The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem

Deborah Meier

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The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem

The Power of Their Ideas Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem A leading voice and visionary in education teaches the lessons of her school and experience Taking on pessimists and privatizers Meier tells why all public education is vital to the future of the cou

  • Title: The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem
  • Author: Deborah Meier
  • ISBN: 9780807031100
  • Page: 381
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A leading voice and visionary in education teaches the lessons of her school and experience Taking on pessimists and privatizers, Meier tells why all public education is vital to the future of the country and our children.

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      381 Deborah Meier
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      Published :2018-010-17T02:42:16+00:00

    One thought on “The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem

    1. Jonna Higgins-Freese on said:

      Deborah Meier writes of her experiences creating a school in Harlem where "90 percent of the students graduate from high school and 90 percent of those go on to college, this in a city where the average graduation rate is 50 percent."She's clear-eyed and practical: they did all this while still complying with federal and state regulations regarding school (this is pre-NCLB, no idea how they're handling this now). She's honest about the difficulties and failures. But, she writes, it turns out tha [...]

    2. C Miller on said:

      I read this way back and got a copy of the "advance copy." The writing is clear and practical. East Harlem public education is the focus and is a good read for those wanting to know more about the challenges facing urban education. (I'm adding this review in 2017, a good 20 years after the book was published).

    3. Patrice on said:

      This is an essential read to any person considering a career as a teacher in the American public school system. It provides an in-depth look at education reform in America, more specifically East Harlem. Initially, Meier’s introduction to her beginnings as both a student and educator left me feeling put off from her writing. Meier describes her childhood as being that of an upper class background full of privilege, including the attendance of a private school in New York City, “Each year we [...]

    4. Jonathan on said:

      A kind of manifesto for the small schools movement across the country written by one of the pioneering 'mothers' of the movement. It's a really hopeful book and one that takes the feeling that something's amiss in our public schools, and puts words to how that uneasy feeling can be changed to something that works, especially for our most 'disadvantaged' students and communities. I really enjoyed reading about the 'nuts and bolts' of small schools: how they get started ('incubated'), the school s [...]

    5. Norm on said:

      What an inspiring book! Deborah Meier is a rare intellect. She possesses both a first-rate mind and the drive to use it. She is a champion of small schools: schools that can specialize and adapt to the changing demands we make of them; schools that teach their students to think deeply and work actively as a community of learners and citizens. I'm not sure I agree with her quantitatively, but she certainly makes interesting points. Beyond her recommendations for transforming America's schools, I [...]

    6. Erin on said:

      In the ongoing debate or argument about public school reform, very rarely are the voices of people actually WORKING on school reform from the inside heard. Deb Meier has been working to improve the educational outcomes of students in communities from California to Pennsylvania to New York and her research and results are interesting. I'll be using her Habits of Mind in my classroom this year as a framework to improve student writing, reading, and critical thinking. The book is very readable, and [...]

    7. Jill Corbett on said:

      I loved this book! It tells how the author created public schools (Central Park East in Harlem) that are more like some very elite independent private schools. And it brings up a lot of very thought provoking ideas in regards to education. Like this one for instance. "No school shall have graduation requirements that cannot be met by every professional working in the school, and therefore these requirements shall be phased in only as fast as the school can bring its staff up to the standards it [...]

    8. Jessica on said:

      Debbie Meiers musing on what made Central Park East work. She describes lots of little things- like building an observation platform into a classroom so teachers could watch a visiting master at work- that made CPE a community of excellence. Also has some interesting insights on why the school succeeded, such as her observation that she learned best as a child by piecing together fragments from the adult conversation happening over her head; perhaps, she says, CPE kids turned out special because [...]

    9. Carl on said:

      I have long respected Deb Meier for the ideas behind community schooling and the Coalition for Essential Schools (and whose colleague Vito Perrone was the leader of the HGSE program through which I got my M.Ed and cert). Both reasonable and insistent as always, this book rewarded me by inspiring a number of ideas I have enjoyed considering, although I don't agree with all of her points. Meier is one of America's great liberal educators, and should be considered if you care about education, even [...]

    10. Kristen Dunder on said:

      I found this an interesting account about how collaboration and a belief in improving inner city public schools can make a positive difference! Created in 1974, the Central Park East schools have had great success in providing quality education to its Harlem students, high graduation rates, and college enrollments, due in great part to smaller school settings, willingness on behalf of staff to try new ideas, and a mutual respect between administration, teachers, parents, and students.

    11. Hugh Harmon on said:

      Those interested in educational leadership in a postmodern world and are tired of the semantic-laden educational reforms that are really a repackaging of failed traditional schemes of student management should read this book and look for ways toshkent what this school does a part of their ideology for real student achievement.

    12. Kelley on said:

      Good ideas, but not realistic for the public schools I have worked in. Ther whole model is based on a "school of choice" that has a very different student population than the regular default public school when the children or their parents exercise no choice.

    13. Mark Valentine on said:

      Meier is the guru of educational achievement mainly because she respects the students and (as a true constructivist) sets up the learning environment to teach the students when the right thing at the right moment. She has a proven record as a reformer.

    14. Mark Isero on said:

      Debbie Meier is an inspiration, and I remember reading this book several times during my credential year. The habits of mind are inspiring.

    15. Laura on said:

      This was a really powerful book that made me think a lot about how to affect change that is both substantive and sustainable.

    16. Shannon on said:

      Great book about how inner city schools can have a "private school" feel.

    17. Brett on said:

      If you're sick of standardized testing but don't know another way forward for our public education system, then read this book. Equally practical as it is encouraging.

    18. Lindsay on said:

      Read this one for my 1st Grad Class - Current and Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Education. Great book! All about CPE schools in NY.

    19. Laurel on said:

      This book was inspiring and formative in my career development it resonated with and shaped my earliest ideas of education reform

    20. David on said:

      A good simple book by a person with a good simple idea: small schools work. Then, she put her ideas into action. A breath of fresh air in the blather of education writing.

    21. Laura on said:

      A mixture of the author's experience as a teacher/leader at CPE (public school in East Harlem) and her ideas and opinions of education in general. Interesting (leftist) take on school choice.

    22. Jeanie on said:

      High school reform was my hobby for years and her ideas are some of the best.

    23. Kelly Rueda on said:

      At last I found someone who thinks ideas based in early childhood education need to be implemented in later grades as well!!

    24. Janell on said:

      I read this for school, but it was fascinating. Interesting for anyone in education.

    25. Hanna on said:

      Fantastic! Will certainly refer back to in concerns to her school's 5 habits of mind.

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