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Lessons of Hope: How to Fix Our Schools Hardcover – November 4, 2014
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“Joel Klein’s grasp of how critically linked a child’s education is to his or her success in life, and what that means for the future of America, make this book a great and important read.” (former Florida Governor Jeb Bush)
Joel Klein has emerged from the bureaucracy to tell in personal, vivid detail what happened when he and his colleagues attempted to transform the country’s largest school system. (Amanda Ripley, bestselling author of The Smartest Kids in the World)
A book that is inspiring as it is informative about the state of modern education. I hope every parent and teacher in the U.S. reads it. (Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the "Freakonomics" series and host of Freakonomics Radio)
Lessons of Hope is a bracing reminder of the need to improve America’s schools so we can deliver on the promise of a great education for everyone. (Bill Gates)
This important book is of great value for families making decisions about schools and for policymakers and advocates who are determined to improve our nation’s systems of schools. (Senator Cory A. Booker)
“Lessons of Hope is often a compelling account of how determined leadership can remove obstacles to change, and Klein offers a strong defense of his work as an effective leader of reform.” (Daily Beast)
“Anyone interested in improving public school systems and learning about the Orwellian nature of contemporary political discourse should read Joel Klein’s Lessons of Hope. (Center on Reinventing Public Education)
“Lessons of Hope is unique in the education reform genre, joined perhaps only by Steve Brill’s Class Warfare.The education space is full of policy wonks, but it’s rare to get such insight from the inner trenches of the political battles fought to implement that policy.” (Huffington Post)
About the Author
Joel Klein served as chancellor of the New York City Department of Education from 2002 to 2011. Earlier in his career, he served as U.S. assistant attorney general in charge of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, deputy White House counsel during the Clinton administration, and CEO of the U.S. headquarters of Bertelsmann. He currently serves as executive vice president at News Corporation and CEO of its education division, Amplify. He lives in New York City with his wife, Nicole Seligman.
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Top Customer Reviews
Imagine the courage it took to take over the nationâ€™s largest school district--one that was already suffering from low graduation rates, gang violence bleeding into the classrooms, and faculty close to their breaking point. Joel Klein accepted that challenge from Mayor Bloomberg, and took on the education of over one million kids. He was charged by the Mayor to reform NYC schools and transform the dysfunctional ones in high poverty areas into a nationwide model for improved public education.
In his eight years as Chancellor of NYC schools, Joel Klein not only demonstrated perseverance, but proved radical reform could succeed amidst formidable political challenges and strong resistance to change from the politicians, bureaucrats, teachers' union and other self-serving special interest groups.
This book captures Kleinâ€™s courage, wisdom, and humility during his implementation of an effective blueprint for change. Klein's laser-like analysis of the situation in education comes early in the book. He describes matters this way:
â€œFrom the day I became chancellor, many people told me, â€˜Youâ€™ll never fix education in America until you fix poverty.â€™ Iâ€™ve always believed that the reverse is true: Weâ€™ll never fix poverty until we fix education.â€
And later he adds: "School systems in America are government-run monopolies dominated by unions and political interest and not subject to the kinds of accountability and competitive incentives that breed successful organizations.Read more ›
He addresses frequently cited excuses for poor educational quality (such as lack of money) and presents viable solutions.
For an example of a school that did not work and where discipline was enforced by fear, take a look at Linton Hall Military School Memories: One Cadet's Memoir
Then he left and the teachers union took over the system again very quickly. Except now parents have expectations for choice and quality in education. Too bad for them, unless they get into a charter school, Klein's primary legacy, or a magnet or special school that you have to test into. The unions plan to get rid of them too, all schools should be equally bad, in their view, that is fairness.
Anyone interested in the education of children would do well to read this book, as it demonstrates how much progress can be made in a huge system, relatively quickly by bold, decisive innovation. It's a candid and honest behind-the-scenes look at reform which worked and the obstacles, successes, and mistakes along the way.
I'm happy to know, as revealed by the end chapter, that Mr. Klein has continued to work in the education field, in a way which could very well positively affect my present teaching position.
A great book by a great man.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Haven't read it yet-----------the reviews pulled me to the book--------looking forward to reading it, soon-----Published 2 months ago by BillN
Good book reflecting an important point of view and approach to improving schools.Published 3 months ago by Jim Defronzo - Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements; The Iraq War
Bought this for my girlfriend for a Christmas present, and her dad bought her the exact same book. If he thought it was a good book, and I thought it was a good book, it must be a... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ben Marvin
This book offered me unique and powerful insights into the American public education expirement.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
It provided a nice counter perspective to some of the conservative, anti-charter movement that is out there. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
A enjoyable read on a very serous subject! Many great ideas of ways to improve our schools in practical way's by someone that has done it.Published 12 months ago by CR
I want to thank you so much for your dedication to educating our kids and challenging the status quo. Read more
Good review of this book by J. Zimmerman in the NY Review of Books. Mayor Bloomberg put Klein in charge of NY public schools and he ran them from 02 thru end of 10. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Trent Vaughn
The basic message was good. Too much space used to cover details of organization. There should have been a one page summary of their findings and not leave it up to the reader to... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Arnold T.Lee