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WORK HARD, BE NICE. by J. MATTHEW. Topics EDUCATION Be the first one to write a review. 1, Views. DOWNLOAD OPTIONS. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Many people in the United States believe that Created the Most Promising Schools in America eBook: Jay Mathews: Kindle Store. $ Read with Our Free App; Audiobook .. Download. Work Hard. Be Nice. book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. When Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin signed up for Teach for Amer.

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Mathews makes his book as entertaining as any novel by weaving personal and professional stories and by surrounding his two stars with interesting characters. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

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. 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: Read more Read less. Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled Audible book: Audible book Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible book with Whispersync for Voice. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser.

Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Founders: Richard Whitmire. Oh Crap! Potty Training: Jamie Glowacki. Teach Like Finland: Timothy D.

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The Story of Success. Malcolm Gladwell. An American Story. Amy Goldstein. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. Paul Tough. Editorial Reviews From Publishers Weekly Many people in the United States believe that low-income children can no more be expected to do well in school than ballerinas can be counted on to excel in football, begins Washington Post education reporter Mathews Escalante: The Best Teacher in America.

He delves into the Knowledge Is Power Program KIPP and follows the enterprise's founders, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, from their days as young educators in the Teach for America program to heading one of the country's most controversial education programs running today. Luckily for many low-income children, Feinberg and Levin believed that with proper mentors, student incentives and unrestrained enthusiasm on the part of the teachers, some of the country's poorest children could surpass the expectations of most inner-city public schools.

Mathews emphasizes Feinberg and Levin's personal stakes in the KIPP program, as they often found themselves becoming personally involved with the families of their students in one case Feinberg took the TV away from a student's apartment because the student's mother insisted that she could not stop her child from watching it.

Mathews innate ability to be at once observer and commentator makes this an insightful and enlightening book. All rights reserved. See all Editorial Reviews. Product details File Size: Algonquin Books January 20, Publication Date: January 20, Sold by: English ASIN: Enabled X-Ray: Share your thoughts with other customers.

Write a customer review. How does KIPP accomplish this? The book has gained momentum. Bill Gates recently provided a copy for all attendees at the TED talks, where he outlined his take on the biggest challenges facing the world and the United States today: Dec 26, Mona rated it it was ok Shelves: The story of a couple of educators who started their own educational program and eventually charter school system REVIEW: I would have found this more useful if it had given a more balanced view of the education debate.

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It is very biased as pro-charter school and very pro-these specific charter school founders. I do give the guys Fienberg and Leven props for the fact that they really care, saw a problem and tried to fix it, and gave of themselves.

Their intentions seemed good. And while ultimately, they came to a conclusion that education is a business, I don't think they did what they did to make money. However, I also think that the portrayal of them a mavericks who were the only ones who cared about under privileged kids getting an education is a bit much.

While I think there are problems with the educational system in this country I don't think they are intrinsic. Talking about apathetic teachers is a cop out. There are apathetic employees in any profession.

Bureaucracy is a part of any large system including large businesses and so not the reason to chuck in a system. To lament the lack of money and resources in public education, and blaming the institution for that is the height of hypocrisy.

When we are the reason that public education has many of the flaws that it has. And when with the resources given educators cannot get blood from a stone they are condemned for the failures, and then given less because we don't want to waste money on failures.

Charter schools have to do less, with more resources which are taken away from public schools, less oversight and then praised for it. May 20, Donura rated it it was amazing Shelves: As their story unfolds, you find yourself cheering for them at each triumph, and ready to jump in and help them fight off the naysayer who thr RATING: As their story unfolds, you find yourself cheering for them at each triumph, and ready to jump in and help them fight off the naysayer who throws up the roadblocks.


The manner that Mr. Mathews uses to weave all the individual stories together is very appealing and helpful in putting a personal face on the story of public education with all its flaws. So many books have been written about different aspects of K education, charter education, and different models, but this book will engage anyone regardless of their exposure to the subject.

Without an overload of statistics or rankings, this story is told with the clear concise pictures of success and the rewards of that success. If you have an interest in education, listen to this book, if you have children entering the public school system, listen to this book, if you are a new teacher looking for a successful curriculum to embrace, listen to this book, or if you just love a real world story of success, listen to this book.

I have been involved in the charter school movement since and have 4 children that have attended charter schools. Two of them have just graduated from a KIPP school and one is entering the 7th grade. That being said, I did not know the story of Mike Fienberg and David Levin or how the design was conceived and refined, I just knew it worked for my kids. The two graduates are both headed off to private schools on scholarships, and I am thrilled that I have been able to listen to the story of KIPP which gave them their head start to college.

Dec 27, Ashley Shinpoch rated it it was ok. I had some issues with this book. That schools could be run like a business.

Just no. Unfortunately, my nuggets aren't Blu-Ray players, and therefore, shouldn't be treated as such. The author's focus on youth. Just because you're young doesn't necessarily mean you have a ton of energy. I know teachers who are in their 50s and 60s who could run circles around me.

I aspire to have their energy someday. The author didn't address SPED or students. Are there any in the KIPP system?

As I had some issues with this book. As their motto is everybody will learn, I was curious to see how this was addressed. Especially with teachers who may not be certified to teach SPED students. The exceptionally long hours of the school day. I was stressed just reading about the 7: This would be active school and teaching. Not just staying late to make copies or reviewing your lesson plans.

Talk about an early burn out. While I consider myself motivated and excited, this would have killed my enthusiasm. Teach for America is NOT a miracle cure. I found Levin and Feinberg at times to be a little on the douchey side. Putting your feet up on MY desk?

You must be out of your mind. Some things I did like: I was inspired by Levin's and Feinberg's enthusiasm.

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It's obvious they were passionate about their kids. The slogan: Alllllll day, y'all. The intense focus on reading. Reading is the key, people. Taking the kids to live performances of plays and musicals. How awesome, right? This book spells out the problems within public education, and what will need to happen to fix it. For children who are economically disadvantaged with parents who need help navigating through the middle class- centered public school system, this is the way to go: Five full days with a half day on Saturday Longer days so that study halls could be built into the schedule After hours access to teachers.

More time focusing on fundamentals and less time focusing on things that should be seconda This book spells out the problems within public education, and what will need to happen to fix it. More time focusing on fundamentals and less time focusing on things that should be secondary I don't believe this should be the set up under any other circumstance because it takes educational ownership out of the hands of the parents, who I believe should be responsible for supplimenting their children's education through reading, art, athletics,or any other activity the child shows an interest.

Work Hard Be Nice doesn't spend any time addressing the needs of the learning disabled. Remember, the charters can brag about their success because they pick their team. Public schools cannot. These two men are polarizing forces in education. Although their program is first class, both are inflexible and difficult in regards to following rules and procedures set before them within the public school system, which is perhaps why they left.

If you enjoyed this book, watch Waiting for Superman. Yeah, it's charter propoganda, but it does bring up some valid issues regarding public education. I know: I've been teaching for fifteen years!

Jun 29, zakhro rated it really liked it. BUT, it must be especially marked that chapters were locat this is a pretty good book over all. BUT, it must be especially marked that chapters were located in the wrong order.

May 24, Adam rated it it was ok. If I did not already know the story very well I am a Houston-area teacher I have no idea how this disjointed narrative would have come across. The 2-star's "it was ok" label is the perfect descriptor. They are good schools for kids who fall in line. They pluck the best and brightest from poor areas, leaving the truly tough cases to public schools, but market themselves as if they are taking the tough cases, when in truth they are constantly weeding them out and abandoning responsibility for them.

There's a great movie in there, but like all great education movies, the truth is very easy to lose in our collective desire to treat all narratives as heroic ones. Apr 29, Joanne rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: I've been interested in the KIPP Knowledge is Power schools as an alternative model, since they appear occasionally in the educational media.

This book gives a great history of how two former Teach for America teachers developed a national organization of schools -- lots and lots of time invested, lots of challenges from bureaucracy, lots of unexpected bumps. It took a lot of energy and a lot of commitment, and it looks like it works really well for some kids.

The critics jump on that "some ki I've been interested in the KIPP Knowledge is Power schools as an alternative model, since they appear occasionally in the educational media.

The critics jump on that "some kids" part, pointing at the high attrition rate and so on, but given the low-income, crummily schooled population they're usually dealing with, some is certainly better than none, which is the default. We'll see if KIPP can sustain their momentum over time. They rely heavily on a young, single teaching force, but they're trying to build in more flexibility so that they're able to keep people longer.

I think people generally interested in alternative public models of schooling would be interested in this book, as would anyone interested in starting something new. Oct 22, Molly rated it liked it. This book is basically the "life and times" of the KIPP program. The book is very well written, but unfortunately, the subject matter isn't the best. KIPP, in my area, is referred to as "the cult.

From what I have read in this book, I can see why that is the case. I wouldn't really recommend it though. Dec 29, Jeremy rated it really liked it Shelves: Jay Mathews tells the compelling story of how two young teachers created and expanded the KIPP schools, one of the most fascinating national charter school programs. Mathews' writes in a clear, engaging way but his effusive love for his subjects is occasionally trying. A worthwhile read for anyone in or interested in education.

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View 1 comment. Apr 03, Maria rated it it was ok Shelves: I struggled with the organization of the book It jumped around in time and parts of it seemed really disconnected. I felt like the end of the book became an advertisement KIPP schools. It wasn't a critical lense but rather a presentation of statistics supporting the work they and TfA are doing.

Jan 31, Oliver rated it really liked it. Writing is not the best, but I love the school. Feb 21, David Glad rated it it was amazing Shelves: Aside from a great history of an excellent program Knowledge Is Power Program -- KIPP , it also has nice life lessons with -- as would especially be true of an educational bureaucracy -- power of persistence to push for results.

Co-founders Mike Feinberg and David Levin really are the dynamic duo. One of the early observations that stuck out was "Never settle for a bad product or service without complaint," where one of the co-founders instructed his students to begin calling up numbers of admin Aside from a great history of an excellent program Knowledge Is Power Program -- KIPP , it also has nice life lessons with -- as would especially be true of an educational bureaucracy -- power of persistence to push for results.

One of the early observations that stuck out was "Never settle for a bad product or service without complaint," where one of the co-founders instructed his students to begin calling up numbers of administrative officials to push to find out where their school for the next year would be. It was unclear if it would be continued at the time. The principal thought they were calling from a centralized location rather than going home and calling.

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Like anyone looking to buck the dismal trend of education once they conceived the idea for KIPP while they were still taking part in the Teach for America program , Feinberg and Levin's methods were a bit unconventional. Their early students who often did not have cable or possibly even home phones would call the teachers from payphones calling collect for homework help outside of school. They would come to the parents' houses, which was hugely frowned upon by the school system and yet the parents appreciated the face-to-face contact, especially the Hispanic ones who had a cultural preference for it.

They were mentored by a Houston teacher Harriett Ball, who had superior abilities in engaging a class and appreciated young teachers looking to improve versus most teachers she was surrounded by who had no particular desire to get better but still were annoyed when she was named teacher of the year each year. Lesson apparently being those who are more experienced and knowledgeable are usually willing to help. KIPP was unique in that it tried to be a full school year with 50 weeks of school, including summer sessions.

During the regular school year it would run from 7: Some parents signed their children up because it essentially was free daycare for them but with the added results.

Among hiccups at start of a new year were getting students from other schools in to the habit of turning in homework. Some of the teachers earned more than regular teachers, but they also worked a LOT more hours. The pitch to students was they would get McDonald's or Wendy's I would like to believe the food was healthier back in the 90s..

If they were well-behaved and performed excellently, they would get to go on a class trip. One was to DC where Feinberg spotted a busy Justice Breyer and managed to get him to say hi to the students for a brief moment, but he decided to let his meeting wait after finding the students exceptional after one asked him whether he ruled in Miranda v. Arizona -- before his time -- and asked a follow-up on how he would have voted. Another was a road trip to the Grand Canyon where the students were amazed when they were driving in the desert, which the teachers realized next time they should wake up early to fully see all of their students' reactions.

Small consolation the teacher sat in the back with the students. Also worth noting that a super-majority of the students performed excellently on standardized tests when previously teachers would try to get them exempted to prevent the school from looking bad or losing some funding.

They saw problems as usually being opportunities.. Another episode they were stuck getting a school 45 minutes away from the parents' homes, even if the benefit was it was in an affluent white neighborhood without the drugs or gang problems of being next to the inner-city high school as was originally intended.. Some schools did not explicitly discourage "rogue" behavior such as teaching students outdoors or in the school library when there was a lack of school space provided due to the schools often being consumed by more urgent matters.

As for the expansion to the South Bronx, the mostly black residents were cynical of authority figures versus the Houston Hispanics who perceived themselves as upwardly mobile and welcomed chances to provide the best opportunities for their children. The book did chronicle the nice evolution of the program and being somewhat aggressive in getting the students. As they offered more grade levels, they would even get siblings of children to join the program. When some students initially moved on but struggled at the new school not being as powerful an experience, Levin and Feinberg would try to give encouragement on how they needed to take charge of their own education.

Even as they realized it a bit of a cop-out for a struggling student. Since everyone's a critic: Among criticisms KIPP would face would be selection bias for the students they admitted. Barely any union presence. It is free and easy. Type this in Google search bar: First few results will give you direct access to database directory where you will get books for free and you need to click only once to download them. For example I want to download a book "One hundred years of Solitude.

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