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Noteworthy Books

Recommended reading for district leaders

Helpful books


Schoolwide Prevention Models, $40.00

In this volume, editors Charles R. Greenwood, Thomas R. Kratochwill and Melissa Clements showcase successful prevention models and review key issues in implementation. Drawing on findings from a multi-year study in which schools across the country partnered with university-based research centers, this informative and research-based book will help educators and policymakers implement prevention models to address the prevalence of students who are struggling readers, students with discipline problems, and those who are both. Part 1 describes the core features of three-tier prevention models and explains their role within an RtI framework, Part 2 presents in-depth case studies, and Part 3 synthesizes lessons learned from the case studies.



Stand for the Best, $24.95

In 1995, after a 19-year career at H&R Block, CEO Tom Bloch resigned and became a middle school math teacher in an impoverished section of Kansas City, drawing national attention. Ten years later, Bloch cofounded a $40 million, 1,100-student charter school, University Academy. In this new book, Bloch characterizes his experience as “an idealist’s journey,” and he recounts the challenges and setbacks as well as the encouraging ideas for reforming urban education that he encountered. Bloch also explores one such idea, charter schools, and describes his motivation for creating University Academy.



Making Learning Whole, $24.95

Author David Perkins, a senior professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-director of the research group Project Zero, introduces a new, practical and research-based framework for teaching in his latest book. He describes learning to play baseball as a metaphor for quality instruction of any subject at any grade level and demonstrates how teaching is more effective if students are introduced to the “whole game” rather than isolated pieces of a discipline. Using real-world examples as illustrations, each chapter focuses on a baseball-themed principle and ends with a page of reflection questions to enable practical application.



So Much Reform, So Little Change, $26.95

University of Chicago professor Charles M. Payne explores the reasons behind the persistence of failure in American urban schools in his latest book. Payne argues that most school reformers fail to account for the weakness of the social infrastructure, as well as what are often dysfunctional organizational environments of urban schools and districts. This disconnect between education policy and the daily realities of particularly poor and beleaguered neighborhood schools results in both liberals and conservatives exploring questions with limited practical value. Payne is unsparing in his examination of the history of urban school failure, particularly using his wide range of experience in Chicago Public Schools as context, yet he acknowledges signs of progress and describes his outlook as “guardedly optimistic.”



Urban Education: A Handbook for Educators and Parents, $59.95

Professors of education Donna Adair Breault and Louise Anderson Allen have authored this resource, which will be useful for any administrator, teacher, parent or community member who wants to make a positive difference in urban schools. The book provides ways for stakeholders both to see the roles they can play in building civic capacity for change and to recognize the complexity and necessity of their efforts. The fostering of community conversations and the building of relationships are crucial to the authors’ model for creating positive change for all stakeholders, and the book provides strategies for navigating the bureaucracy of urban districts, building collegial communities of inquiry, gathering important demographic data, and organizing the energy and effort of those who want to get involved.