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Smartest Kids in the World

  In her 2013 book, The Smartest Kids in the World, and How They Got That Way, Samantha Ripley, draws comparisons between the relatively successful education systems in three countries Finland, Poland and South Korea, touching the subjects of testing, surveys, homogeneous societies, teacher qualifications, history and government reforms. Ripley writes about the experiences of three […]

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A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind

In A Hope in the Unseen, Ron Suskind follows Cedric Jennings, a young Black student from an impoverished neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Jennings gets accepted into an Ivy League school, Brown University, against all odds. He attends Ballou Senior High School, the worst school in the district, largely populated by Black and Hispanic students. Suskind captures a culture where […]

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Thoughts on Dana Goldstein’s The Teacher Wars

I thought of the Biblical story of Adam and Eve and the apple as I read The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession by Dana Goldstein. The fruit, which was given to teachers to show appreciation and is symbolic of the profession, had the power to change my view of teaching once […]

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Book Review: Stories of Survival Along the City’s Margins

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family explores a range of themes: cyclical poverty, failure of the social services system, the value of education and inequality of women and girls, just to name a few. But at its core, Random Family is an elegant story about people and their day-to-day survival, offering a glimpse into the joys […]

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Book Review: When People Come First in Education

Sarah Carr focused Hope Against Hope on the “ordinary rather than the extraordinary” to illuminate the debate over urban education as it formed in New Orleans during her year of reporting.

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Book Review: Success Across the Hudson

A once vital industrial hub in New Jersey remakes its school system by building on its strengths, emphasizing “the ensemble, not the prima donna.”

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Book Review: Newark’s Squandered Prize

Recently shortlisted for the Lukas Book Prize, Dale Russakoff’s The Prize examines plans for the high-profile $100 million Facebook gift to “fix” Newark’s schools, and what went wrong along the way.

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The Lost Children of Wilder by Nina Bernstein

“The Lost Children of Wilder” follows a lawsuit initiated to reform foster care. The author follows a riveting narrative of Shirley Wilder and by telling her story addresses all the wrongs within the never-ending cycle of foster care.

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All god’s children explores the roots of violence and juvenile justice

In “All God’s Children, ” Fox Butterfield examines America’s tradition of violence, and the evolution of its juvenile justice system, through the life and ancestry of the man known as America’s most violent prisoner: Willie Bosket.

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Elizabeth Green’s Building A Better Teacher

Imagine you’re given several years of pedagogical study (or several weeks of training, as the case may be). Then you are thrown into a dunk tank, a classroom full of students who expect you to teach. Now, imagine you’re expected to make sure those students come away with knowledge and perform well on standardized test […]

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