Inside School Turnarounds

Inside School Turnarounds Urgent Hopes, Unfolding Stories

Laura Pappano, foreword by Karin Chenoweth
paper, 200 Pages
Pub. Date: November 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-74-7
Price: $29.00

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Inside School Turnarounds uses on-the-ground reporting and up-to-the-minute research to provide a compelling and insightful exploration of the work of school turnarounds.


In this well-researched, well-written, timely new book, Pappano takes us from the theory of education reform to the practical examples and inspiring, dedicated people on the front lines of making troubled schools work. With detailed case studies and thoughtful analysis, Inside School Turnarounds makes clear what is working and what more needs to be done. This is a must-read for policy makers, education reformers, and anyone committed to the goal of providing all of America’s children with the high quality public education they need and deserve. — Alan Khazei, cofounder, City Year and author, Big Citizenship

This courageous book reveals what’s really happening in school reform today. It breaks the story of how some dedicated educators are forging bits of success, one student at a time, under incredibly daunting conditions. The author’s clear-headed account touches on all the hot buttons in education, from teacher unions to high-stakes testing, without getting snagged on the usual ideological hooks that have stalled our progress. — William Damon, professor of education and director, Center on Adolescence at Stanford University

Once again, Pappano has captured and humanized many of the challenges associated with urban public education. Inside School Turnarounds highlights some of today’s most effective practices in urban education and considers their applicability in the turnaround context. This is the beginning of a very important story. — Evan Rudall, CEO, Uncommon Schools

In this timely and important book, Pappano skillfully captures the complexity of the school-turnaround challenge. Inside School Turnarounds makes it clear that there is no silver bullet, no easy answer, but that there are a set of lessons and promising practices that we should be careful not to ignore. — Jesse Solomon, director, Boston Teacher Residency

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About the Author

Laura Pappano is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about education for more than two decades. The author of The Connection Gap (Rutgers University Press, 2001), and coauthor with Eileen McDonagh of Playing With the Boys: Why Separate is Not Equal in Sports (Oxford University Press, 2008), she is writer-in-residence at the Wellesley Centers for Women.

In School Turnarounds, the Human Element is Crucial by Laura Pappano

Scenes from the School Turnaround Movement

Table of Contents (PDF)

Author Commentary in The Christian Science Monitor.

Discussion Questions (PDF)

Q&A with Laura Pappano

Laura Pappano on MSNBC's Making the Grade.

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