Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America


"This big-shouldered book, full of ardor...offers us a reasonable hope that with attention and care we can again make public education what it was meant to be, and must yet be."—The Los Angeles Times.

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"This big-shouldered book, full of ardor...offers us a reasonable hope that with attention and care we can again make public education what it was meant to be, and must yet be."—The Los Angeles Times.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rose (Lives on the Boundary) spent four years crisscrossing the U.S. to sit in on public school classrooms in New York, Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles, from the Mississippi Delta to Kentucky's coal district to the bicultural California city of Calexico on the Mexican border. In a hopeful journey through America's public school system, he emphasizes examples of inspired teaching, insight and connection, achievement against odds. The effective teachers whom he profiles through interviews, oral testimonies and reportage evinced solidarity with students' backgrounds, maintained high expectations and let students shape the direction of discussion; their classes demanded thought, participation, effort. Rose, who directs the UCLA writing program, sets these portraits of dynamic classrooms in the context of school-policy battles, community action and a legacy of systematic underfunding. Condemning the ``strange mix of apocalyptic vignettes'' that passes for public discussion about the state of American education, he offers a constructive and inspirational resource for anyone concerned about the health of public education. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140236170
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Edition number: 544
  • Pages: 488
  • Sales rank: 936,929
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.45 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Rose is a professor in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He has taught in a wide range of educational settings, from elementary school to adult literacy and job training programs. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Grawemeyer Award in Education, and awards from the Spencer Foundation, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Modern Language Association, and the American Educational Research Association. He also received the Commonwealth Club of California’s Award for Literary Excellence in Nonfiction. His books include Lives on the Boundary: The Struggles and Achievements of America’s Educationally Underprepared, Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America, The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker, Why School?: Reclaiming Education for All of Us, and Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education.

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Table of Contents

Possible LivesIntroduction
1. Los Angeles and the LA Basin
2. Calexico, California
3. Baltimore, Maryland
4. Chicago, Illinois
5. New York, New York
6. Berea and Wheelwright, Kentucky
7. Hattiesburg, Tupelo, Jackson, Indianola, Hollandale, and Webb, Mississippi
8. Polaris and Missoula, Montana
9. Tucson, Arizona
10. Possible Lives
A Note on Method

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2003

    Public Education: TheTruth About It

    Rose tells the truth about American public education. His account of innovative teachers, administrators, students willing to learn, and schools suceeding amidst all fiscal and logistic handicaps restablishes hope and confidence in public schools. Rose exposes in this book the destructive effects of one-dimensional critique of public school education. He suggests a multi-dimensional form of critique--one that takes into account what is going on the classrooms and in the general context of public schools. The book is a manual of teaching styles and a must read for teachers,students, administrators and the general public.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2002

    All Teachers Must Read!

    Written in response to 'A Nation at Risk,' Mike Rose visited classrooms throughout the US. His report became 'Possible Lives,' with anecdotes and details about teachers who are doing a great job teaching. It is an inspiration for all, especially teachers.

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