- Series: New Frontiers in Education
- Paperback: 120 pages
- Publisher: R&L Education (November 16, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1607099438
- ISBN-13: 978-1607099437
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,796,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Standing and Delivering: What the Movie Didn't Tell (New Frontiers in Education)
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Henry Gradillas laid the groundwork that enabled administrators, counselors, and teachers to work together in order to make Garfield High School a school with a future (Jaime Escalante, from the foreword)
Henry was the most successful principal that I have ever known. He has no equal. (Don Mroscak, former head counselor, Garfield High School)
Standing and Delivering is on the required reading list for anyone wishing to gain greater insight into the context and setting for the Escalante miracle. No one else is as qualified to provide perspective on the backstage supports that accompaniedone of the most endearing educational success stories of modern timessss (Omar Del Cueto, former Garfield High School principal)
A dedicated and enthusiastic professional with a great capacity for understanding and working with youth. (Paul Possemato, former LAUSD High Schools Superintendent)
Every principal and school board member who is looking for practical and effective ways of addressing the challenges posed by the toughest urban schools should read this highly readable book. (J. E. Stone, Ed.D., president, Education Consumers Foundation)
Stand and Deliver was a great film, but it did not have time to tell the story of the hero principal, an ex-Army Ranger with a huge heart, who made Jaime Escalante's achievements possible. Henry Gradillas took charge of Garfield High School just as the cheating charges dramatized in the movie were making headlines. He was the first to realize that the doubt and tension would soon turn to triumph and that Garfield would become one of the most important symbols of education reform the country has ever produced. Here for the first time is Gradillas's thrilling story and his practical advice for today's educators hoping to give their students the same challenges he and Escalante so successfully gave theirs. (Jay Mathews, Washington Post education columnist and author of Escalante: The Best Teacher in America)
Standing and Delivering is on the required reading list for anyone wishing to gain greater insight into the context and setting for the Escalante miracle. No one else is as qualified to provide perspective on the backstage supports that accompanied one of the most endearing educational success stories of modern times (Omar Del Cueto, former Garfield High School principal)
Dr. Gradillas' guiding principle is academic excellence, and he has the formula to achieve it! (Eileen Miranda Jimenez, member, West Covina Unified School District Board of Education, Garfield High School class of 1986)
About the Author
Henry Gradillas has served education as a teacher and administrator in California and Michigan, and as a speaker and consultant throughout North America. He and his wife Gayle live near Ashland, Wisconsin where he continues to work as a tutor, substitute teacher, and court interpreter. Jerry Jesness has taught English, ESL, Spanish, special education, and social studies in his thirty year education career. His writing has appeared in Harper's, Reason Education Week, Teacher Magazine, Principal Magazine, Intellectual Capital, Texas Education Review, and several newspapers.
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But good character and good writing are not the same thing. Mr. Gradillas wants us to know how he brought Garfield High School in East Los Angeles from near collapse to academic success. In broad-brush strokes he lays out his own fights with parents, administrators, neighborhood businesses and other naysayers. He maintains that he de-emphasized football, installed high academic standards, reduced tardies, brought gang members in line, and generally made his school into a decent inner-city school. It's quite possible that he did all these things.
But in a book about schools I, as a teacher, want most of all to know what happened in individual classrooms. I want to hear from teachers and students and other administrators. I especially want to hear from people who disagreed with Mr. Gradillas. In a word I want balance. In this book there are only two people who get enough attention to allow me to get to know them: the author and Mr. Escalante. Every other soul at Garfield High is invisible; virtually every classroom is hidden from our view.
Mr. Gradillas says he solved the tardy problem by giving after-school or Saturday detention for third offenses, and parent conferences for those who skipped the detentions. My school does this. It has had no effect on tardies (kids skip the detentions and parents don't show up for the conferences). How did Mr. Gradillas--in a school of 3,000! --make this work? He doesn't say. And no one else is ever quoted, no other perspective is ever cited, to give the vital details that might reveal what really went on to make Mr. Gradillas' strategies effective. It's the same with each chapter: the principal changed everything for the better. People initially opposed his reforms but eventually everyone who really cared about kids acceded to Mr. Gradillas superior wisdom.
We know some of what went on at Garfield because the noted journalist, Jay Mathews, fascinated with the work of Mr. Escalante, spent hours and hours observing that classroom. (Read his terrific book, Escalante) Mathews used his newspaperman skills to illuminate what made that class so unique and he gives enough detail to let us make up our own minds about what went on there.
I would also recommend two other books (by journalists): Shut Up and Let the Lady Teach by Newsday's Emily Sachar and Relentless Pursuit, by Newsweek writer Donna Foote (which focuses mostly on Locke High School also in East LA).
These three books do what Mr. Gradillas cannot. They take you into a modern urban school and let you judge what works and what does not.
As a retired math teacher and principal with 19 of my 28 years in public education in high risk schools, I am tired of seeing our children destroyed by adult weakness and incompetence in leaders. Henry Gradillas writes with clarity about the very simple things that must be done to turn around a school's environment and academic opportunities. Unfortunately, the simple things for children's improvement are often made muddy by adults. What is maddening is that public education is the foundation of our country's future. Gradillas' book shows how that has to be built with common sense and strength among adults. This means not allowing bad decision-making and self-destructive behavior by students, parents, and educators (especially the leaders) for the sake of political correctness.