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How It's Being Done: Urgent Lessons from Unexpected Schools

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1934742280
ISBN-10: 1934742287
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Editorial Reviews

Review

If ever there were a book on education that should be read, it is certainly this one…Chenoweth shows us what it takes to beat the odds against adversity and improve student learning and achievement in schools serving disadvantaged children. --from the foreword by Pedro Noguera, New York University

The schools in How It's Being Done exhibit the same hopeful pattern for successful schooling: teachers and leaders who formulate and then actually teach to clear, essential standards; who shun worksheets and movies and who work together to ensure that all students are taught effectively every day, regardless of who their teacher is. This (all too rare) combination cannot fail. --Mike Schmoker, author of Results NOW: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning

From the Back Cover

How It’s Being Done offers direct and much-needed help to educators, providing in-depth accounts of the ways in which unexpected schools—those with high-poverty and high-minority student populations—have dramatically boosted student achievement and diminished (and often eliminated) achievement gaps. How It’s Being Done builds on Karin Chenoweth’s widely hailed “It’s Being Done,” providing more detailed and specific information about how such schools have exceeded expectations and met with unprecedented levels of success. An invaluable contribution to the literature on school reform, How It’s Being Done thoroughly explores how once-struggling schools have exceeded expectations and reached levels of student achievement that all schools—and the nation as a whole—need to attain in the twenty-first century.

“If ever there were a book on education that should be read, it is certainly this one….Chenoweth shows us what it takes to beat the odds against adversity and improve student learning and achievement in schools serving disadvantaged children.” — from the forward by Pedro Noguera, professor of teaching and learning, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

“This encouraging and important book is, above all, a good read. Karin Chenoweth is a thoughtful observer, a keen analyst, and a good storyteller.” — John Merrow, education correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and president, Learning Matters

How It’s Being Done is a must-read for teachers and administrators who are currently struggling to help disadvantaged and at-risk students. There are invaluable lessons and practical strategies for all educators. I believe that all teachers will take away suggestions that will help them become better teachers.” — Paul F. Cain, mathematics and physics teacher, Ysleta High School, El Paso, Texas, and 2008 Texas Teacher of the Year

“The schools in How It’s Being Done exhibit the same hopeful pattern for successful schooling: teachers and leaders who formulate—and then actually teach to—clear, essential standards; who shun worksheets and movies and who work together to ensure that all students are taught effectively every day, regardless of who their teacher is. This (all too rare) combination cannot fail.” — Mike Schmoker, author of Results NOW: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning

Karin Chenoweth is a longtime education writer who currently writes for The Education Trust. She wrote a regular column on schools and education for the Washington Post and was a senior writer and executive editor for Black Issues in Higher Education (now Diverse). She is the author of “It’s Being Done” (Harvard Education Press).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Education Press (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934742287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934742280
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Veronica J. Hinton on October 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
By examining schools where students succeed seemingly against the odds, Chenoweth finds key elements that contribute to a good education. She shows us that students can - and will - achieve high academic goals when teachers and administrators work together to teach to clearly set standards. These are lessons that need to be heeded. Chenoweth's clear writing style leaves one wondering. "why isn't this done more often?" Clearly, it should be. This book should be recommended reading for educators, policy makers and anyone interested in quality education for our children.
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By A Customer on December 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Karin Chenoweth's book gives us a pathway for improving regular public schools at scale. Earlier this year I was the "project journalist" for the Broad Prize for Urban Education. That experience -- looking at entire urban school districts that were succeeding with poor and minority students -- was a reminder of the importance of keeping a focus on improving traditional public schools. Too often I get distracted by the high-flying charter schools and forget about the need for scale. Karin doesn't forget.

Richard Whitmire, author, Why Boys Fail.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book by Chenoweth as she navigates several US schools where students have made dramatic transformations for a variety of reasons. The most interesting thing about this book is perhaps that it is published by Harvard Education Press and has been hailed as a revolutionary study of some specifically successful schools – but the book mainly focuses on very specific anecdotal evidence of fifteen schools where things are going well. Most notable about the book is that – and I repeat myself – this is a mainly anecdotal study on very specific schools that are doing well because of some interventions by administration to make sure the students do well. Anecdotal does not make it evidence of anything, and I think it is curious that it is being marketed as an academic publication and published by HEP... I am not undercutting Chenoweth's extensive work, storytelling, interviewing, and first person observations, but what I really took away from all of this is that that is precisely what that is – factual, but only in very specific situations.

Now, not taking that into consideration, I really enjoyed this book and seeing how many school districts around the country have been able to come together to make some specific changes that have had such expansive positive impact on student achievement in their buildings. It seems that the whole quantitative measure of success for a district seems to hinge on a variety of situations that make the schools that are implementing a variety of successful strategies, but likely work as an economic, cultural, social, ethnic, and geographic biome that is not directly translatable to other schools.
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Format: Paperback
This is a terrific book. It and its predecessor are essential reading for anyone you know involved in education. Considering giving it to your school principal for Christmas.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "How It's Being Done" Karin Chenoweth tells a set of critically important tales of success in environments where few believe that success is possible. The chapters serve as powerful case studies for discussion and action in underperforming schools and powerfully debunk the range of excuses so often made for this underperformance. The bottom line is that the book's conclusion serves as a practical to-do list for turning school around - not easy, not quick, but certainly doable.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very informative research and interesting ,hold your attention educational must read. Every Educator can relate to the different school settings and situations addressed so cadidly in this book
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Format: Paperback
As a former substitute teacher who stood before many different classes wondering "What can I offer them?" I wish that Chenoweth's book had been around. Her many years observing and writing about education are a valuable resource. Her books can have a significant impact on how we teach -- that's why that student is smiling.
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