Cover image for Lessons of hope : how to fix our schools
Title:
Lessons of hope : how to fix our schools
Author:
Klein, Joel I., 1946-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2014]
Physical Description:
xix, 292 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"In this revealing and thoughtful memoir, the former chancellor of the New York City schools offers the behind-the-scenes story of the city's dramatic campaign to improve public education and an inspiring blueprint for national reform. In 2002, New York City's newly elected mayor, Michael Bloomberg, began his first term with a controversial announcement: his administration had won control of the city's school system in a first step toward reversing its precipitous decline. 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"--
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780062268648
Format :
Book

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Central Library LA339.N5 K54 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

New York Times Bestseller (Education)

The Economist Best Books of the Year Selection

In this revealing and provocative memoir, the former chancellor of the New York City schools offers the behind-the-scenes story of the city's dramatic campaign to improve public education and an inspiring blueprint for national reform.

In 2002 New York City's newly elected mayor, Michael Bloomberg, made a historic announcement: his administration had won control of the city's school system in a first step toward reversing its precipitous decline. In a controversial move, he appointed Joel Klein, an accomplished lawyer from outside the education establishment, to lead this ambitious 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 a status quo that didn't work for kids. Klein's initiatives resulted in more school choice, higher graduation rates, and improved test scores. The New York City model is now seen as a national standard for meaningful school reform. But the journey was not easy. Klein faced resistance and conflict at every turn.

Lessons of Hope lays bare the problems plaguing public education and shows how they can be solved. At its core lies Klein's personal story: his humble upbringing in Brooklyn and Queens, and the key role that outstanding public school teachers played in nurturing his success. Engaging and illuminating, Lessons of Hope is essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of American public education.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In 2002, when New York mayor Michael Bloomberg took control of the dysfunctional public school system, he named Klein, a lawyer with no background in education, to head the reform. As chancellor, Klein spent the next eight years battling with the teachers' union and critics of the charter-school movement. Klein's strategy was to seize control of the school system, shut down dozens of failing schools and replace them with smaller schools (often charter schools), grant greater power to principals, and introduce more innovation (and funding) to schools that emphasized the use of technology. Klein looks back on the tumultuous battle in the school system as well as his own humble background, including education in the public schools, to offer a perspective on how so many public school systems have deteriorated and what can be done about it. Klein examines issues of teacher qualifications, accountability, and equity that guarantees a sound education to all public school students. An insightful memoir by a major figure in the public education reform movement.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2014 Booklist


Library Journal Review

In 2002, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed lawyer Klein chancellor of the NYC Department of Education. With numerous problems plaguing the organization, Klein set about creating a team and structure that could address the issues preventing the city's classrooms from finding success. By focusing on increased accountability and eliminating political roadblocks during his years as chancellor (August 2002-January 2011), Klein and his team were able to turn the school system around, realizing higher graduation rates and improved test scores. The intent of this book is to offer a critical and in-depth look at these years in the form of a self-reflective autobiography. Klein presents an honest rundown of the challenges he faced and is very forthright in his portrayals of everyone involved in the process. Overall, this account provides a vision of schooling that is not highly generalizable; however, the author's fascinating commentary on himself as an individual and on education politics as a whole is engaging. VERDICT For readers with a strong interest in the landscape of education politics, who aren't necessarily looking for practical solutions for their own educational dilemmas. [See Prepub Alert, 6/2/14.] Rachel Wadham, Brigham Young Univ. Libs., Provo, UT (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

In an era when school reform initiatives seem never ending, few insightful memoirs are available from those who have led reform efforts. Klein, former chancellor of the New York Department of Education, attempts to remedy this gap with his book. Organized into 13 chapters, the volume details former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial attempt to reshape New York City's public schools when he appointed Klein to lead his campaign. The chapters cover the philosophy undergirding Klein's particular type of disruptive reorganization, a history of his efforts, financial considerations, dealings with teacher unions, and attempts to create leaders to run the schools. Klein's turgid style makes reading these chapters rough going. In addition, he seems more concerned with denigrating teachers, name-dropping, and venerating largely discredited industrial titans such as General Electric's Jack Welch than setting forth a cogent and compelling view of what the public schools could be. Although Klein disparages critics who question his successes, he does not rebut them. Much more balanced accounts of school reform are available in Larry Cuban's As Good As It Gets: What School Reform Brought to Austin (2010) and Michael Fullan and Alan Boyle's Big-City School Reform: Lessons from New York, Toronto, and London (2014). Summing Up: Not recommended. --Stephen T. Schroth, Towson University


Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1 Beforep. 1
2 Everybody Deserves a Good Educationp. 15
3 No One Knows Anythingp. 33
4 A System of Great Schoolsp. 49
5 Children Firstp. 77
6 Dollars and Sensep. 95
7 The Zombie Bureaucracyp. 119
8 A Deal Worth Fighting Forp. 149
9 Making Leadersp. 167
10 Overcoming the Fear Factorp. 189
11 Relentlessp. 215
12 Change That Enduresp. 245
13 Choosing Hopep. 267
Postscriptp. 285
Acknowledgmentsp. 291

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