Urban Education

On August 28, 2008 at the Plaza Branch, Tom Bloch discussed his new book, Stand For the Best: What I Learned After Leaving My Job as CEO of H&R Block to Become a Teacher and Founder of an Inner-City Charter School. Explore a few books or movies about urban education, the charter school movement, or how to make your own career change.

Urban education

Stand For the Best: What I Learned After Leaving My Job as CEO of H&R Block to Become a Teacher and Founder of an Inner-City Charter School
By Thomas M. Bloch
Twelve years ago, Bloch was CEO of H&R Block, the world's largest tax-preparation firm. After much soul-searching, he resigned to become a math teacher in an impoverished inner-city school in Kansas City. Bloch tells what it was like struggling to make a difference to his students.

Lessons to Learn: Voices from the Front Lines of Teach For America
By Molly Ness
A unique inside look at Teach for America. Combines interviews and essays from Teach for America members, alumni, school principals, superintendents, parents and noted education experts

And Still We Rise: The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-City High School Students
By Miles Corwin
Author and journalist Miles Corwin offers a masterfully reported and elegantly written chronicle of an exceptional inner-city high school class, Crenshaw High School in South Central Los Angeles.

One Day, All Children--: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach For America and What I Learned Along the Way
By Wendy Kopp
Not just a personal memoir, this is a blueprint for a new civil rights movement that demands educational access and opportunity for all American children.

The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools
By William G. Howell, Paul E. Peterson
The voucher debate has been both intense and ideologically polarizing, in good part because so little is known about how voucher programs operate in practice. In this book, William Howell and Paul Peterson report new findings drawn from a comprehensive study on vouchers.

Charter schools and school choice

Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea, and the School That Beat the Odds
By Joanne Jacobs
Honest, engaging, and inspiring, Our School tells the story of Downtown College Prep, a public charter high school in San Jose that recruits underachieving students and promises to prepare them for four-year colleges and universities.

Expect Miracles: Charter Schools and the Politics of Hope and Despair
By Peter W. Cookson, Jr., and Kristina Berger
This book places the debate concerning the future of public education in a meaningful framework that allows the reader to ask new questions and seek genuine solutions.

Inside Charter Schools: The Paradox of Radical Decentralization
Edited by Bruce Fuller
Inside Charter Schools takes readers into six strikingly different schools, from an evangelical home-schooling charter in California to a back-to-basics charter in a black neighborhood in Lansing, Michigan. With a keen eye for human aspirations and dilemmas, the authors provide incisive analysis of the challenges and problems facing this young movement.

Charters, Vouchers, and Public Education
Edited by Paul E. Peterson and David E. Campbell
This volume brings together current empirical research on two important innovations reshaping American education today “ voucher programs and charter schools. With thorough summaries of the existing research and the legal issues facing school choice, this book will be key to readers who want to stay current with the burgeoning debates on vouchers and charter schools.

Learning from School Choice
Edited by Paul E. Peterson and Bryan C. Hassel
While educators, parents, and policy makers debate the pros and cons of school choice, it is now possible to learn from choice experiments in public, private, and charter schools across the country. This book examines the evidence from these early school choice programs and looks at the larger implications of choice and competition in education.

Choice with Equity
Edited by Paul T. Hill
The review of the national debate over school choice examines the benefits of choice for children, families, and schools “ and shows how properly designed choice programs can prevent the harmful outcomes opponents fear. Contributing writers include Paul Peterson, Eric Hanushek, Caroline Hoxby, and others.

Career changes

Change Your Career: Transitioning to the Nonprofit Sector: Shifting Your Focus From Bottom Line to a Better World
By Laura Gassner Otting
How can you be certain that a new career is right for you? This book contains all the vital information that professionals will need to figure out if a career in the non-profit sector is right for them, and if it is, how to make a seamless transition into this sector.

Switching Careers: Career Changers Tell How and Why They Did It: Learn How You Can, Too
By Robert K. Otterbourg
Readers considering a career change can learn how to plan for a change, finance graduate or technical school, and launch a new business.

The 2008 What Color Is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual For Job-Hunters And Career-Changers
By Richard Nelson Bolles
Still the bestselling job-hunting book and a favorite of career changers for more than three decades, this gold standard of career guides (Fortune) has been updated for 2008 with new examples, instructions, and cautionary advice.


Stand and Deliver (1988)
Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos), a math teacher at East Los Angeles' Garfield High School, refuses to write off his inner-city students as losers. Escalante pushes and inspires 18 students who were struggling with math to become math whizzes.

Freedom Writers (2007)
Hilary Swank stars as a young teacher who inspires her “at-risk” students in this moving drama based on true events. Erin Gruwell assigns her class an ambitious project: While studying works such as The Diary of Anne Frank, the kids keep journals about their troubled lives, applying history's lessons to break the cycle of violence and despair that threatens their futures.

Dangerous Minds (1995)
Louanne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a former Marine turned inner-city high school teacher whose first assignment is a class of smart but tough students. As their new instructor, she defies all the rules and creates her own curriculum that includes cajoling and bribing the kids into learning.

Lean on Me (1989)
This feature film depicts the true story of Joe Clark (Morgan Freeman), the baseball bat-wielding principal who vows to clean up gang infested and drug ridden Eastside High with a tough love approach.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.