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Mount Pleasant: My Journey from Creating a Billion-Dollar Company to Teaching at a Struggling Public High School Hardcover – April 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; First Edition edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843456
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843450
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,203,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review



About the Author

Steve Poizner is a leading Republican candidate in the California gubernatorial race. He's currently California's Insurance Commissioner and also a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition, he's a former White House Fellow who worked for the National Security Council; a successful entrepreneur who started two industry-changing technology companies; and a co-founder of the California Charter Schools Association. He lives with his wife and daughter in northern California. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Steve Poizner is a leading Republican candidate in the California gubernatorial race. He's currently California's Insurance Commissioner and also a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition, he's a former White House Fellow, who worked for the National Security Council; a successful entrepreneur who started two industry-changing technology companies; and a co-founder of the California Charter Schools Association. He lives with his wife and daughter in northern California.

Visit www.stevepoizner.com

Customer Reviews

I just got back from the Discussion / Book Signing for Mount Pleasant at the Eastridge mall.
Kathy R.
Mount Pleasant High School is not up to the standards of the rich suburbs and has some systemic problems but nothing like the High School Steve Poizner describes.
William Jakel
Not only is this book an obvious exploitive attempt to promote Steve Poizner's political ambitions, the book is poorly written and full of cliches.
Fire Fighter 1963

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Fire Fighter 1963 on April 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Not only is this book an obvious exploitive attempt to promote Steve Poizner's political ambitions, the book is poorly written and full of cliches. This book is a rip off of every teaching movie ever made.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Zeke Camden on April 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Steve Poizner's book seems to describe a school that is a creation of his own imagination. It bears almost no resemblance to the actual Mount Pleasant school -- as anyone who lives there, or is familiar with the area, will tell you.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By tarte on April 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I know the area. It's nothing like "Dangerous Minds". It's despicable that it could be misrepresented in such a way. This is gross manipulation aimed at stroking an elitist's pompous, inflated image of himself. Using lies to argue for a cause, no matter how noble, is never right. Using lies to stroke one's ego and promote self interest is unforgivable. Don't buy this book. It's a work of fiction.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By MarksWayne on May 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Billionaire gives back to community. Puh-lease.

It's more like billionaire wants to look good to run for Governor by getting some "street-cred." Never mind that his "cred" was totally inflated and inaccurate. I found this book not only offensive to the real work being done in American schools, but dangerously misleading and disingenuous. Oh, I should probably mention that the Capitol Weekly reported that the Poizner campaign bought huge numbers of his own book to boost his sales. ([...])

For the whole story, listen to the This American Life story on Poizner: [...].

Bottom line: DO NOT BUY THIS SPURIOUS DRIVEL.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nicole E. Wood on August 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Another reviewer thinks the negative reviews are a "hurt feelings" kind of reaction. Let me be specific. I'm from Chicago. I listen to NPR. I went to a magnet high school. I have no investment in "the ghetto" or whatever.

I listened to the episode of This American Life where they reviewed this book. I've respected Poizner's work as a businessman so when I listened to the show, I was shocked so I picked up the book to read it for myself.

It's really simple. Basically Mount Pleasant high school according to Poizner, is a terrible terrible place to be and a product of negligent and corrupt education system. However, Mount Pleasant according to Google is a middle-class neighborhood with very average ratings, slightly skewed because they have a large Latino student body that doesn't do so well in English.

Have you ever watched the OC? They portray Chino as East LA when it's more like East Lansing - Michigan. It's kind of like that. He actually mentions in the book that he was expecting a "Stand and Deliver" kind of moment where he would save the ghetto children and deliver them from his imagination. You're better off watching Dangerous Minds if you're looking for insight into our failing public school system. There are schools that are failing. Chicago for instance has some pretty awful schools with very depressing graduation rates.

If you're looking for insight into the economic class differences, read Ruby Kane.

This book reads like a business self-help book but it's content is entirely fictional. I'm glad I check it out from a library instead of paying for it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By skim172 on October 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I approach this review the same way I would grade a student essay. If a student presents an essay as factually-based work, but many of the specific details and descriptions and the general tone are incorrect or misleading, then that student would merit a zero. He or she would also be in for serious academic discipline.

That is the problem with this work. Poizner's conclusions may be appealing or valid, but are, in total, discredited as he draws them based on false premises and fictitious characterizations.

In case this is not common knowledge, Poizner's book was severely criticized by the staff and students of Mount Pleasant, as well as the residents of the surrounding neighborhood. They claimed that his depiction of Mount Pleasant as a gang-infested school where students had to dodge bullets, and his classes filled with impoverished slackers, ne'er-do-wells, and criminals, was entirely inaccurate. Subsequent investigation has vindicated these claims and Poizner's book has now been widely lambasted by reputable publications and academic institutions. While his characterizations are subjective truths, the raw economic data reveals that the neighborhood around Mount Pleasant is hardly a desperate inner-city ghetto (for example, the average home value in the area places it squarely in the middle class). Furthermore, the school itself is actually above-average compared to most schools in the same economic bracket in the region. Poizner's own students had some the best GPA's in the school; among them was a future valedictorian. Though some of Poizner's former colleagues at Mount Pleasant defend his character, they agree that he got many of the details wrong. It is important to remember that Poizner was only at the school for a single semester.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Oakwood Reader on May 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Steve Poizner's (2010) memoir of teaching in San Jose consistently blamed the students in his class for their lack of performance, motivation, and ambition, never once considering that perhaps he was just a rookie teacher with a lot to learn. Why would he react this way, despite the fact that the school upholds the belief that each child can succeed? How did his motivations to take that job influence the attributions he was making? Perhaps it was to boost his image, in preparation for his run for Senate - in which case he was likely shocked, and saddened, by his lack of efficacy, as he traditionally enjoyed great success in his professional endeavors. However, if he was motivated by a genuine interest in learning more about public education, or trying, in his small part, to give back - would we have expected a different attribution process? Perhaps acting more self-reflectively or blaming structural impediments or other individuals than the clients themselves? Millions of individuals enter into professions that try to address inequality in some way, that try to make a difference. These professions are often rewarded with little material compensation, but promise much emotional compensation. The first question is how his motivations influence the attributions he made following his failure in the classroom. The second question moves more broadly to ask how these processes of motivation and attribution influence and interact with broader institutional knowledge regarding the professional domain. And the third question asks whether, being a profession with high emotional compensation, it enables different motivations for entering the profession, and holds different accountability structures within which attributions processes occur. When Steve Poizner was working at SnapTrack, would he have consistently blamed his clients, or would he have sought other avenues within which to attribute his failure?
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