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Alternative To What?: The true story of a principal's first assignment at an Alternative Magnet School in the nation's 2nd largest school district Paperback – January 18, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (January 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468501402
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468501407
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,471,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Jeanne E. Hon has had a rewarding (and she says hilarious) career with the nation's second largest school district, Los Angeles Unified School District. Married at seventeen (causing her parents considerable hysteria), she worked as a secretary to put her young World War II veteran-husband through college. She then entered college herself, and to her husband's surprise, attended for the next twelve years, simultaneously achieving many university degrees and a son and daughter. (He wasn't surprised about the son and daughter) Her experiences as a psychologist, counselor, coordinator of the gifted, principal, and administrative consultant afforded her a wonderful opportunity to view educational reform, integration, innovation and chaos. She has been a lecturer at the university level since 1974, giving her the opportunity to view education from both theoretical and practical aspects. She has had too many awards to mention, from being selected as The L.A. Times' Teacher-of-the-Year to the "Honor of Excellence" Program, cosponsored by the National Association of School Principals and the Council of Chief State Officers, recognizing the outstanding principal from each state. (She states, "With my usual luck, the President of the United States was unable to present the award, and at the last minute Vice-President Dan Quayle presented the award in his place") She felt that her most interesting assignment was as a State Department lecturer. Requested by the United States State Department to lecture throughout West Africa to the Peace Corps and Secondary Teachers, she was part of an educational reform process that Senegal embarked upon. Although she has had numerous articles published in prestigious educational journals, this is her first foray into narrative: relating her particular experiences-informative, shocking, and humorous-in the fledgling magnet program at a K through 12 Alternative School in LAUSD.

More About the Author

Dr. Jeanne E. Hon has had a rewarding (and she says hilarious) career with the nation's second largest school district, Los Angeles Unified School District. Married at seventeen (causing her parents considerable hysteria), she worked as a secretary to put her young World War II veteran-husband through college. She then entered college herself, and to her husband's surprise, attended for the next twelve years, simultaneously achieving many university degrees and a son and daughter. (He wasn't surprised about the son and daughter!) Her experiences as a psychologist, counselor, coordinator of the gifted, principal, and administrative consultant afforded her a wonderful opportunity to view educational reform, integration, innovation and chaos.
She has been a lecturer at the university level since 1974, giving her the opportunity to view education from both theoretical and practical aspects. She has had too many awards to mention, from being selected as The L.A. Times' Teacher-of-the-Year to the "Honor of Excellence" Program, cosponsored by the National Association of School Principals and the Council of Chief State Officers, recognizing the outstanding principal from each state. (She states, "With my usual luck, the President of the United States was unable to present the award, and at the last minute Vice-President Dan Quayle presented the award in his place.")
She felt that her most interesting assignment was as a State Department lecturer. Requested by the United States State Department to lecture throughout West Africa to the Peace Corps and Secondary Teachers, she was part of an educational reform process that Senegal embarked upon. Although she has had numerous articles published in prestigious educational journals, this is her first foray into narrative: relating her particular experiences--informative, shocking, and humorous--in the fledgling magnet program at a K through 12 Alternative School in LAUSD. Dr. Hon presently owns an educational consulting firm in Los Angeles, which she started upon her retirement as Principal of "world Famous Hollywood High School," and lives with her long-suffering husband of 62 years.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Cam Mord Sith on March 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
How very absurd! This book is an invalidation of the most spectacular school ever created! AHAS was a gift that most who went there cherish beyond imagining. Ms. Hon's book puts a negative spin on the most positive school experiment of all time.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By maddbag on April 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is full of self-serving trash, and is an insult to the education I received while attending AHAS for seven years. Her sarcasm and constant put-downs throughout is a mirror to her bad character.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jahbad on March 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I love a good book that tells a story or event well and that has its facts straight. A truly well written book takes the time to confirm its details and give sources of the events told within.

Unfortunately, this book isn't one of them.

Dr Hon's writing lacks even the minimum of research and seldom provides accurate details of the tales that she presents as fact. Although she speaks at great length of the history of the school before her arrival, she fails to give the sources of that information instead referring to vague charges and claims as if she has facts in evidence. Her stories of once she took the job as principal show a distinct lack of objectivity as it lists her successes and goes to great lengths to show her in the most positive light possible.

Some bad authors feel the need to gild their accomplishments and blown their own horn. Dr Hon writing sounds more like a brass band trumpeting her battles against her unclean and uncouth enemies of education. This is her right to as free speech must be protected and respected. However, many of the charges made in this book lack details and are questionable at best and outright libel at worst. Several stories told within are pure fantasy and show a total lack of respect for both the staff and students who worked so hard and tried to make a difference.

Some parts of the book would be funny if they were not such outright lies; claiming that the there have been no mailboxes in the school office because it was often filled with dead rats or that a month into the school year, students were still not attending class and that the teachers did not have proper plans for how they would be teaching their classes.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Aileneanne on March 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Tried to get past a paragraph, couldn't do it. What a pack of lies, made up "facts", a work of fiction, by a woman with a self serving blind ambition to climb the LAUSD ladder.
Reminds me of a criminal trying to make a dollar off the innocent from their crimes TO the innocent.
Students, Parents, and a group of compassionate Teachers, who made huge impacts with a Alternative method of education, on hundreds of kids. Most of us, use the values and skills learned back then, in our lives today, and will happily continue doing so.
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