The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem

The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem

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by Deborah Meier
     
 

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Teaching the lessons of New York's most famous public school, Deborah Meier provides a widely acclaimed vision for the future of public education. With a new preface reflecting on the school's continuing success.


From the Trade Paperback edition.  See more details below

Overview

Teaching the lessons of New York's most famous public school, Deborah Meier provides a widely acclaimed vision for the future of public education. With a new preface reflecting on the school's continuing success.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
An educational reformer, teacher and veteran school principal, Meier has led the movement to restructure large high schools into small, vibrant educational enclaves-schools within a school, housed within the same building. In a visionary, hopeful blueprint for revitalizing America's public schools, she first discusses her work as co-principal of Central Park East, an alternative public secondary school in East Harlem, New York, which she founded in 1974. Its students, mostly black and Hispanic, come from low-income families; 90% of them graduate high school, and 90% of those go on to college. Meier advocates small classes that encourage independent, critical thinking by using real-world exercises. Her blueprint for reform calls for enclave schools with autonomy over teaching; parents' right to choose the schools their children will attend; and student participation in socially useful, school-directed work experiences. FYI: Meier, as a fellow of Brown University's Annenberg National Institute for School Reform, is now directing an effort to create 50 alternative public schools in New York City.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An educational reformer, teacher and veteran school principal, Meier has led the movement to restructure large high schools into small, vibrant educational enclaves-schools within a school, housed within the same building. In a visionary, hopeful blueprint for revitalizing America's public schools, she first discusses her work as co-principal of Central Park East, an alternative public secondary school in East Harlem, New York, which she founded in 1974. Its students, mostly black and Hispanic, come from low-income families; 90% of them graduate high school, and 90% of those go on to college. Meier advocates small classes that encourage independent, critical thinking by using real-world exercises. Her blueprint for reform calls for enclave schools with autonomy over teaching; parents' right to choose the schools their children will attend; and student participation in socially useful, school-directed work experiences. 40,000 first printing; author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Defending public education is difficult, but the best defense is by example, says Meier. As founder of the highly regarded Central Park East schools in Harlem, she has provided such examples-and more. Throughout her account, Meier stresses the need for schools that develop human beings and citizens rather than skilled workers or educated academics. Privatization would open education to extremist influences and destroy these goals, she argues. Current problems in public education are caused by economic inequities, large and unwieldy school bureaucracies, and unrealistic demands for academic performance. Overall, Meier's account is an opinionated treatise relying less on research findings or published data than on experience and positive faith in its outcome. There is much good, persuasive writing here in support of traditional, progressive education. Recommended as a solid contribution to any education collection.-Arla Lindgren, St. John's Univ., New York
Kathleen Hughes
Meier, founder of the successful Central Park East alternative public schools in New York City, has written an engaging, informative account of the two decades she spent pioneering, experimenting with, and ultimately creating a highly successful educational program. This collection of her writings includes journal entries, articles, and memos that summarize her struggle to create and manage great inner-city schools. Most of all, however, Meier's book is a wake-up call to citizens and educators--about taking education seriously and accepting mutual responsibility for the future of the next generation. Readable, enjoyable, and powerfully persuasive, Meier's book will appeal to those with an interest in the future of public education and, ultimately, society.
Booknews
Meier, teacher and president of the Center for Collaborative Education in New York, issues an eloquent defense of public education, describing why public education is vital to the future of our democracy and our children, and why good education is, in fact, possible, based on her experience at Central Park East, where 90 percent of the students graduate and go on to college in a city where the average graduation rate is 50 percent. Lacks an index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807031124
Publisher:
Beacon Press
Publication date:
08/16/2002
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Deborah Meier is founder of the Central Park East Schools and the Mission Hill School in Boston. She has been a fellow at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and is vice chair emeritus of the Coalition of Essential Schools. Her many awards include a MacArthur Prize Fellowship. She is also the author of In Schools We Trust.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons from America from a Small School in Harlem 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A moving and powerful blueprint for the the future of public education. I would like to visit CPESS one day to see their successful methods in action. This book opened my eyes to the potential of progressive education--I recommend it for anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Deborah Meier's 'The Power of Their Ideas' provides actual proof that it's public education in small autonomous settings (CPESS) which guards against extremism from the right or left and the apathy inbetween. As one who's been to Central Park East, I've witnessed what the power of HER vision and tenacity can accomplish. A must read for anyone beginning, currently practicing or ending a career in education,including administrators, and for the parents whose children we serve.