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This review is from: Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea, and the School That Beat the Odds (Hardcover)
As both a teacher, and a student of urban education policy, this look at the struggles of a charter school in downtown San Jose is a welcome addition to the urban ed canon. From the tone, it is clear that Jacobs admires the leaders of the school, Greg Lippman and Jennifer Andaluz, and the work they do. That's not to say the book is overly subjective. On the contrary, the writing seems to reflect Jacobs' roots as a journalist, as the book is ethnographic in nature. The title alone implies that the book will have a positive bent but the downs are shared as often as the ups. Probably, the most valuable lesson to be learned from this story has nothing to do with charter schools but with the virtues of tenacity, perserverance, teamwork and building a culture of achievement. I am tempted to compare Jacobs to Mike Rose, whose books, Lives on the Boundary and Possible Lives, share the same tone of respectful observation and ethnographic professionalism. This book is definitely going on the shelf next to his books. The book is well-written, with a clear voice that is enjoyable to "listen" to.
(My only gripe about the book is that the discussion of grades comes up quite frequently but there is no mention of how grades are computed, what grading methods the teachers used, etc...so it is hard to judge how reliable the DCP GPA statistics are, since grading, by nature, tends to be highly subjective and vulnerable to the expectations of individual teachers.)
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Initial post: Jul 21, 2011 10:34:31 AM PDT
Ingrid Lorenz says:
"As both a teacher, and a student of urban education policy, this look at the struggles of a charter school..."
"This look" is "a teacher?" And "a student?" Clearly, the reviewer is a teacher of something other than English composition. Gender studies, no doubt. Or logic, perhaps.
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