The Emergency Teacher: The Inspirational Story of a New Teacher in an Inner City School


Christina Asquith - 2005
    Told with striking humor and honesty, her story begins when the School District of Philadelphia, in desperate need of 1,500 new teachers, instituted a policy of hiring “emergency certified” instructors. Asquith, then a 25-year-old reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, joined their untrained ranks. More challenging than her classroom in the crime-infested neighborhood known as “the Badlands” are the trials she faced outside, including a corrupt principal, the politics that prevented a million-dollar grant from reaching her students, and the administration’s shocking insistence that teachers maintain the appearance of success in the face of utter defeat—even if it means falsifying test scores. Her story will inspire, educate, and entertain.

Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know about Schools and Rediscover Education


Clark Aldrich - 2010
    They are identifying new methods and goals that are powerful, born of common sense, and incompatible with today's schools. The author, education expert Clark Aldrich, has explored the cultures and practices of homeschoolers and unschoolers. He has distilled a list of rules that shake the foundations of national education to its core.

Get Up or Give Up: How I Almost Gave Up on Teaching


Michael Bonner - 2017
    Poulson, inspired him. The professor’s passion and love for teaching prompted Michael to change his major and his life’s direction. But nothing prepared Michael for the reality of a Title One school. Teaching is fun until a 7-year-old is assaulting you or you’re dodging furniture being thrown at you. When you mix the craziness of a classroom with a marriage that was about to implode, anyone might want to quit. Smiling on the outside while feeling dead on the inside took this dedicated teacher to the breaking point. Michael knew he must change what was inside him, in his approach to life, or nothing would change anywhere else. So Michael took matters into his own hands to make four key paradigm shifts that helped him create a world of successful learning for his students and love within both the classroom and beyond. The result has been a transformation that’s taken Michael far beyond the classroom as he inspires thousands across the country. Many agree teaching is an amazing profession but there’s little discussion why so many teachers are leaving the profession. Get Up or Give Up: How I Almost Gave Up on Teaching shines a light into the internal battles and decisions educators face daily, and how we must make a conscious decision either to give in—or push through.

World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements


John Hunter - 2013
    These kids—from high school all the way down to fourth grade, in schools both well funded and underresourced—take on the roles of politicians, tribal leaders, diplomats, bankers, and military commanders. Through battles and negotiations, standoffs and summits, they strive to resolve dozens of complex, seemingly intractable real-world challenges, from nuclear proliferation to tribal warfare, financial collapse to climate change.In World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, Hunter shares the wisdom he’s gleaned from over thirty years teaching the World Peace Game. Here he reveals the principles of successful collaboration that people of any age can apply anywhere. His students show us how to break through confusion, bounce back from failure, put our knowledge to use, and fulfill our potential. Hunter offers not only a forward-thinking report from the front lines of American education, but also a generous blueprint for a world that bends toward cooperation rather than conflict. In this deeply hopeful book, a visionary educator shows us what the future can be.

Born to Rise: A Story of Children and Teachers Reaching Their Highest Potential


Deborah Kenny - 2012
    How did they do it? For the first time, Kenny reveals the secret to creating a powerful workplace culture that attracts the most talented people and brings out their passion and highest performance—a culture that produces stunning student achievement results and teachers who regularly use words like “magical” to describe the workplace environment. It is a must-read for anyone who cares about children and the future of this country and for leaders who want to inspire fierce dedication in their employees.

Lessons of Hope: How Courage, Grit, and Accountability Can Save Our Schools


Joel Klein - 2014
    Joel Klein, an accomplished lawyer completely outside of the education establishment, was selected to lead this ambitious, unprecedented campaign. Lessons of Hope is Klein’s inside account of his eight-year mission of improvement: demanding accountability; eliminating political favoritism; and battling a powerful teachers’ union that seemed determined to protect the worst in its ranks. Klein’s initiative resulted in more school choice, higher graduation rates, and improved test scores. The New York City model is now seen as a national blueprint for meaningful school reform. But the journey was not easy. Klein faced resistance and conflict at every turn.Lessons of Hope serves as a guide to the problems plaguing public education and how they can be solved. At its core lies Klein’s personal story: his humble upbringing in Brooklyn and Queens and the essential role that outstanding public school teachers played in nurturing his success. Provocative and illuminating, Lessons of Hope is essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of American public education.

The Bridge to Brilliance: How One Principal in a Tough Community Is Inspiring the World


Nadia Lopez - 2016
    Everything was an uphill battle--to get the school approved, to recruit faculty and students, to solve a million new problems every day, from violent crime to vanishing supplies--but Lopez was determined to break the downward spiral that had trapped too many inner-city children. The lessons came fast: unengaged teachers, wayward students, and the educational system itself, rarely in tune with the already disadvantaged and underprepared.Things were at a low ebb for everyone when one of her students told a photographer that his principal, "Ms. Lopez," was the person who most influenced his life. The posting on Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York site was the pebble that started a lucky landslide for Lopez and her team. Lopez found herself in the national spotlight and headed for a meeting with President Obama, as well as the beneficiary of a million-dollar campaign for the school, to fund her next dream: a field trip for her students to visit another school--Harvard.The Bridge to Brilliance is a book filled with common sense and caring that will carry her message to communities and classrooms far from Brooklyn. As she says, modestly, "There are hundreds of Ms. Lopezes around this country doing good work for kids. This honors all of them."

Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood


Paula Polk Lillard - 1996
    In detailed accounts, Lillard shows how children acquire the skills to answer their own questions, learn to manage freedom with responsibility, and maintain a high level of intellectual stimulation by using the Montessori method. This is an essential handbook for parents and teachers who have chosen the Montessori alternative for the older child.

Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful: Preventing Exclusion in the Early Elementary Classroom


Donna Bryant Goertz - 2000
    In each case she describes a child's transformation from destructive troublemaker to responsible citizen of the classroom community. Readers will learn how to apply Montessori methods to virtually any early elementary environment.

The Bee Eater: Michelle Rhee Takes on the Nation's Worst School District


Richard Whitmire - 2011
    She has appeared on the cover of Time Magazine, and is currently featured as a hero in the documentary "Waiting for Superman." This is the story of her journey from good-girl daughter of Korean immigrants to tough-minded political game-changer. When Rhee first arrived in Washington, she found a school district that had been so broken for so long, that everyone had long since given up. The book provides an inside view of the union battles, the school closings, and contentious community politics that have been the subject of intense public interest and debate ? along with a rare look at Rhee's upbringing and life before DC.Rhee has been featured in the documentary "Waiting for Superman" Rhee's story points to a fresh way of addressing school improvement Addresses fundamental problems in our current education system, and the politics of leadership The book includes an insert with photos from Rhee's personal and professional life, and an "exit" interview that sheds light on what she's learned and where the future might take her.

Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform


Jean Anyon - 1997
    She argues that without fundamental change in government and business policies and the redirection of major resources back into the schools and the communities they serve, urban schools are consigned to failure, and no effort at raising standards, improving teaching, or boosting achievement can occur. Based on her participation in an intensive four-year school reform project in the Newark, New Jersey public schools, the author vividly captures the anguish and anger of students and teachers caught in the tangle of a failing school system. Ghetto Schooling offers a penetrating historical analysis of more than a century of government and business policies that have drained the economic, political and human resources of urban populations. This book reveals the historical roots of the current crisis in ghetto schools and what must be done to reverse the downward spiral.

Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach for Dramatically Improving Instruction


Jim Knight - 2010
    Award-winning author Jim Knight provides tangible tools for translating staff members' joy of learning into high-leverage practices that achieve dramatic results. Characteristics of Impact Schools include: A focused, clearly defined improvement plan that takes into account the complexity of teaching and learning relationships A school culture that encourages enrollment in ongoing professional development Alignment of purpose and actions among all staff members

Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America’s Children


Sarah Carr - 2013
    Her family, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, returns home to find a radically altered public education system. Geraldlynn's parents hope their daughter's new school will prepare her for college--but the teenager has ideals and ambitions of her own.Aidan is a fresh-faced Harvard grad drawn to New Orleans by the possibility of bringing change to a flood-ravaged city. He teaches at an ambitious charter school with a group of newcomers determined to show the world they can use science, data, and hard work to build a model school.Mary Laurie is a veteran educator who becomes principal of one of the first public high schools to reopen after Katrina. Laurie and her staff find they must fight each day not only to educate the city's teenagers, but to keep the Walker community safe and whole.In this powerful narrative non-fiction debut, the lives of these three characters provide readers with a vivid and sobering portrait of education in twenty-first-century America. Hope Against Hope works in the same tradition as Random Family and There Are No Children Here to capture the challenges of growing up and learning in a troubled world.

The Education of Eva Moskowitz: A Memoir


Eva Moskowitz - 2017
    A born and bred New Yorker, former City Councilmember, and "charter czarina," Moskowitz has taken on powerful unions and politicians to establish and grow her astonishingly effective and popular charter school program in four of the city’s five boroughs.In this unabashedly candid memoir, Moskowitz tells of how she became a forward-thinking education entrepreneur and her fight to establish nearly three dozen schools—activism that has made her into one of the most polarizing figures in New York City and beyond. Now, having established a remarkable, even unprecedented, track record for guiding the city’s most disadvantaged children to high academic performance, Moskowitz addresses the battles she has won and lost, writing candidly about the people who seek to undermine her work—most notably New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio—and celebrating the powerful allies who have aided her cause, including former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo.Moskowitz’s insightful memoir is a deeply felt personal story and an impassioned call to action that bluntly identifies failing policies and the alarmingly powerful forces arrayed against improving an education system that is both deeply dysfunctional and prejudiced. The Education of Eva Moskowitz is sure to galvanize supporters, enrage her opponents, generate headlines, and urgently impact the national conversation on education.

Innovate Inside the Box: Empowering Learners Through UDL and the Innovator's Mindset


George Couros - 2019
    Every educator faces constraints—from budget restrictions to predetermined curriculum to “one-size-fits-all” mandatory assessments. The question is, how can you, as a teacher or administrator, ensure that regulations and limitations don’t impede authentic learning?In Innovate Inside the Box, George Couros and Katie Novak provide informed insight on creating purposeful learning opportunities for all students. By combining the power of the Innovator's Mindset and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), they empower educators to create opportunities that will benefit every learner. Couros and Novak show you how to . . . Leverage the Core of Innovative Teaching and Learning with a focus on developing meaningful relationships. Develop the 8 Characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset in your students—and yourself. Use UDL to proactively design learning experiences that foster voice and choice while addressing barriers that impede learning. Create learner-driven, evidence-informed learning experiences that provide all students with options and choices to maximize success. “If you’re looking to bring creativity to student learning amid all the constraints educators face, this is the book for you.”—Daniel Pink, author of Drive“No one articulates a more compelling, a more urgent, or a more motivating vision of education—for both teachers and their students—than George Couros. No one articulates how that vision can be reached—for every student and teacher—more daringly, more practically, and more inclusively, than Katie Novak. Having them together in one book not only helps us reimagine the goals and practices of education, it reminds us of why we ever wanted to be teachers at all.”—David Rose, PhD, CAST's cofounder and chief education officer, emeritus“An incredible book! Innovate Inside the Box speaks to educators who are the change agents in their sphere of influence.”—Sarah Thomas, PhD, founder of EduMatch“George and Katie's combined talents as spectacular storytellers drive this book. You will feel like you are flying through it and then realize how deeply you are learning.”—Loui Lord Nelson, PhD, author of Design and Deliver, and podcast host of UDL in 15 Minutes