THE LIST

Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools, Steven Brill
An inside look at some of the key (and extremely rich) jefes and honchos of current ed reform efforts.

Democracy and Education, John Dewey
An oldie but goodie, brought to you by a seminal figure -- perhaps THE seminal figure -- in the past century or so of American education reform efforts....

Teaching as Leadership, Steven Farr
What is transformative teaching, anyway? Mr. Farr, a close colleague of Wendy K (and a Plan II alum) distills lessons learned from/by TFA with regard to this fundamentally important question...

The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them, E.D. Hirsch
Hirsch examines America’s recent move away from content-centric curricula and towards theories about how children learn, and the arguable harm that such a migration in curriculum has made. (In short, an argument for better classical content)

Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, bell hooks
bell hooks speaks to the heart of education today: how can we rethink teaching practices in the age of multiculturalism? What do we do about teachers who do not want to teach, and students who do not want to learn? How should we deal with racism and sexism in the classroom? She’s also got other great books about pedagogy…

The One World Schoolhouse, Salman Khan
A look at Khan Academy, a free, online schooling system created by ex-engineer and hedge fund manager Sal Khan.

A Chance to Make History, Wendy Kopp
Looking back, and ahead; The Founder's view of lessons learned from TFA's first 20 years...

One Day All Children, Wendy Kopp
Reflections on the founding and early days of TFA, by the woman who started it all...

The Shame of the Nation, Jonathan Kozol
Wherein Mr. Kozol is as angry as ever, for good reason(s)....

Someone has to Fail, David Labaree
Recommended highly by H-E-B CEO Charles Butt (not only a successful grocer, but major player in Texas ed reform efforts), a provocative look at the history of education reform efforts in what the author terms, ruefully but persuasively, the American "school syndrome"....

Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv
(From Louv’s website) Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform, Diane Ravitch
Did "Death and Life" whet your appetite for more from Debunking Diane? Here goes, Bon Appetit!...PS:  A historical overview of reform movements in the US. Not as contemporarily policy focused as Death and Life.

Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative, Ken Robinson
Leave the factory model behind? This guy must be crazy! 
(and that's a compliment)

How Children Succeed, Paul Tough
Getting Tough: Making the case, quite persuasively, for character education; and a recent best-seller to boot!

Whatever it takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, Paul Tough
Looking for a charismatic education reform hero, and for support for the argument that ed reform efforts alone are NOT enough? Harlem's a good place to conduct your search....

 

NOTES

If you’re interested in power structures and how that affects classroom culture, Lisa Delpit has written a lot of books on what she calls “the culture of power”. This is also something that KIPP (and schools like it) tries to teach to students.

Randy Bomer has written some books on literacy that Olivia highly recommended.

John Dewey and Bell Hooks are also great authors who look a little more closely at pedagogy.