Improbable Scholars

By David L. Kirp,

Book cover of Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America's Schools

Book description

The conventional wisdom, voiced by everyone from Bill Gates to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, is that public schools are so terrible that simply reforming them won't do the trick. Instead, they must be "transformed," blown up and then rebuilt, if they're going to offer students a good education. We relish…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Improbable Scholars as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

We don’t have enough books that celebrate how thoughtful and patient reform strategies can pay big dividends over time.

Journalist and Public Policy Professor David Kirp embedded himself in the community of Union City, New Jersey and documented how the school district has worked to improve educational outcomes in decidedly non-flashy ways.

As Kirp writes, all too often education reform has a “flavor of the month” and faddish quality to it, trapped in seemingly endless cycles of unrealistic big bang-style reforms and inevitable disappointments.

Improbable Scholars provides a hopeful counternarrative, showing that large-scale change is possible beyond a single stand-out…

We don’t have enough books that celebrate how thoughtful and patient reform strategies can pay big dividends over time.

Journalist and Public Policy Professor David Kirp embedded himself in the community of Union City, New Jersey, and documented how the school district has worked to improve educational outcomes in decidedly non-flashy ways.

As Kirp writes, all too often education reform has a “flavor of the month” and faddish quality to it, trapped in seemingly endless cycles of unrealistic big bang-style reforms and inevitable disappointments.

Improbable Scholars provides a hopeful counternarrative, showing that large scale change is possible beyond a single…

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