas and as a means of ensuring that all high school graduates are college- and career-ready. It elaborates on the complex nature of adolescent literacy, which requires students to read challenging texts, to reflect with others on their meaning, and to engage in high-level reading, writing, and thinking. Adolescent Literacy provides both a solid theoretical framework of adolescent literacy and practical ideas for developing and implementing literacy programs for adolescent learners. — Rita M. Bean, professor emerita, University of Pittsburgh

The Harvard Educational Review special issue on adolescent literacy remains one of the most comprehensive treatments of the topic, and its publication as a book is a most welcome development. It offers a wide range of perspectives on a topic central to preparing young people for career, education, and citizenship in the 21st century. Part of what makes the volume so genuinely comprehensive and special is its inclusion of topics like writing and adolescent literacy in out-of-school contexts, as well as the more traditional topics of disciplinary literacy and cognitive strategies. Adolescent Literacy is an invaluable contribution to a crucially important field. — Gina Biancarosa, assistant professor, University of Oregon

An important book by wise authors who have learned the hard way that federal policies to address underachievement in education are failing. Although no one can offer a quick fix for America’s educational problems, this incisive book offers promising and realistic measures for helping children who are poor and often racially and linguistically isolated. The authors provide a thoughtful set of alternatives to failed federal policies that have not and cannot address the pernicious achievement gaps that endanger our democracy. — David C. Berliner, Regents’ Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University

School performance by black and Latino students has climbed markedly, by a full grade level, over the past two generations. Yet achievement disparities relative to whites have narrowed only slightly, perpetuating a grand canyon of a gap that divides America. This volume replays an instructive history—pinpointing what hasn’t worked—and then carves a path forward to build schools that narrow disparities inside classrooms, showing how educators, families, and community activists are pulling together. Each chapter builds from hard evidence, not hopeful rhetoric. It’s a must-read for those dedicated to uniting our society—an endeavor in which we all have a stake. — Bruce Fuller, professor of education and public policy, University of California, Berkeley

This book is essential reading for policy makers, researchers, and educators concerned with closing achievement gaps in American schools. It provides a novel examination of the issues and important, new directions for moving us forward. — Amanda Datnow, professor of education, University of California, San Diego

This book beautifully describes the issues and movements in teaching and teacher education in the past 45 years. Yet it is the story of the soul of a teacher educator that most moves me. Sharon Feiman-Nemser’s fascination with how people learn to teach, reflected in the intellectual journey she traces here, has produced insights that continue to enrich the profession. — Mary Diez, dean, School of Education, Alverno College

This compendium of Sharon Feiman-Nemser’s groundbreaking scholarship comprises a conceptual and practical handbook for the study and improvement of teachers’ learning, of the professional practice of teaching, and the enterprise of teachers’ ‘education.’ — From the Foreword by Deborah Loewenberg Ball, dean, School of Education, University of Michigan

Sharon Feiman-Nemser conveys the accumulated insights of her lifetime journey as a teacher, teacher educator, and researcher. The book makes a compelling case for why we must take learning to teach as serious work, and illuminates what that work entails for novice teachers, teacher educators, colleagues, school leaders, and students who have a stake in their success. — Judith Warren Little, dean, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley

Sharon Feiman-Nemser is a leading voice in the world of teacher education. Teachers as Learners is a must-read for anyone interested in today’s most controversial topics: teacher quality, traditional and alternative routes into teaching, teacher mentoring and induction, and the role of ‘experience’ in learning to teach. — Maryilyn Cochran-Smith, Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

No one doubts that it takes great teachers for students to succeed. But many think that any smart and determined person can, in short order, be an effective teacher. In this collection of informed and provocative essays, Sharon Feiman-Nemser reminds us that there are no shortcuts. Truly effective teachers learn their craft over time by observing, experimenting, and reflecting on their practice in rich professional contexts. — Susan Moore Johnson, Jerome T. Murphy Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

A must-read for everyone involved in teacher preparation. This book challenges us to weave the reality of today’s classrooms and the needs of English learners into the preparation of all of our prospective teachers. It shows us how to truly ‘infuse’ EL strategies across the curriculum and provides creative tools to do so. Insightful, practical, grounded, yet innovative! — Carine M. Feyten, dean, School of Education, Health and Society, and professor, Foreign Language Education, Miami University

This is a cohesive guide that shows educator preparation programs and district trainers how to successfully meet the language and cultural needs of English learners in the K–12 classroom. The One Plus model solidifies EL infusion through a collaborative, flexible, and interdisciplinary plan. It is a professional development manual for educators across disciplines and at all levels. — Jane Govoni, associate professor, Saint Leo University, and ESOL consultant, Florida Department of Education

For educators and administrators suffering under the weight of initiative fatigue, this book offers welcome relief. CSI is not about adopting the latest educational fad but rather about a focus on evidence, teaching, and leadership. The authors offer authentic examples from a wide variety of schools and bring the combined perspectives of practitioners and researchers to this complex challenge. This profoundly respectful book acknowledges that the vast majority of teachers and administrators want to get it right. The practices outlined here will focus your professional energies where they will have the greatest impact on student results. — Douglas B. Reeves, founder, The Leadership and Learning Center

This book is unique in its focus both on the district’s role in supporting data-based inquiry and on using the inquiry process to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom. — Jennifer Cheatham, chief instruction officer, Chicago Public Schools

At the core of Collaborative School Improvement is a set of well-defined but flexible practices that marry data inquiry cycles with effective teamwork. With nuanced insights and attention to detail, the authors tell the compelling story of how educators can create scalable systems of instructional improvement. This is an important book that should interest not only educators, but those who craft education policy. — Joe Siedlecki, program and policy officer, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

As with the best of protocols, CSI helps school and district leaders develop habits they wish they had. It offers practical advice and tools well grounded in research and practice. CSI makes it clear that improvement is within the grasp of committed teams. — Alan Dichter, director of leadership development, Portland Public Schools

This book contributes to our collective knowledge by offering a clear and field-tested set of practices for how schools and districts can structure their relationship to best serve student learning. I feel a kinship with the authors of this book because, as with Data Wise, they offer not a program to implement, but a paradigm shift in how educators approach their work. And, as we did with Data Wise, they offer a guide to making it happen. — From the foreword by Kathryn Parker Boudett, lecturer on education and director of the Data Wise Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education

As this rich collection illustrates, UDL represents a commitment to facilitating genuine transdisciplinary collaboration, linking research to practice, and acknowledging complexity and diversity with rigor and integrity. As such, UDL has the potential for transforming education by creating learning environments that acknowledge, honor, and support diversity. This important volume explores in depth the research underpinning UDL. I know that I will return to it again and again. — Paul B. Yellin, associate professor of pediatrics, NYU School of Medicine, and director, The Yellin Center for Mind, Brain, and Education

This compilation of intriguing readings—both classic and contemporary—is informative, insightful, and engaging. The readings and their commentaries provoke critical inquiries into the nature of learning for all children and highlight the ways in which the principles of UDL emerge from a deep understanding of these dynamic learning processes. — Penny Hauser-Cram, professor, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

The national crisis posed by the school-to-prison pipeline calls on us to go beyond conventional policy, funding, leadership, and action. As this book clearly shows, disrupting the pipeline from end to end will require a complete reorientation of our values, systems, and practices, so as to construct new educational rights and opportunities for young people. — Maisie Chin, executive director/cofounder, Community Asset Development Redefining Education (CADRE)

In an era dominated by a focus on academic accountability, it is critical to understand that academic engagement and school discipline cannot be disentangled. Punitive and exclusionary practices in our schools and juvenile justice system threaten the life chances of too many American children and youth, especially those who have been historically marginalized. This book shines a light on the threats posed by the school-to-prison pipeline, the experiences of those who have been its victims, and strategies for disrupting and deconstructing that pipeline. — Russ Skiba, director, The Equity Project, Indiana University

Change is complicated, especially when it involves power politics, a defensive status quo, and a bona fide attempt to significantly transform teaching and learning throughout an entire school district. Richard Lee Colvin looks at the reforms unleashed by San Diego Schools Superintendent Alan Bersin from the perspective of the change-agent leader. It is a fascinating vantage point that sheds tremendous light on how things really work within public education. — Joe Williams, director, Democrats for Education Reform

Anyone interested in knowing what education reform and the struggles to achieve it actually look like at the ground level should read this book. Most everything else I read is baloney; this is the real deal. — Michael Casserly, executive director, Council of the Great City Schools

In his newest book, Youth, Education and the Role of Society, Robert Halpern has struck a rich chord with the work many of us must continue to do to advance productive learning for all youth. This wonderfully informative book lays out ways in which school and nonschool learning urgently need to be connected to improve the life pathways for all our high school–age youth. — Elliot Washor, codirector, Big Picture Learning

Robert Halpern makes an enormously powerful, persuasive case for work-based learning as central to the healthy development of adolescents. This is a must-read book for policy makers and practitioners searching for a new path for the revitalization of the American high school. — Robert B. Schwartz, cochair, Pathways to Prosperity State Network, and professor of practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Robert Halpern writes with clarity and passion about the developmental needs of adolescents and how society can create institutional pathways to support those needs. This new offering is perfectly timed to guide the national debates about dropout prevention, out-of-school-time programs, high school reforms, and expanding learning opportunities for young people. — Robert C. Granger, president, William T. Grant Foundation

Schools that embrace the Data Wise process exemplify the value that true school transformation happens from within the school, not from outside. Systemic, sustainable improvement in student performance is assured when a school makes Data Wise a part of its culture. From a district perspective, supporting our schools in their work with Data Wise is time well spent. — Kathy Rollo, executive director, leadership and professional development, Lubbock Independent School District, Texas

This book provides a great variety of useful ideas and tools for analyzing student achievement data. It serves as a significant resource for school leaders in utilizing data to improve instruction and student achievement. — Gerald N. Tirozzi, former executive director, National Association of Secondary School Principals

The first edition of Data Wise provided educators with a highly useful and understandable way to make sense of data in school districts, schools, and classrooms. Readers of this revised and expanded edition will value the opportunity to discover new ways of thinking about what students should learn, why they should learn it, and how they should be taught. — Tom Payzant, former superintendent, Boston Public Schools, and professor of practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Data Wise has been a central ingredient in our school turnaround. The model has helped us take a comprehensive approach to using data to inform instructional practice and provides a framework for all school improvement eff orts. By combining this model with the hard work of an exceptional faculty, our student body has seen some of the largest student achievement gains in Massachusetts and across the nation. — Ben Klompus, BART Charter Public School, Adams, Massachusetts

Demystify that data! A powerful asset to data-driven inquiry and improvement . . . Data Wise guides schools and school systems through the growth of comprehensive data systems that encompass classroom work samples as well as standardized tests. With a sympathetic understanding of the inevitable limits on staff time, the authors discuss the best ways to structure collaborative faculty time and include protocols to involve faculty and staff in gaining insight from data. — Horace

Turning a culture of never using data to data-driven instruction is not an easy feat. Although our school district furthered teachers and administrators with plenty of data sources, teachers needed a framework and a system to utilize data in the most efficient way. By implementing the Data Wise process at the district level, instructional coaches and administrators were able to look at data, classroom practices, and student work effectively. They finally understand the function of data-driven instruction and how that is tied into planning, practices, and student work.” — Beverly Enriquez, director, curriculum and federal programs, Douglas Unified School District, Douglas, Arizona

Data Wise is practical and based on experiences in real schools; therefore, it achieves one of its goals of helping school leaders understand how to use student assessments to improve teaching and learning. . . . Data Wise: A Step-by Step Guide to Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning is a nice contribution to how to get assessment data used by those who are leading and teaching in our schools. — Teachers College Record

The step-by-step process described in this invaluable book has helped me engage my faculty in lively, frank, and productive discussions about our student assessment results. Now we are able to make the connections between data and instruction in ways that improve teaching and learning systematically throughout the school. — Janet Palmer Owens, principal, Mason Pilot Elementary School, Boston

The book is well organized and would serve as a great tool for school and district improvement teams. Of special interest to superintendents is the chapter devoted to the role of the central office in becoming data wise. — The School Administrator

For any team of educators needing to implement a coherent instructional plan, to identify the learning needs of every student, and to meet those needs, this book will be very helpful. Th e reviewer believes that if the goal of a school is to review student assessment results to improve teaching and learning, following this book would be beneficial. — Education Review

This book highlights an important truth: for students to grasp and retain more complex content and concepts, educators need to ensure their students have a much greater stake in their own learning. Just getting kids to comply with adult wishes is not going to be enough anymore. The contributors to this volume represent a wide range of expertise, from the the conceptual to the practical, from research to reality. Collectively, they outline the path to new and revolutionary educational models. The book is a must-read for every educator and anyone else interested in getting all students to higher levels of learning. — David T. Conley, professor, University of Oregon, and CEO, Educational Policy Improvement Center

Why do some schools and learning models create success for all students— including low-income students and students at risk? This important book offers case studies of places where students are engaged, known, and valued, and impelled to take ownership of their learning and persevere toward success. It offers theory, research, and practical strategies to help educators understand and implement student-centered learning. — Ron Berger, chief program officer, Expeditionary Learning

Elizabeth Englander has written an essential book about bullying that every educator—and any parent thinking about how schools should handle this issue—should read. It’s full of wisdom, practical advice, and original research, all of which reflect Englander’s status as one of the foremost experts in the field. — Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy

This much-needed book presents effective ideas and techniques based on the experiences of real children and teens. I recommend it highly. — Stan Davis, author of Schools Where Everyone Belongs, and codirector, Youth Voice Project

Dr. Englander has effectively combined insight derived from research with her experiences working directly with schools to produce a book that provides a quality resource for educational leaders and policy makers. This book is a welcome contribution to the field. — Nancy Willard, director, Embrace Civility in the Digital Age

This book is a rare double play. The cases place readers in a troubled urban political context, requiring them to formulate strategic and governance decisions. The cross-case patterns and lessons also help readers understand education politics and the keys to system failure or success. — Michael Kirst, professor emeritus, Stanford University, and president, California State Board of Education

The smartest teaching tool for current and aspiring superintendents I have ever seen—brilliant! — Tim Quinn, president, Quinn and Associates; former urban school superintendent; and former college president

McAdams and Katzir have crafted the essential text for anyone intending to fully understand and implement transformational improvement in public education. No class in educational leadership will be complete without it. — Caprice Young, vice president for education, Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Don McAdams and Dan Katzir have provided us with a treasure trove for teaching and learning about the huge challenges and rewards of leading urban school systems. These cases touch on the critical strategies for improving school systems in all of their complexity. The teaching notes reflect the authors’ deep experience with using these very cases with top urban leaders in America and the passion and thoughtfulness which they have brought to this work. — Karen Hawley Miles, executive director, Education Resource Strategies

Strategic Inquiry is a wonderful book that combines specific change processes with school and system improvement and ends up giving a clear picture of how change can be customized and accomplished. Rarely do we see such instructional precision in high school reform. — From the foreword by Michael Fullan, OISE/University of Toronto

Practitioners and scholars alike have been waiting a long time for this excellent book. Not only do the authors provide teachers with practical tools to help struggling students, they show how building the capacity to close learning gaps transforms school culture from the bottom up. This book should be read by anyone interested in the deep work of supporting student success at scale. — Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University

Strategic Inquiry documents New York City schools’ success in raising student achievement by focusing on shifting teacher practice, distributing school leadership, and aligning systems. As with students, all teachers can learn, and teachers working in teams are empowered to lead change in their schools. The lessons learned through the real-world examples that fill this insightful book are valuable for districts across the country. — Shael Polakow-Suransky, chief academic officer and senior deputy chancellor, New York City Department of Education

This must-read volume is packed with new and useful ideas for educators working to promote adolescent literacy. Six essential and critical domains are discussed, providing instructional examples and frameworks for classroom use. This is the right book at the right time, describing instruction aligned with the Common Core State Standards. — Rita M. Bean, professor emerita, University of Pittsburgh

A must-read for middle and high school content teachers, instructional/literacy coaches, and administrators. This book quickly brings newcomers up-to-date and both affirms and builds upon what others already know. Teachers and administrators alike will leave the book fully prepared for implementation of the Common Core State Standards and new technologies. This is a resource that won’t just sit on a shelf! — Nancy L. Shanklin, literacy, language, and culturally responsive teaching program, School of Education and Human Development, University of Colorado Denver

The editors present research and practice that address six essential domains of adolescent literacy instruction. Readers will find instructional strategies that they can ‘do now,’ as well as guiding principles for ongoing professional development. — Pamela A. Mason, director, Language and Literacy Program and Jeanne Chall Reading Lab, Harvard Graduate School of Education

This book is a valuable resource for anyone engaged in the practice of instructional rounds. Lee Teitel has artfully woven case studies together with the principles of instructional improvement to illustrate the power and perils of school-based rounds. It will help us reflect and improve on the rounds practice in our district. — David Title, superintendent, Fairfield, CT Public Schools

School-Based Instructional Rounds is a must-read for any educator who aspires to professionalize educator practice, create a culture of collaborative adult learning, connect strategic choices made at the district level to teaching and learning in classrooms, and improve learning at scale. Lee Teitel will stretch your thinking about rounds improvement, guide you to new insights, and help you see possibilities you had not envisioned. — Bonnie Boothroy, director, Iowa Superintendents Instructional Rounds Networks, School Administrators of Iowa

With this groundbreaking book, Lee Teitel takes the exploration of instructional rounds to the next level. Using specific examples, he shows how to bring this approach to improvement into the hearts of schools and classrooms, advancing educators’ efforts to create a precise focus on the quality of instruction. School-Based Instructional Rounds provides powerful improvement strategies, and at the same time raises key reflective questions for getting better at the rounds process. This insightful volume makes a huge contribution to advancing the stature and collective efficacy of the teaching profession. — Michael Fullan, OC, OISE/University of Toronto

This accessible and timely book makes a valuable contribution to higher education policy thinking about how to increase system performance and output in an era of tightly constrained resources. The editors bring to readers a well designed and well-written collection of chapters about ways to make limited dollars go further, authored by smart observers of the higher education scene. — William Zumeta, professor, University of Washington

As college has become the gateway to the middle class, its costs and prices have relentlessly outstripped the incomes of all but the most affluent American families. These essays offer insights into the dimensions of the problem and into some of the most innovative and promising solutions. This volume contributes significantly to the debate about the future of American higher education. — Patrick M. Callan, president, Higher Education Policy Institute

You don’t have to convince me of the power art has to open the mind to new ways of seeing and thinking. I’m sold on Visual Thinking Strategies. This insightful book unpacks a technique that transforms classrooms into engaging, exciting laboratories for the critical thinking and communication skills our children need to master. — Daniel Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and A Whole New Mind

Practical and inspirational, this is arts integration for the twenty-first century. Distinguished museum educator Philip Yenawine presents a persuasive argument for using the art discussion approach called Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) to develop the sophisticated thinking skills required by the Common Core. A lively blend of theory and practice, this book shows how VTS has sparked creative teaching in schools across the country. — Peggy Burchenal, Esther Stiles Eastman Curator of Education and Public Programs, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

To read Visual Thinking Strategies is to enter into a companionable and substantive conversation with a master teacher who has spent a lifetime noticing and caring about how children learn. Yenawine’s passion for nurturing growth across a variety of disciplines by tapping into young people’s innate responsiveness to art is supported with research and a wealth of examples; his vision and method offer a provocative model for inspiring curiosity, motivation, critical thinking, and civil discourse in centers of formal and informal learning. Those grappling with the Common Core Standards will find Yenawine’s ideas timely; in fact, they are timeless. — Wendy Lukehart, youth collections coordinator, D.C. Public Library

Rothman slashes through the veritable jungle of data and commentary surrounding the new standards to give us—in terse but highly accessible prose—a set of key principles that drive both the math and ELA standards and the early attempts to implement them. — P. David Pearson, Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley

At last, Rothman cuts through the hype and confusion surrounding Common Core State Standards to offer a clear-eyed, practical assessment of how they impact classroom practice. Fewer, Clearer, Higher is a must-read for any educator grappling with this major shift in schools today. — Jo Ann D. Bartoletti, executive director, National Association of Secondary School Principals

During this period of high-stakes testing, many educators are searching for ways to do more than merely raise test scores—they seek strategies that will motivate, engage, and inspire their students to learn. In Cultural Transformations, Jocson and her colleagues have created a truly invaluable resource. In these chapters, readers will learn that there is a broad array of cultural resources, typically located outside of school, that can be drawn upon to tap into the interests and passions of their students. With contributions from a broad array of artists, scholars, and practitioners who work within and outside of education, this book demonstrates that culture can serve as a powerful medium for reaching students who would otherwise be alienated and marginalized. The book is insightful and illuminating, and educators will find a treasure trove of ideas that help them make education relevant and meaningful to the students they serve. — Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University

In an ever more demographically diverse nation, looking anew at the ways our youth are taught is one of the greatest and most important challenges facing educators today. In addressing this challenge, these essays take the vibrancy of modern youth culture and show how it points to a new direction in pedagogical theory. — C. Matthew Snipp, Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University

Securing a world-class education for our students demands the contribution of a world-class teaching force. This volume contributes to this goal. Learning from the Experts captures the insights and ingenuity of our best and brightest teachers. The essays presented in these pages bolster my conviction that teachers can be architects of a stronger educational future. — Mitchell D. Chester, commissioner of elementary and secondary education, Massachusetts

Learning from the Experts should be required reading for policy makers, school officials, and would-be reformers who imagine that they can save public education. Our schools will be in good hands if teachers like these inspire more teachers like these to speak out and step up. — Susan Moore Johnson, Jerome T. Murphy Professor of Education, and director, The Project on the Next Generation of Teachers, Harvard Graduate School of Education

This book highlights the lessons we can learn from our very own teachers in the realm of best policy and practice. In doing so, it elevates the status of teaching as a profession. Learning from the Experts is a celebration of collaboration for the betterment of teachers and the students they serve. — John E. Deasy, superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District

For decades, Gerald Lieberman has been at the forefront of environment-based learning. The concept, which has acquired several names over the years, is essentially this: children and young people learn best when their time in the classroom is augmented by experiences in the wider community . . . School should be more than a polite form of incarceration; it should be a portal to a wider world. Gerald Lieberman’s ongoing work underscores the right of a whole child to feel and be fully alive. — From the Foreword by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods

Jerry has been a true pioneer for decades, breaking trail for the rest of us. What makes his work so impressive is that he not only conceives and writes about new K–12 education models, he finds effective ways to actually implement them on a significant scale. This book recounts some of those great adventures, and provides an indispensable map for any teacher or administrator who seeks new ideas for how to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century. — James L. Elder, director, Campaign for Environmental Literacy

This essential book brings fresh attention to enduring topics and themes in adolescent literacy development, expanding our understanding of the importance of content-area literacy and how disciplinary ways of thinking connect to student motivation, language, race, and identity. It offers a multidimensional introduction to important issues related to improvement of literacy instruction at the school and district level. — Joshua F. Lawrence, assistant professor, University of California, Irvine

This compelling book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date view of adolescent literacy for multiple audiences: teachers, administrators and curriculum leaders, teacher educators, and researchers. It raises awareness of the importance of literacy as a foundation for learning in all content areas and as a means of ensuring that all high school graduates are college- and career-ready. It elaborates on the complex nature of adolescent literacy, which requires students to read challenging texts, to reflect with others on their meaning, and to engage in high-level reading, writing, and thinking. Adolescent Literacy provides both a solid theoretical framework of adolescent literacy and practical ideas for developing and implementing literacy programs for adolescent learners. — Rita M. Bean, professor emerita, University of Pittsburgh

The Harvard Educational Review special issue on adolescent literacy remains one of the most comprehensive treatments of the topic, and its publication as a book is a most welcome development. It offers a wide range of perspectives on a topic central to preparing young people for career, education, and citizenship in the 21st century. Part of what makes the volume so genuinely comprehensive and special is its inclusion of topics like writing and adolescent literacy in out-of-school contexts, as well as the more traditional topics of disciplinary literacy and cognitive strategies. Adolescent Literacy is an invaluable contribution to a crucially important field. — Gina Biancarosa, assistant professor, University of Oregon

In this valuable book, Samantha, Tenzin, Treasure, Kischer, Keith, and other students come to life for us through their creations. Michael Bitz has a message, one that is often forgotten: When teachers understand that young adolescents have value, everyone learns, and everyone teaches. Comics, especially manga, are a powerful way to tap into youthful talent and energy. The result, as Bitz shows us, is confident, capable young people who, against the odds, are ready to be productive adults. — John Merrow, Education Correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and President, Learning Matters

Manga High describes one of the most powerful literacy-based student-engagement projects I have encountered. It captures what many educators strive to accomplish—the use of a compelling medium to promote literacy and motivation. Teachers around the country will find this an invaluable resource, particularly those searching for literacy-based, hands-on projects. — Michael Nakkula, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

As the manga phenomenon goes global, most American kids are content merely to draw manga-like characters. In Manga High, Michael Bitz follows kids as they grapple with the complex and demanding tasks of plotting, writing, editing, designing, drawing, and producing comics—and consequently shaping their own lives. Manga High reveals that the most engaging learning occurs when pedagogy is directed by kids themselves. — Brent Wilson, Professor Emeritus, School of Visual Arts, Penn State

Why does Japanese manga continue to fascinate youth all over the world? This book uses students’ words and artwork to explore what manga means to them. I was impressed with the stories of the students’ personal lives and the way they used their artwork to find their voices to express their identities, deal with their problems, and find hope for the future. Manga High is an important and valuable tool for today’s classroom, relevant and engaging for any reader. — Masami Toku, Director, Shojo Manga Project

The schools in How It’s Being Done exhibit the same hopeful pattern for successful schooling: teachers and leaders who formulate—and then actually teach to—clear, essential standards; who shun worksheets and movies and who work together to ensure that all students are taught effectively every day, regardless of who their teacher is. This (all too rare) combination cannot fail. — Mike Schmoker, author of Results NOW: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning

This encouraging and important book is, above all, a good read. Karin Chenoweth is a thoughtful observer, a keen analyst, and a good storyteller. — John Merrow, education correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and president, Learning Matters

How It’s Being Done is a must-read for teachers and administrators who are currently struggling to help disadvantaged and at-risk students. There are invaluable lessons and practical strategies for all educators. I believe that all teachers will take away suggestions that will help them become better teachers. — Paul F. Cain, mathematics and physics teacher, Ysleta High School, El Paso, Texas, and 2008 Texas Teacher of the Year

I am recommending How It's Being Done to my colleagues. It is an outstanding book that provides a clear picture of what educators must do if they really want to close the achievement gap. — Paul B. Ash, Superintendent of Schools, Lexington, Massachusetts

The Essential School Board Book is one of the best books ever written on school board governance. Every board president and superintendent should make it required reading for the entire board-superintendent team. It is well researched and practical. The advice is sound and comes from real experience and practice that we can all learn from. What’s more, the strategies to increase student achievement and learning work. Walser has done a great service by featuring effective policy and practice for good school governance. This book will prove indispensable to true district transformation. — Anne L. Bryant, executive director, National School Boards Association

In this engaging, practical guide, Walser uses case studies of successful school boards to highlight effective governance practices. She offers real-world solutions that will inspire school board members as well as superintendents, principals, and other leaders striving to build successful partnerships in support of academic achievement. — Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators

After decades of virtual silence on the importance of school boards, Nancy Walser’s book contributes to the recent rediscovery of the influence of American school boards on school reform efforts. Her book stands alone in revealing the inner workings of a diverse group of successful school boards, providing practical and reliable guidance to board members and superintendents. — Thomas L. Alsbury, associate professor and program coordinator, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, North Carolina State University

Our country is faced with an absolutely frightening crisis and challenge: we must radically improve our education system or our children will simply be unable to compete in the global economy. The diverse voices in this book demonstrate that there is no single solution, but the writers are united in their urgency. This eye-opening book should be required reading for educators and policy makers across America. — Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone

Essays in this volume do more than add another layer to the contemporary school reform debate. The book’s unique contribution is the mixture of alternatives that it offers for the future of American school reform. — Pasi Sahlberg, director general of CIMO in Finland, and author of Finnish Lessons

American education is at a crossroads. In The Futures of School Reform, Mehta, Schwartz, and Hess present six essays on education reform strategies that will spark a provocative discussion on how to transform our education system. — Jeb Bush, governor of Florida from 1999–2007, and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education

Most literature on education reform is like a lighthouse, shining a beacon from a distant, perhaps unreachable place. This book offers readers a compass to point the way forward. It sets the true north for improvement in this most important American institution. — John Deasy, superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District

This collection of state-of-the-art essays advances the discussion of civics from noble aspiration to empirical evidence and pedagogical practice. The authors, all noted scholars, have shown us how to improve civic education and—in the process—how to strengthen our democracy. It’s time for policymakers to pay attention. — William A. Galston, Ezra Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution

Making Civics Count models a brilliant alternative to the ideological polarization and paralysis that dominates civic education discourse. Campbell, Levinson, Hess, and the other contributors to this volume hail from across the political spectrum but share a critical commitment to reinvigorate dialogue around civic education. They seek not consensus but spirited engagement—with ideas, with solid empirical data, and with visions for a more robust democracy. This is an important book for scholars, policymakers, and anyone interested in civic education’s future. — Joel Westheimer, university research chair, sociology of education, University of Ottawa

This compelling and persuasive book shows that an open climate for discussion of current issues, teachers’ preparation across subject areas, and the new digital media can help foster a vision of democracy and counter prevailing inequality. — Judith Torney-Purta, professor of human development, University of Maryland

The suburbanization of American poverty is one of the most significant trends of recent times, and yet school systems are largely unprepared. Erica Frankenberg and Gary Orfield have assembled a terrific group of scholars who document growing school segregation and also outline some constructive and hopeful solutions. This is a compelling and important book. — Richard D. Kahlenberg, senior fellow, The Century Foundation

Almost all Americans agree that children should attend school with peers of other races and ethnicities—and few Americans want to take any action to create integrated schools. In fact, our country may be moving backwards. Frankenberg, Orfield, and their colleagues perform an invaluable service to all Americans by showing just what our country is doing wrong with regard to race and schooling, why it matters, and how we can do better. — Jennifer Hochschild, professor of government and African and African American studies, Harvard University

This important new volume explains why so much received wisdom about suburbia is simply wrong, why the front lines of educational opportunity and also of social and political change in our country lie in our increasingly diverse and unequal suburbs, and what kinds of policies and practices are urgently needed. A must-read not only for education specialists, but for planners and policy makers concerned about community vitality. — Xavier De Souza Briggs, associate professor of sociology and planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Erica Frankenberg and Gary Orfield make a compelling case that America’s racial and economic future will be determined in the hallways of suburban schools and on the streets of the communities they serve. Drawing on case studies of major metropolitan areas, this work makes clear that the problem is national in scope. The book is a call to action for educators, policy makers, and anyone else who cares about equality and opportunity in our schools and in our country. — Rachel F. Moran, dean and Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor, UCLA School of Law

Scott Seider, a rising star in the field of education, has crafted an eloquent presentation of the lessons learned from three case studies of character education. Rather than present yet another implementation model, Character Compass highlights the importance of process, context, diversity, and commitment to a vision. This is a unique, intelligent, articulate, and valuable addition to the body of knowledge informing best practices in character education. — Marvin W. Berkowitz, Sanford N. McDonnell Professor of Character Education, University of Missouri–St. Louis

In this timely and solidly researched book, Scott Seider offers a vivid account of how three Boston-area charter schools cultivate character in their students. Seider carefully examines the distinct ways that the schools foster moral, behavioral, and civic dimensions of character, making the case throughout that a school’s efforts to foster character do not come at the expense of academic achievement—rather, they enhance it. This book will be an important read for educators, policy makers, and citizens who care about the full character development of the young. — William Damon, professor of education and director of the Center on Adolescence, Stanford University

Character Compass challenges me to reflect on our school’s curriculum, programming, practices, and messages. In what ways are we influencing our students’ character development, and in what ways are we missing opportunities to explicitly define and reinforce attitudes, beliefs, and actions that will positively shape their character? — Peggy Kemp, headmaster, Fenway High School, Boston

If you are interested in character education across a district, within a school, or in a single classroom, Character Compass is for you. Seider not only offers a strong theoretical framework to help guide big-picture decision making, he also provides rich, nuanced descriptions of how the character programs actually play out in schools. I can’t wait to share these portraits with my graduate students. — Brent Maddin, provost and professor, Relay Graduate School of Education

As John Roberts observes, introducing [instructional rounds] into schools is a culturally disruptive practice. It introduces the powerful countercultural idea that people who work in knowledge-based enterprises should be engaged in continuous learning. Instructional Rounds in Action is a model of how this process of continuous learning and improvement works. — From the foreword by Richard F. Elmore, Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Here is a book that captures all the key facets of putting instructional rounds into practice. Roberts’s identification of the core problems of organizational learning—the problems of frequency, symmetry, and reciprocity—is the first strong contribution to applied instructional rounds that I have seen. — Michael Fullan, OISE/University of Toronto

What a compelling story and journey—one that every district should undertake. Roberts describes the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of implementing this powerful approach to continuous improvement, and shows how it challenges adults to improve teaching and learning for every student. — Jayne H. Mohr, associate superintendent, Traverse City (Michigan) Area Public Schools

Rarely have I read a book that gets so quickly and incisively at the fundamental challenges of school improvement. Roberts takes us inside an effort to change the norms and practices of a school system toward providing rigorous instruction for all students, showing us in simple and compelling prose why it is so hard, what progress looks like, and how far we have to go. This powerful book is a must-read for practitioners, researchers, and policy makers alike. — Jal Mehta, assistant professor of education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Understanding and growing internal capacities—cognitive, emotional, self-to-self, and self-to-others—is central to the growth and development of education leaders, wherever they are in their careers. Drago-Severson deftly interweaves theory and practice to help individuals develop these capacities and become more effective and engaging leaders. By investing in our leaders and their development, we improve the learning experiences for all who enter our schools. — Ed Dieterle, senior program officer for research, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Drago-Severson maintains that for schools to be places of academic excellence for students, they must first be places of academic excellence for educators. This book is a blueprint for improving the talents and capacities of our teachers and school leaders—the key to improving outcomes for children. — Deanna Burney, executive director, Leading by Learning, LLC

This book speaks so thoughtfully to the myriad ways in which school leaders may become active makers of their school communities. It takes very seriously the art and craft of adult development by offering practical strategies and approaches to building educational communities filled with possibility, deep learning, and hope. — Richard Ackerman, professor of educational leadership, University of Maine, College of Education and Human Development, and facilitator, Center for Courage and Renewal

In Cage-Busting Leadership, Rick Hess challenges our educational leaders to take on the laws, rules, and regulations that prevent them from implementing true transformational changes to our educational systems. Citing many examples of leaders who have busted out of the cage, Hess illustrates the tough decisions that can be made to provide the quality education that we seek for our students. Cage-Busting Leadership is not for the faint of heart. — Dan Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators

Rick Hess is a modern-day Mark Twain. He distills the truth and renders it understandable, humorous, and palatable in the process. — James W. Guthrie, superintendent of public instruction, Nevada and senior fellow and director of education policy studies, George W. Bush Institute

Cage-Busting Leadership should be required reading for every school leader in America. Our schools need people who understand how to break down barriers, enabling good teachers to do great work and students from all backgrounds to learn and thrive. This book provides a framework, common language, and real-world examples of how to do just that. — Becca Bracy Knight, executive director, The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems

This is not just a how-to manual—it is a why-not manifesto. If you can’t lead by fighting for the rights of youth, then you should not lead. This book both affirms this credo and indicates many ways in which to achieve this obligation. — John E. Deasy, superintendent, LAUSD

Impassioned leaders throughout our education system are frustrated by routine and a lack of support. In many cases they are ill-equipped for their crucial work. Rick Hess is a trailblazing scholar who explores a path forward to help leaders break the status quo. — Michael F. Bennet, Colorado senator, and former superintendent, Denver Public Schools

Rick Hess raises the bar by challenging leaders to aim for specific education reforms, and he eliminates the most common excuses for mediocre systems by proving that most barriers can and have been overcome already. — Elizabeth Celania-Fagen, superintendent, Douglas County School District

When someone decides that it is time to bust out of his or her cage, that person discovers that the bars around the cage are those things that resist real reform. In guiding us out of our cages, Rick Hess indicates how not to RTB (roll the boulder) or fall into TMT (the MacGyver Trap). Once out of the cage, be sure to GGD (get going downhill) and always ask WPAYS (what problem are you solving)? Sound like a great read? It is! — Janet Barresi, state superintendent of public instruction, Oklahoma

In Cage-Busting Leadership, Rick Hess outlines a practical, no-excuses guide to problem solving and leadership. Hess tells stories from current education leaders, movies, history, and other authors to give flavor and substance to what is possible when cage-busting leaders push past the limits of ‘past practice’ and compliance-normed behavior to renew their organizations. In the REEP leadership programs, we find that when a leader can identify where the bars are, he or she will not be content to dwell in the cage. — Andrea Hodge, executive director, Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP)

If you believe that changing America’s schools requires not just a new way of thinking, but a new way of doing, then this is the book for you. Hess illuminates how we often—and unwittingly—tie our own hands in the course of attempting to make reform, thereby perpetuating a ‘culture of can’t.’ Then, with straight talk and pithy examples, he shows how school, system, and state leaders can take the kinds of creative action essential to bringing about fierce change. This is a book that leaders and reformers need to read, reread, and then keep, dog-eared and readily at hand. — Monica Higgins, professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Rick Hess could not be more spot-on in his characterization of education leaders (and by this I mean any practitioner choosing to lead) as ‘caged.’ But the key insight is not that cages are created by regulations, laws, contracts, policies, or certification rules; rather, it’s that educators ‘cage’ themselves. This realization is the essence of the book and its examples—and it is the essence of understanding leadership and change. — Robert C. Pianta, Novartis Professor of Education, and dean, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, and director, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning

Large organizations exhibit tremendous inertia toward the comfortable. Rick Hess argues in forthright and bold fashion that transformative leaders are not ‘cage dwellers’: they don’t build their own prisons. Instead, they fight the inertia through clear thinking, solid execution, and bold goals. Cage-busting leaders can easily and quickly move from 30,000 feet to the granular, and they don’t spend time staring at their feet. Cage-Busting Leadership is a great tool for urban school superintendents who are often weighed and overburdened by massive bureaucracies and oppressive regulations that stifle creativity. Let’s do what it takes to break out of these cages. — Jean-Claude Brizard, former CEO, Chicago Public Schools

Public school and district leaders are mired in rules, regulations, and red tape, and Rick Hess doesn’t like it. But rather than complain, he’s hell-bent on helping leaders get done the things they need to do despite the challenges. This book provides valuable, concrete suggestions for accomplishing precisely that. Leaders should read it and start to breathe again. — Joel Klein, former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, and executive vice president, News Corporation

We in education are master cage builders. The feds build cages for the states, the states do it to districts, and the school boards do it in turn to their principals. At each level linger bureaucrats, advocates, union leaders, and vendors, each figuring out how to build a perfect cage to suit their needs. The problem is that the cage of pro forma rules and regulations won’t do if we’re to help children and families—especially those with the greatest and most complex needs—solve the complicated problem of equipping themselves for a productive life in today’s economy. Rick Hess tells it like it is: if we’re serious about educating kids, we’d be more serious about busting down the cage door. — John White, superintendent, Louisiana Department of Education

With Cage-Busting Leadership, Hess pulls the subject of educational leadership out of the ivory tower and drags it through the reality of leading school systems, teachers, parents, and children. Hess makes a strong case that an educational leader’s success will be in large part determined by the effective deployment of talent, tools, time, and money. But what is most striking is Hess’s argument that education leaders have much more freedom in these areas than most imagined. The cage-busting leaders that Hess chronicles combine noble visions with ferocious tactics, and they set the bar for what the next generation of leaders will need to achieve if we are serious about radically improving our nation’s educational system. For educational leaders looking for real-world advice on how to best fight for students, this is your book. — Neerav Kingsland, CEO, New Schools for New Orleans

It’s easy to underestimate the effort it takes to overcome inertia. In Cage-Busting Leadership, Rick has illustrated the tools and skills that are essential for transforming the status quo. Leaders who hope to improve low-performing schools and districts will value the insights this volume provides. — Mitchell Chester, commissioner of elementary and secondary education, Massachusetts, and president, Council of Chief State School Officers

In this elegantly argued treatise, the ever-thoughtful Jeff Henig makes a powerful case that a fundamental shift in the organization, funding, and evaluation of schooling is altering the scope and nature of American education. This is a book that every policy maker, reformer, and advocate for change would be wise to heed. — Frederick M. Hess, resident scholar and director of education, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

The intensity of education reform creates a climate of seeming chaos. Jeff Henig, a brilliant policy analyst, deftly shows us which way the wind is actually blowing. His analysis of the growing shift of educational governance from school boards to general purpose institutions is fascinating and has compelling implications for the future. — Paul Reville, Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The End of Exceptionalism in American Education is an integrated, coherent analysis of the entire changing ecology for school governance. It provides a new perspective that transcends the old paradigm of centralization versus decentralization. — Michael W. Kirst, president, California State Board of Education, and professor emeritus, education and business administration, Stanford University

Henig’s skillful analysis demonstrates that institutions matter—a perspective often missing from studies of education policy. The result is a masterful overview of executives, legislatures, and courts from Washington, DC, to city hall and their role in shaping policy choices and mobilizing diverse interests. — Lorraine M. McDonnell, professor of political science, University of California, Santa Barbara

Portraits of Promise investigates the question of immigrant students’ success from the vantage point of crucial developmental tasks and skills. Written in an accessible, journalistic style, the book will appeal to high school and college teachers, the general public, and the immigrant community itself. This empirical, asset-based account of immigrant youth adaptation is profoundly needed in our field. — Angela Valenzuela, professor, Education Policy & Planning Program at The College of Education, University of Texas at Austin

This book promises to be an important resource for educators. Immigrant students are a generally voiceless community, and Michael Sadowski provides a great service in allowing these young people the opportunity to speak and advocate for themselves. — Sonia Nieto, professor emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Portraits of Promise provides poignant insight into the educational experiences of academically successful immigrant students. Informed by the perspectives of students themselves, the book eloquently describes the challenges and obstacles immigrant students face. I commend Michael Sadowski for providing practical recommendations for educators to nurture the strengths that immigrant students already possess in order to support their academic success. — William Perez, associate professor, Claremont Graduate University

Choices and Challenges serves a broad audience—scholars, practitioners, and the general public—that follows education issues. It offers valuable guidance for policy makers concerning charter issues, but does not presume to recommend what decisions should be made. I know I will find it an invaluable resource in my role as a state official. — From the foreword by Michael W. Kirst, president, California State Board of Education, and professor emeritus, education and business administration, Stanford University

A thoughtful and concise overview of the critical issues facing the charter sector. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in research on charters, while raising the right set of questions for taking the research to the next level. — Nina Rees, president and CEO, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Unlike the partial and partisan literature that dominates this field, Wohlstetter and her colleagues take a dispassionate look at what we do and don’t know about the nature and performance of charter schools. They point to the complexity and diversity of charter schools and stress the need to take this into account when evaluating the sector’s successes and failures. We urgently need similarly nonpartisan reviews of the research evidence on other recent reforms in the U.S. and other countries. — Geoff Whitty, professor, director emeritus, Institute of Education, University of London

[Heritage’s] analysis of formative assessment reflects the real-world, what’s-next thinking of a seasoned practitioner and, at the same time, the carefully documented, thoroughly researched approach of a full-fledged academic. Her readers are fortunate that she could not keep those two worlds apart. — From the foreword by W. James Popham, professor emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles

In this thoughtful book, Margaret Heritage shows that when it is done well, formative assessment is really a set of orientations that the best teachers use all the time. She shows how great teachers constantly place evidence—about what students learned and what they need to do next—at the heart of their practice, helping students achieve more and become better learners. — Dylan Wiliam, emeritus professor of educational assessment, Institute of Education, University of London

Heritage argues for a children’s rights approach that allows students to develop skills in becoming autonomous learners. Guiding the teacher through the use of learning progressions, the collection of evidence, and the process of inquiry, she highlights the power of formative assessment to close the achievement gap for all learners. — Gabriela Cardenas, demonstration teacher, UCLA Lab School

Heritage articulates a practical, theoretically sound approach to assessment. Filled with conceptual insights and compelling examples, this is a handbook of the powerful pedagogy our teachers need and our students deserve. If you care about teaching that fosters a learning culture, read this book. — Robert Linquanti, project director, EL Evaluation and Accountability Support, and senior research associate, WestEd

For forty years, Larry Cuban has been a voice of thoughtful analysis amid the overwrought rhetoric of American education reform. His distinctive contribution—updated, deepened, and extended in this book—has been to focus our attention on the persistent gap between the misconceptions of policy elites and the realities of daily practice in the classroom. One hopes that the next generation of American educators will learn the essential lessons of Cuban’s analysis more deeply than the current generation. Young people considering a career in education should hold the lessons of this book close to their hearts. — Richard F. Elmore, Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Larry Cuban’s well-written book convincingly demonstrates why current education reforms don’t work, can’t work, and won’t work. — Diane Ravitch, research professor of education, New York University

Anyone with a deep interest in public schools should read Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice. Cuban takes the reader through the history of earnest efforts to improve our schools—through technology, structural reforms, and accountability systems—and shows why they have met with mixed and often disappointing results. His recommendations for us are both cautionary and hopeful, and always respectful of the dilemmas that teachers face each day they walk through the classroom door. — Gary Yee, board director, District Four, Oakland Unified School District, and retired vice chancellor, Educational Services, Peralta Community College District

Methodologically diverse and inductive in spirit…[these essays] are looking at the ways the accountability systems operate on and through real people—people who sometimes misunderstand, sometimes deliberately flout, and sometimes creatively reconfigure the incentives meant to steer them and the data meant to inform them. — From the foreword by Jeffrey R. Henig, professor of political science and education, Teachers College, Columbia University

The balance of perspectives in a single volume is refreshing—especially for a subject where taking sides appears to be standard operating procedure. The Infrastructure of Accountability should be required reading for anyone interested in the construction and consequences of test-based accountability systems. — James P. Spillane, Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Chair in Learning and Organizational Change, School of Education and Social Policy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

The authors show how the geometric growth of quantitative data on the performance of students, teachers, and schools may reshape the complex ecology of the classroom in ways that are more conducive to efficiency than education. The foreword and introduction alone are worth the price of the book. — David F. Labaree, professor of education, Stanford University School of Education

Taking a close look at the original instructional rounds model, Tom has drawn on his own background and carefully documented learning processes, added his own improvements, and codified the process in concise and direct language. Tom minces no words as he outlines what facilitators should do and not do, how to predict the places the rounds practice may go off the rails and become unproductive, and what to do about it. If you are looking for a clear how-to guide to facilitate a tight and well-thought out version of instructional rounds, this is it. — From the foreword by Lee Teitel, lecturer on education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and coauthor, Instructional Rounds in Education

Effective instructional rounds is the first step in building collective understanding and responsibility for the success of all students. Thomas Fowler-Finn provides outstanding tools and resources for leveraging the power of instructional rounds to support continuous improvement for all. — Stephanie Hirsh, executive director, Learning Forward

In 2008, Western Metropolitan Region students in grade five were the lowest performers in literacy and numeracy in Victoria. Four years later, those students ranked third in all measures, despite being the lowest SES cohort in the state. Principals identified participation in instructional rounds, facilitated by Thomas Fowler-Finn, as a key element of the region’s success. In rich, challenging, and increasingly trusting collegial discussions, we learned to focus on student learning and how to improve instruction. Leading Instructional Rounds in Education provides a precise, practical, and very usable guide for people facilitating (and doing) instructional rounds. — Katherine Henderson, former regional director, Western Metropolitan Region Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victoria, Australia

From Data to Action is a timely, compelling, and important book that addresses how school and other community leaders can go even further toward understanding the strengths and needs of their students—by gathering data from agencies across their communities, studying and archiving the information, and using it to improve teaching and learning. — From the foreword by Thomas W. Payzant, former professor of practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education

This pioneering book vividly reports on how local leaders, now armed with thick evidence, make sure that no student falls through the cracks. From Philly to San Francisco, From Data to Action reports on inspiring progress in how activists and scholars are pulling together to elevate the next generation. — Bruce Fuller, professor, education and public policy, University of California, Berkeley

From Data to Action is an important and courageous book that powerfully illustrates how data created and shared with the community can simultaneously advance scholarship and the quality of life of children and their families. McLaughlin and London’s honest account of the strengths and difficulties of democratic, actionable research is simply invaluable for developing and sustaining meaningful university-community partnerships. — Ira Harkavy, associate vice president and director, Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania

Duncan and Murnane provide a no-nonsense view of the growing educational gap between the haves and the have-nots in America. They also scour the landscape to find promising solutions that provide hope for better outcomes in the future. This is a thoughtful book that should be read with the care it merits. — Joel Klein, CEO of Amplify, and former chancellor, New York City Department of Education

This thorough examination of our public school system provides a clear picture of some of the toughest challenges—particularly those facing low-income students—and the directions in which we need to go to fix them. This book should be on the desk of every educator and policy maker in America so we can begin to change the odds for all of America’s children. — Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone

Anyone who cares about improving schools should read this book. Duncan and Murnane offer detailed case studies of effective programs to improve schools that can boost the life chances of disadvantaged children. The authors present a careful analysis, grounded in economics and education, of the ways to make better schooling available to all of the nation’s low-income children. — David K. Cohen, John Dewey Collegiate Professor of Education and professor of public policy, University of Michigan

Stretching the School Dollar is the right book at the right time. It offers research-based thinking and real options to school leaders facing tough budgetary choices in today’s economy. The book’s detailed examples—how to analyze financial data, make the best use of teachers’ skills, and harness the new technologies, for example—provide a road map to economic reform that enhances, rather than obstructs, student learning. — Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators

Stretching the School Dollar arrives at a time when it is urgently needed. It is ideal for school district and state leaders who are interested in—even desperate to know—how our school systems can do more with less. It offers practical recommendations for cutting costs in ways that avoid damage to school programming as well as more dramatic and innovative ways to re-engineer how we ‘do school.’ If you are ready to meet your fiscal commitments while providing a world-class education to your students, this is the book for you. — Deborah A. Gist, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

Bringing together thought and ‘action’ leaders, Hess and Osberg’s new book provides ideas tested in the crucible of the public square. Coming at a time when taxpayers are asking superintendents to produce quantum leaps in student performance while dramatically reducing the resources to accomplish such feats, this book will be required reading. — Dr. Jose M. Torres, Superintendent of Schools, School District U-46, Elgin, Illinois

As the title of this book indicates, Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana believe that education can be transformed if students, rather than teachers, assume responsibility for posing questions. This idea may sound simple, but it is both complex and radical: complex, in that formulating good, generative questions, and being prepared to work toward satisfactory answers, is hardly a simple undertaking; and radical, in the sense that an apparently easy move can bring about a Copernican revolution in the atmosphere of the classroom and the dynamics of learning. The authors modestly quote physicist Niels Bohr who once said, ‘An expert is someone who has made all possible mistakes in a field and there are no more to be made.’ In reading this powerful work, I was reminded of what Albert Einstein said, when he learned of Jean Piaget’s pioneering questioning of young children: ‘so simple only a genius could have thought of it.’ — Howard Gardner, The John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

[The authors] provide . . . an inspiring vision of education at its best and an extraordinarily clear, low-tech, practical intellectual tool for turning that vision into reality. — from the foreword by Wendy D. Puriefoy, president, Public Education Network

The protocols described in this book are easy to follow and adaptable to a variety of classrooms and subjects. These simple strategies can lead students to go into more depth in their learning and stretch the standard curriculum beyond the textbook. Students’ energy, motivation, and perseverance increase noticeably when they have more ownership of the topics they are studying. — Hayley Dupuy, sixth-grade math and science teacher, J. L. Stanford Middle School, Palo Alto, California

Just when you think you know all you need to know, you ask another question and discover how much more there is to learn. — Sixth-grade student, J. L. Stanford Middle School, Palo Alto

This book begins with the seemingly simple request to get students to ask their own questions, but at heart it's a book about creating a classroom alive with dialogue, inquiry, and respect for students' minds. — Mike Rose, author of Why School? Reclaiming Education for All of Us

In an age when the word ‘hero’ is overused, Bill Henderson clearly deserves the title. Long before most educators embraced the concept of inclusion, Bill built a school that became a model of equity and excellence. This book offers a rare glimpse of a highly effective school leader. — Thomas Hehir, professor of practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Bill Henderson, a pioneer in inclusive urban school leadership, provides an honest, practical, and joyful guide to what it takes to make inclusion work organizationally and instructionally. A must-read for educators and parents! — David P. Riley, executive director, Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative

Henderson provides an honest, heartfelt account of his experiences coping with vision loss and his leadership in the inclusive education movement. He offers practical advice and guidance for parents and educators. The Blind Advantage should be a required acquisition for public, academic, and special library collections. — Kim Charlson, library director, Braille & Talking Book Library, Perkins School for the Blind

Bill Henderson’s book artfully blends his personal narrative about gradually becoming blind, the counterintuitive effect this had on his work as a principal, and his school’s success in including children with severe special needs in regular classrooms. The heart of Bill’s book is a series of case studies that show how inclusion can be transformational for students—and for the adults who serve them. — Kim Marshall, former Boston Public School principal and editor of the Marshall Memo

Bill uses humor, honesty and sensitivity to narrate the story of the incredible journey of starting an inclusive elementary school. This book is a must read for educators seeking to provide inclusive educational opportunities for students of ALL abilities. — Tricia Lampron, principal, Dr. William W. Henderson Inclusion Elementary School

Bob Rothman has written a thorough, detailed policy and political history of the standards movement, beginning with its origins and following right up to its apogee in the Common Core standards and then through to the early stages of national assessment development. More than a history, though, this book provides thoughtful analysis, appropriate cautions, and some well-considered advice on how this new era of standards may shape the future of U.S. public education. — Paul Reville, secretary of education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In Rothman’s clear-eyed telling, the decades-long history of national standards in American public education is a compelling narrative filled with characters, philosophical debates, and insightful observations. We learn about why previous chapters in the standards movement did not produce the hoped-for gains and the hard work that must be done if the national Common Core standards are to guide classroom instruction and deepen student learning. Ultimately, Rothman is cautiously optimistic that, this time, standards will make a difference. — Richard Lee Colvin, executive director, Education Sector

Something in Common is a comprehensive and timely story of the background and development of Common Core standards in America. I highly recommend this as a must-read for educators and others who want to develop a very good understanding of the new ‘common core,’ what is necessary for successful implementation, and the potential impact on the future of public education in America. — Jesse B. Register, superintendent, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

With an astonishing combination of detailed evidence and nuanced insight, Getting It Done provides a blueprint for leaders of our most challenging schools. There are no quick fixes or feel-good stories here. Chenoweth and Theokas give us simultaneous doses of encouragement and challenge, letting us know that academic excellence is possible in a high-poverty school while being candid about the difficulties involved. Principals should read this book to gain a sense of hope, and then study it with every staff member to apply these essential lessons. — Douglas B. Reeves, founder, The Leadership and Learning Center

Getting It Done makes me more certain than ever that an important way forward for American education is to study what our best school leaders do and to use what we learn to improve professional development for current and future school principals. Chenoweth and Theokas show that there are indeed lessons to be harvested and passed along. Improving school leadership is an achievable goal that will advance both equity and excellence in the nation’s educational outcomes. Let’s get it done! — From the Foreword by Ronald F. Ferguson, faculty director, Achievement Gap Initiative, Harvard University

Drawing on close to forty case studies, Chenoweth and Theokas highlight essential lessons about leadership in high-needs schools. This is not a story about superheroes; it is a compelling portrayal of experienced, well-prepared, solution-focused leaders who work with their staffs to pool knowledge and expertise on behalf of their students. — Michelle D. Young, professor, University of Virginia, and executive director, University Council for Educational Administration

This book tackles a most crucial question: What is different about the leadership in successful schools for children of poverty? It goes a long way toward unpacking the black box of leadership that matters. — Charles M. Payne, Frank P. Hixon Professor, University of Chicago

This essential book brings fresh attention to enduring topics and themes in adolescent literacy development, expanding our understanding of the importance of content-area literacy and how disciplinary ways of thinking connect to student motivation, language, race, and identity. It offers a multidimensional introduction to important issues related to improvement of literacy instruction at the school and district level. — Joshua F. Lawrence, assistant professor, University of California, Irvine

This compelling book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date view of adolescent literacy for multiple audiences: teachers, administrators and curriculum leaders, teacher educators, and researchers. It raises awareness of the importance of literacy as a foundation for learning in all content areas and as a means of ensuring that all high school graduates are college- and career-ready. It elaborates on the complex nature of adolescent literacy, which requires students to read challenging texts, to reflect with others on their meaning, and to engage in high-level reading, writing, and thinking. Adolescent Literacy provides both a solid theoretical framework of adolescent literacy and practical ideas for developing and implementing literacy programs for adolescent learners. — Rita M. Bean, professor emerita, University of Pittsburgh

The Harvard Educational Review special issue on adolescent literacy remains one of the most comprehensive treatments of the topic, and its publication as a book is a most welcome development. It offers a wide range of perspectives on a topic central to preparing young people for career, education, and citizenship in the 21st century. Part of what makes the volume so genuinely comprehensive and special is its inclusion of topics like writing and adolescent literacy in out-of-school contexts, as well as the more traditional topics of disciplinary literacy and cognitive strategies. Adolescent Literacy is an invaluable contribution to a crucially important field. — Gina Biancarosa, assistant professor, University of Oregon

Complacency about the strength of higher education greatly threatens future prosperity and the quality of life in the United States. Financing American Higher Education identifies the principal challenge of broadly increasing educational attainment, and it offers a clear and encyclopedic view of the policies and practices that must change to meet it. Political and educational leaders of the 21st century need to read this book. — Paul E. Lingenfelter, president, State Higher Education Executive Officers

The U.S. higher education financing system faces serious challenges. This very readable book looks clearly at these challenges, and it is packed with data and a deep understanding of the history of higher education in America. The authors’ agenda for change deserves serious consideration by anyone interested in the future of higher education. — Robert Archibald, chancellor professor of economics, College of William and Mary

American higher education faces an accountability revolution driven by cost, competition, technology, and globalization. Financing American Higher Education presents the historical context, the current policy challenges, and a future agenda for this vital sector of the American economy. If you care about how our nation invests in our future human capital, you will find this book indispensable. — Charles Kolb, president, Committee for Economic Development

Savitz-Romer and Bouffard have written a much-needed book that captures and highlights the intersections of adolescent development, community-building, and college readiness. This book should be read by all educators, particularly school counselors and K-12 school-based college counselors, interested in helping youth reach their academic potential. Well done! — Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, professor and vice dean of academic affairs, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University

Ready, Willing, and Able is a must-read for everyone (and I mean everyone) who believes that there is more to helping young people become ready for college, work, and life than improving reading competency and mastering the FAFSA application. This book helps explain and address the missing piece: supporting adolescent development. I can’t remember the last time I read a professional book that taught and inspired as masterfully as this one does. I read it cover to cover and made notes in the margin. Thanks to the authors, help for young people is on the way. — Karen J. Pittman, cofounder, president, and CEO, The Forum for Youth Investment

How do we get our kids to and through college? For starters, read this book! For too long we have tried to help our students without understanding the profound developmental changes they are going through. This important work illustrates the complex challenges that adolescents face and offers important strategies and insights to help them flourish. — Jeffrey C. Riley, superintendent-receiver, Lawrence (Mass.) Public Schools, and former chief innovation officer, Boston Public Schools

Teaching is an art, but it’s one that can be improved with science. Based on what we have learned in the field of psychology, The Behavior Code gives teachers the tools to transform the behavior patterns of some of their most challenging students. By using this essential book, teachers—instead of punishing or writing off troubled students—can get them onto a path for success. — Geoffrey Canada, president and ceo, Harlem Children’s Zone

The Behavior Code is truly a godsend. Concisely written and easy to read, this book offers a framework for creating successful behavioral plans. I predict that once teachers and principals begin to apply the authors’ approach for understanding and changing problematic behavior, they’ll never look elsewhere for help again. Buy it, read it, use it, read it again and again—and pass it on! — William S. Pollack, associate clinical professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

This book is an essential guide for teachers and school personnel who find themselves in daily contact with students presenting with difficult behaviors. The authors outline an intervention procedure that is easily implemented in a busy classroom with multiple demands. Too often, behavioral intervention plans require so much attention to detail that teachers soon decide to disengage. Not so with the FAIR plan. By providing clear instructions and helpful examples, the authors promote a plan that prevents inappropriate behaviors while reinforcing socially acceptable alternatives. — LeAdelle Phelps, professor of counseling/school psychology, University at Buffalo, SUNY

The Behavior Code needs to be read by all teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents! The message is simple: our students’ challenging behaviors will continue if we only provide them with punishment- and reward-based consequences. Our job as caregivers is to understand our students’ dilemmas and teach them better coping strategies. The authors do not shy away from difficult topics, such as the students who say, ‘I don’t care,’ or who demonstrate sexualized behavior. This book is complete with supportive advice for teachers dealing with the challenging student and worksheets for organizing one’s own teaching around the FAIR Plan thoroughly described in this book. Waste no more time spinning your wheels with challenging students; allow yourself to be guided by the interventions articulated so well in the pages of this book. — Michelle Garcia Winner, founder, Social Thinking®

The Behavior Code is filled with wise and very concrete suggestions for K–6 educators and school counselors. This book insightfully illuminates the nature of anxious, oppositional, withdrawn, and overly sexualized behaviors. And it provides detailed, helpful suggestions that support school personnel anticipating and addressing these kind of challenging—and often, overwhelming—behaviors. — Jonathan Cohen, preside