Work Hard, Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America

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Work Hard, Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America

Format:  Paperback,

328 pages

Publisher: Workman Pub Co

Publish Date: Jan 2009

ISBN-13: 9781565125162

ISBN-10: 1565125169

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
When Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin signed up for Teach for America right after college and found themselves utter failures in the classroom, they vowed to remake themselves into superior educators. They did that and more. In their early twenties, by sheer force of talent and determination never to take no for an answer, they created a wildly successful fifth-grade experience that would grow into the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), which today includes sixty-six schools in nineteen states and the District of Columbia.
KIPP schools incorporate what Feinberg and Levin learned from America's best, most charismatic teachers: lessons need to be lively; school days need to be longer (the KIPP day is nine and a half hours); the completion of homework has to be sacrosanct (KIPP teachers are available by telephone day and night). Chants, songs, and slogans such as "Work hard, be nice" energize the program. Illuminating the ups and downs of the KIPP founders and their students, Mathews gives us something quite rare: a hopeful book about education.

Specifications

Publisher: Workman Pub Co
Publish Date: Jan 2009
ISBN-13: 9781565125162
ISBN-10: 1565125169
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 328
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.75
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.5 x 8.75 x 1.0

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2009-02-01)

Mathews's (Escalante: The Best Teacher in America) book follows the lives of the two educators who founded the successful Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), a system of 65 schools that have revolutionized inner-city education. In 1995, Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg, tired of urban classroom chaos, came up with KIPP to help guarantee student success from grade school to college. They fought against classroom apathy, and reached out to students through homework assistance over the phone and regular home visitations with parents.

The result has been an increasing group of self-motivated inner-city kids who have raised expectations for themselves and their future. However, it wasn't easy. Levin and Feinberg were constantly tested by unbending educational bureaucrats, uncooperative parents, and budget constraints. Though the book's writing structure is a bit scattered and repetitive, it does well to convey how KIPP continues to change lives despite criticism from outsiders. Suitable for public libraries.

-Karen Long, Farmington P.L., NM

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal (2009-09-01)

In 1994, frustrated by the widely held attitude that low-income students were incapable of academic success, teachers Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin founded the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP; www.kipp.org), which emphasizes the "joy factor" of learning and is today implemented in 82 schools nationwide. Here, Washington Post education reporter Mathews clearly demonstrates the enthusiasm, hard work, and dedication of the KIPP teachers and students, while Audie Award winner J. Paul Boehmer does a credible job of portraying Feinberg and Levin. Sure to inspire both educators and parents, especially those looking to make a difference in schools performing poorly and in need of change.

- Theresa Stoner, St. Joseph Cty. P.L., South Bend, IN

(c). Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

When Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin signed up for Teach for America right after college and found themselves utter failures in the classroom, they vowed to remake themselves into superior educators. They did that—and more. In their early twenties, by sheer force of talent and determination never to take no for an answer, they created a wildly successful fifth-grade experience that would grow into the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), which today includes sixty-six schools in nineteen states and the District of Columbia.

KIPP schools incorporate what Feinberg and Levin learned from America's best, most charismatic teachers: lessons need to be lively; school days need to be longer (the KIPP day is nine and a half hours); the completion of homework has to be sacrosanct (KIPP teachers are available by telephone day and night). Chants, songs, and slogans such as "Work hard, be nice" energize the program. Illuminating the ups and downs of the KIPP founders and their students, Mathews gives us something quite rare: a hopeful book about education.

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