Transforming Public Education

Transforming Public Education Cases in Education Entrepreneurship

Edited by Stacey M. Childress
cloth, 496 Pages
Pub. Date: January 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-43-3
Price: $89.95

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paper, 496 Pages
Pub. Date: January 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-42-6
Price: $59.95

Add to Cart

Look Inside the Book

Transforming Public Education features nineteen cases that profile entrepreneurs who are pursuing opportunities to create pattern-breaking social change in our public schools.


This timely volume provides invaluable insight into the opportunities, challenges, and lessons of entrepreneurial reform. Stacey Childress offers engrossing, up-close looks at acclaimed entrepreneurs like KIPP, Teach For America, and Wireless Generation as well as at cutting-edge districts. This is essential reading for actual and aspiring entrepreneurs and those who work with them. — Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies, American Enterprise Institute, and author of Education Unbound

For the past decade, Stacey Childress has taught the quintessential course in education entrepreneurship at Harvard. With the release of this incredible case book and the accompanying instructor’s guide, she is offering an enormous gift to the field. These volumes provide a powerful intellectual framework for a series of carefully selected cases that illustrate the key strategic, leadership and operating issues, challenges, and opportunities these important change agents face in trying to transform public education. Childress’s teaching notes are worth their weight in gold, providing a rich and nuanced context for the work, scaffolded teaching advice, and the insights of a truly gifted instructor on the art of case method questioning and facilitation. — Kim Smith, founder, NewSchools Venture Fund

A powerful toolkit for understanding social entrepreneurs and the challenges they face. Childress has compiled a rich set of case studies and nested them in the context of education today. This book should be on the shelf of anyone who wants to understand or participate in these ventures. — Andrew J. Rotherham, cofounder, Education Sector and author of

This book of cases is the best source on innovation in K-12 education. No other source makes it so clear that school improvement comes from hard thinking and open-minded problem solving, not ideological warfare. — Paul T. Hill, John and Marguerite Corbally Professor, and director, Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington Bothell

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About the Editor

Stacey M. Childress is a senior lecturer in the General Management Unit at Harvard Business School, and a cofounder of the Public Education Leadership Project at Harvard University. She studies entrepreneurial activity in public education in the United States. This includes the behavior and strategies of leadership teams in urban public school districts, charter schools, and nonprofit and for-profit enterprises with missions to improve the public system. Childress is also interested more generally in a range of social enterprise topics, including international social entrepreneurship.

She has authored more than two dozen case studies about large urban districts and entrepreneurial education ventures. Stacey is also a coauthor of Leading for Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in Montgomery County Public Schools, Harvard Education Press, 2009, and a coeditor of Managing School Districts for High Performance: Cases in Public Education Leadership, Harvard Education Press, 2007.

Childress teaches in Harvard Business School’s MBA program, where she has won the Student Association teaching award from the students in her Entrepreneurship in Education course. In 2008, she was an inaugural recipient of the Charles M. Williams Award for excellence in teaching, named in honor of one of the School’s most celebrated case method teachers.

Instructor's Guide

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