I just read and reviewed Hope against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America’s Children by Sarah Carr, to be released February 26, 2013. I urge you to pre-order it.

Books on education tend to be deeply misguided and self-promoting or trapped in the “miracle” school/ “no excuses” memes that also dominate flawed education reform.

Diane Ravitch’s recent and upcoming books as well as Kathleen Nolan’s Police in the Hallways are rare exceptions.

I am surprised, then, and eager to recommend Carr’s wonderful narrative of post-Katrina education reform in New Orleans, a crucible of the keynotes of the newest reform movement invested in charter schools and Teach for America.

If you are skeptical of the new reforms and frustrated with the status quo of public education’s failure to address children and neighborhoods most in need, Carr’s book is a perfect story of three people living the reality of both.

See an excerpt at The Atlantic: “The Real Reason More Low-Income Students Don’t Go to College”

While reading, I also compiled a companion reading list, below:

Police in the Hallways: Discipline in an Urban High School, Kathleen Nolan


“More Challenges to Kirp’s ‘Miracle’ Narrative,” @ The Chalk Face, P. L. Thomas


“Final Words of Advice,” “Where Do We Go from Here?” Martin Luther King Jr. (1967)


Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom and “Multiplication Is for White People”: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children, Lisa Delpit


“Murky Waters: The Education Debate in New Orleans,” Truthout, Adam Bessie and Dan Archer


“The Teaching Profession as a Service Industry,” Daily Censored, P. L. Thomas


“Is There a Christmas Miracle in School Reform Debate?” The Answer Sheet/The Washington Post, P. L. Thomas


“Unpacking TFA Support: Twisted Logic and Assumptions,” Schools Matter, P. L. Thomas


“Current Education Reform Perpetuating, Not Curbing, Inequity,” the becoming radical, P. L. Thomas


“Lessons from the Zombie Apocalypse,” the becoming radical, P. L. Thomas


“Reconsidering Education ‘Miracles,’” OpEdNews, P. L. Thomas


“The New Layoff Formula Project,” The Shanker Blog, Matthew Di Carlo


The Mis-Education of the Negro, Carter Woodson


“Poor Teaching for Poor Children in the Name of Reform,” Education Week, Alfie Kohn


“The Pedagogy of Poverty Versus Good Teaching,” Phi Delta Kappan, Martin Haberman


“’They’re All Our Children,’” AlterNet, P. L. Thomas