Be the Change: Reinventing School for Student Success

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Be the Change tells the remarkable story of an innovative public high school launched by dedicated teachers in East Palo Alto, California, one of a growing number of low-income communities starved of the resources needed to serve its students and schools. Chronicling a rags-to-riches story of how two very different communities came together to change the historical trajectory of educational failure that had robbed so many students of their futures, Be the Change demonstrates how to plant the seeds of new possibilities in its place. The school’s unique design, modeled after successful small schools in New York City, offers authentic and engaging instruction in a personalized setting that has allowed students who start off far behind to graduate and go on to college in record numbers. Each chapter examines one of the critical elements the teachers found essential to enable student success: the creation of an academic culture, the development of high standards with high supports, and the process of learning to teach so that students can learn.

“A powerful and compelling tale about how educators, parents, and representatives of one of America's most powerful universities came together to create a school that is now a beacon of pride and hope. Their struggle to overcome the obstacles they encountered along the way will inspire others who seek to find ways to use education as a means to break the cycle of poverty and to expand opportunity and justice.”
Pedro A. Noguera, distinguished professor of education, Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences, UCLA

“This is the story of a little school that could. Could get students to college and beyond, that is. It’s filled with evidence, quotes, and anecdotes, but more importantly it demonstrates that will and skill, aligned with vision and values, results in learning environments in which students thrive. While acknowledging the challenges, trials, and tribulations of creating and leading an urban high school, the authors share their success in a passionate and compelling way, inviting others to learn alongside them as they build successful futures for their students.”
Douglas Fisher, professor of educational leadership, San Diego State University

“With demanding academics, loving support, and genuine affirmation, the staff, parents, community members, and other supporters of EPAA, as well as Stanford faculty and staff, present an encouraging picture of the kind of high school all young people deserve. This kind of success is not easy, but in describing how it can be done, Linda Darling-Hammond and her co-authors have provided a stirring example for all of those interested in equity and hope for our public schools.”
Sonia Nieto, professor emerita, Language, Literacy, and Culture, College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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Additional Information

Publisher
Teachers College Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2015
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Pages
250
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ISBN
9780807774526
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Leadership
Education / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Teacher evaluation systems are being overhauled by states and districts across the United States. And, while intentions are admirable, the result for many new systems is that good—often excellent—teachers are lost in the process. In the end, students are the losers. In her new book, Linda Darling-Hammond makes a compelling case for a research-based approach to teacher evaluation that supports collaborative models of teacher planning and learning. She outlines the most current research informing evaluation of teaching practice that incorporates evidence of what teachers do and what their students learn. In addition, she examines the harmful consequences of using any single student test as a basis for evaluating individual teachers. Finally, Darling-Hammond offers a vision of teacher evaluation as part of a teaching and learning system that supports continuous improvement, both for individual teachers and for the profession as a whole.

This groundbreaking book:

Presents a comprehensive teacher evaluation system based on research and best practices.Describes a variety of models from across the United States that base evaluations on an assessment of classroom practice in light of professional standards, an array of student work, and active participation in the professional community.Explains how teacher peers become part of the evaluation and support system.Demonstrates how to create a fair and substantiated process for removal of teachers who can’t improve.

Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University. Her books include The Flat World and Education which won the 2012 Grawemeyer Award in Education.

“This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to improve teaching and learning, rather than simply wax poetic about it. Darling-Hammond has given us a practical roadmap to success based on research and best practice.”
—Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

“If anybody knows how to get teacher evaluation right, it is Linda Darling-Hammond. Her new book presents a system that includes development and support, in addition to teacher assessment, and promotes teaching as a collegial activity, rather than reinforcing isolation and competitiveness.”
—Dan Domenech, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators

“Darling-Hammond knows that we must ‘get teacher evaluation right’ and her book is as clear a guide for doing that as we will ever see.”
—Ronald Thorpe, President and CEO, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

“Finally, a book that captures what educators have been saying. This is a must-read for those interested in building a world-class education system!”
—Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association

“This stimulating and provocative book outlines a comprehensive system for the development, support, and assessment of teaching based on research and best practices.”
—Gail Connelly, Executive Director, National Association of Elementary School Principals

“Regardless of where one currently stands on teacher evaluation issues, a trusted, well-researched, comprehensive framework is needed to help navigate the complex policy issues facing policymakers at the local, state, and national levels. This book provides that framework and much more.”
—Jim Kohlmoos, Former Executive Director, National Association of State Boards of Education

“In Getting Teacher Evaluation Right, Darling-Hammond emphasizes elements essential to creating an evaluation system that contributes to better student outcomes. This book offers well-conceived guidance to address a complex and thorny topic.”
—Stephanie Hirsh, Executive Director, Learning Forward

In her award-winning book, Linda Darling-Hammond-renowned researcher, policy advisor, and educational leader-contends that improving America's performance in the global economy is closely tied to closing the minority-majority achievement gap at home. Today in the United States only 1 in 10 low-income kindergarteners goes on to graduate from college. At a time when education matters more than ever, the U.S. high school graduation rate has dropped from first in the world to the bottom half of rankings for comparable nations. While such sobering facts inform her new book, the author focuses on the successes of effective school systems in the U.S. and abroad in order to develop a clear and coherent set of policies that can be used to create high-quality and equitable schools. Drawing on her broad experience, Darling-Hammond examines the roots of our modern education system and shows how the skills required for our 21st-century global economy cannot be learned in traditional education systems, which have been in place since the early 1900s. She identifies an "opportunity gap" that has evolved as new kinds of learning have become necessary - a gap where low-income students, students of color, and English language learners often do not have the same access as others to qualified teachers, high-quality curriculum, and well-resourced classrooms. After setting the stage on current conditions in the United States, Darling-Hammond offers a coherent approach for effective reform that focuses on creating successful systems, inducting and supporting quality teachers, designing effective schools, establishing strong professional practice, and providing equitable and sufficient resources. The Flat World and Education lays out what the United States needs to do in order to build a system of high-achieving and equitable schools that ensures every child the right to learn.

Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, a chief education advisor to President Obama, Co-Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, and Founding Director of the School Redesign Network at Stanford.

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