The exhilarating true story of how two young educators
founded a nationwide middle school program that has produced the largest
increase in academic achievement ever seen in inner-city schools.
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, they created a wildly successful classroom model 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 completion of homework has to be sacrosanct.
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: hope about the future of education.
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