“During the last half century, five heroes changed how we think about, lead, study, and organize American education. Their stories are powerful reminders that individuals can make a difference.”
—Donna E. Shalala, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
“A joy to read. It inspires one to go the next step just as these remarkable leaders have done and continue to do every moment of their lives.”
—Anne L Bryant, National School Boards Association
“I hope this book will be read and treasured as a gift from the veterans to those of the younger generation who will carry on their struggle for democratic education.”
—Jonathan Kozol, author Amazing Grace
“These five people are all visionaries, to be sure, but even better for us readers they are among the most talented writers to be found in the academy of education scholars and reformers today.”
—Jay Mathews, Washington Post education columnist
“For all those eager to pursue the seemingly endless battle to improve our nation’s public schools, Those Who Dared is essential reading . . . an outstanding blueprint for educational change.”
—Wendy Puriefoy, Public Education Network
“This book reminds us of what schools can be: human and humane, intellectually vibrant, and deeply democratic.”
—Mike Rose, author of Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America
“An insightful collection of essays by some of the most innovative and influential educational leaders and thinkers of the last forty years . . . a refreshing source of inspiration.”
—Pedro A. Noguera, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, New York University
“This book is a treat and a gift. Most of us won’t have the opportunity to spend a relaxed evening listening to Ted, Debbie, Jim, John, and Hank reflect on their journeys, and that makes reading Those Who Dared the next best option.”
—John Merrow, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, education correspondent
“These stories underscore the strong social, political, and economic linkages between the nation and its public schools.”
—Larry Cuban, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University
“This is a book about original, all-American, democratic hope.”
—Pat Wasley, Dean of the College of Education, University of Washington
“These personal accounts will guide and inspire future educational pioneers.”
—Lee S. Shulman, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
“This slender volume packs a powerful punch: conveying, in very personal terms, the life lessons of five of American education's most towering figures. Anyone concerned about the democratic promise of public schools should read this book.”
—Richard D. Kahlenberg, author of Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race and Democracy
For decades, practically every major initiative in American education (from top-down standards to the testing movement) has moved decision-making farther away from the school. Throughout their careers, Deborah Meier, John Goodlad, James Comer, Ted Sizer, and Henry Levin have been at the forefront of the fight against this trend, working to give our schools back the ability to educate students in the broadest and richest traditions of activity, inquiry, and problem solving. Now these visionary educators have joined together to share their personal stories of the challenges and triumphs they faced in the classroom, and their ideas of what education can and should be for every student. Serving as an inspirational guide to action for those looking to be more involved in the urgent and continuing efforts to restore America’s public schools, this book:
- Brings together the experiences and insights of greatly influential and progressive educational leaders of the past half-century...and they are still working today!
- Ranges from highly personal to imminently practical to passionately political, with each writer offering a unique perspective on what it takes to sustain major school change.
- Recounts the many instances when the authors thought beyond the conventional boundaries of educational practice to find innovative solutions in a number of critical areas, including developing more effective curriculum and assessment, expanding the benefits of gifted education to every child, strengthening school/community partnerships, and addressing the specific needs of small schools and learning communities.
Carl Glickman is President of the Institute for Schools, Education, and Democracy, and former University Professor at The University of Georgia-Athens. He is also the editor of Letters to the Next President: What We Can Do About the Real Crisis in Public Education, 2008 Election Edition.