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Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story Paperback – April 23, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

''In Zero Chance of Passage, Ember Reichgott Junge delivers a fascinating and detailed account of the bipartisan movement to revive the American education system.''--President Bill Clinton, Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States

''Zero Chance of Passage--written by one of the founders of chartered schools--grows more fascinating with every page. I found myself saying 'I didn't know that!' dozens of times while reading Ember Reichgott Junge's compelling history.''--John Merrow, Education Correspondent, PBS NewsHour

''Ember's book celebrates Minnesota's courage to innovate and offers valuable lessons for policymakers to see the art of possibility for America's youth.''--Don Shalvey, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

''With Zero Chance of Passage, Ember Reichgott Junge demonstrates that she is a talented storyteller as well as a skillful legislator. She brings personalities and ideas to life. Zero Chance offers an object lesson to any would-be engineer of systemic change.''--Lori Sturdevant, Editorial Writer and Columnist, Star Tribune

''Ember's book gives teachers hope for being able to make needed changes in our public schools.'' -- --Milo Cutter, Founder, City Academy High School

About the Author

Ember Reichgott Junge served in the Minnesota Senate from 1983 to 2000, having been first elected at age twenty-nine. She served over twenty years as a general counsel for Twin Cities businesses and nonprofits before becoming chief advancement officer of Minnesota's largest human services nonprofit.

She is a broadcast political analyst, former radio host, and a member of the National Charter Schools Hall of Fame. Ember is board vice chair of Charter Schools Development Corporation, and her board service has included the Minneapolis Chapter of the American Red Cross, Twin Cities United Way, Citizens Independent Bank, and National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Ember received her BA from St. Olaf College, JD from Duke University Law School, and MBA from University of St. Thomas.

Ember is an avid ballroom dancer and most enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael Junge.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Beaver's Pond Press (April 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592984762
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592984763
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,278,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Former Minnesota State Senator Ember Reichgott Junge is the author of Minnesota's 1991 first-in-nation charter school law, which was a winner of the 2000 Innovations in American Government Award from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. The 18-year legislator served as Senate Assistant Majority Leader before stepping down from senate service in 2000.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the first charter legislation, Reichgott Junge wrote the history of the origins of chartering from 1988 through 1992 in her book: Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story. The book was released June 19-22, 2012 at the National Charter Schools Conference in Minneapolis.

Sen. Reichgott Junge is a national spokesperson on charter public schools, including appearances with President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and U.S. Education Secretaries Richard Riley and Lamar Alexander; and two national conversations of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). She was honored by Business Week Magazine in its 1992 Special Edition "Reinventing America" as one of "Six Local Heroes Making a Difference" in sponsoring one of the "most innovative experiments in the nation." Sen. Reichgott Junge also sponsored into law the first public school open enrollment initiative in the country (1988), allowing students to attend public schools of choice anywhere in Minnesota.

Reichgott Junge has continued her involvement with charter public schools as a board member of the Washington D.C. based National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (retired, 2008), and current board member of Washington D.C. based Charter Schools Development Corporation (CSDC), which is copublisher of Zero Chance of Passage. She was inducted into the National Charter Schools Hall of Fame in April, 2008.

For over twenty years Ms. Reichgott Junge practiced business and nonprofit law with The General Counsel, Ltd., before becoming an executive of a large human services nonprofit in 2007. Reichgott Junge is also a television political analyst, former radio host and editorial writer. Her board service has included Citizens Independent Bank, Twin Cities United Way, and the Minneapolis Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Ember received her BA from St. Olaf College, JD from Duke University Law School, and MBA from University of St. Thomas. She is an avid ballroom dancer and most enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael Junge.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ashley on May 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ember has made great developments in education through her work with charter schools and the accompanying legislation. A fantastic read that truly makes you appreciate the impact her work has had.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary on July 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
I decided to read Zero Chance of Passage after realizing that my skepticism about charter schools was based on lack of knowledge. Zero Chance provided that knowledge. It is a well organized documentation of a movement that began with civic leaders of stature at the grass roots level, progressed through the legislative process, gained bipartisan support to succeed in belying the book's title, and went on to establish the initial charter schools. Ms Reichgott Junge discusses not only history of the Minnesota story, but the concurrent national movement. The history of education is one of a centuries-old evolution. The concept of charter schools is no more a final or dramatic answer to all challenges facing the delivery of education services today, but it is a way of providing innovation, flexibility, and choice within the public school system. Zero Chance of Passage is good background for an important step in this evolution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chuck on June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ember - I read your book last week and I loved it. If you can believe this, I found it to be a real "page turner." Seriously, it was a wonderful discussion of charter schools, but more importantly, a view of the legislative process and a young woman's journey into that morass. Well done.

Chuck
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I have been personally involved in the world of school choice since high school, when the only "choice" I had was a large, impersonal, "one-size-fits-all" traditional school, or private education. Reichgott Junge reminds us that true "choice" only exists when there are excellent and varied options within public education. She was instrumental in bringing together educational visionaries and politicians courageous enough to challenge the status quo, which was leaving our youth behind. Even though I have been actively involved in the charter school world for 17 years, I found her story of the foundation of public charter schools inspiring and informational. This is a must read for all of us committed to public school choice, as well as for those involved in traditional public school systems. Reichgott Junge reminds us that chartered public education should seen as an extension of, and creative opportunity within, public education, despite critics' deeply held, fear-based view of school choice as a threat.
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