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Choosing Excellence in Public Schools explains the origins of the low expectations we have of children, including, notably, children of color, those for whom English is a second language, poor children and children with disabilities. The book dispels the basis for low expectations. It makes clear the economic, demographic, civic, personal and moral imperative to educate all children to high standards and the consequences of not doing so. Hornbeck and Conner set forth a comprehensive, radical agenda based on proven practices and practical experience that will result in education success for virtually all children where faithfully implemented. This book breaks new ground. It establishes that the missing ingredient in school reform is the absence of values-driven, focused, well-financed, professionally staffed, technologically sophisticated grassroots expression of the public will insisting that the political, media, business, judicial and organized labor institutions that make the choices that result in our children's learning conditions make different, and effective choices. We get the education for our own children and grandchildren and those of others that we tolerate or demand.
Who better than David Hornbeck, leading national reform architect, former Philadelphia superintendent and Maryland chief state school officer, activist, lawyer and minister, to deliver an unflinching portrait of the realities and challenges of contemporary, urban school reform? His insights and guidance constitute a handbook for policy makers and school leaders committed to the continuing quest for equity and excellence.
Noble ideals are not enough; we must be thoughtful, strategic and comprehensive, and this is where the book provides unique insight. In a refreshingly open and frank accounting, Hornbeck wrestles with the complex and difficult word of transforming dreams into reality. In true Hornbeck fashion, he leaves this reader with unanswered and troubling questions, bringing me to a point of greater reflection about our efforts to improve public education for all our children, causing me to appreciate the complexity of this work we are pursuing and what lies ahead.
Part 1 Where There's the Will: Core Premises Built on Our Values Chapter 2 The Power of Expectations Chapter 3 The Origins of Low Expectations Chapter 4 All Children Can Learn to High Standards Chapter 5 All Children Must Learn to High Expectations Chapter 6 We Know How to Make All Schools Effective: Children Achieving and Philadelphia Outcomes Chapter 7 Standards Chapter 8 Assessment Chapter 9 Accountability Chapter 10 Quality for Teachers Chapter 11 Quality School Leadership Chapter 12 Promising School Strategies (Part I): Instruction Chapter 13 Promising School Strategies (Part II): Non-Instructional Chapter 14 Resources Chapter 15 The Choices We Make Determine School Effectiveness Chapter 16 The Public Will to Make Diffferent Choices Chapter 17 Walk the Walk: Choosing Excellence and Equity in Public Education
Posted June 23, 2011
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