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Work Hard, Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America (Anglais) Broché – 20 janvier 2009


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Work Hard. Be Nice In "Work Hard, Be Nice," Mathews captures the exuberance [and] intelligence . . . of two young educators. [They're] why KIPP [Knowledge Is Power Program] schools are successful and why this book should be read by everyone who cares about education.--Richard W. Riley, former U.S. Secretary of2Education. Full description


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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 328 pages
  • Editeur : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (20 janvier 2009)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1565125169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565125162
  • Dimensions du produit: 14 x 2,4 x 21 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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Format: Broché
Le livre m'a rempli d'admiration pour l'épopée de ces deux garçons. Leur parcours est si inspirant que j'ai ressenti l' envie de changer de carrière et d'aller rejoindre leur équipe
Les enseignants de nos enfants devraient avoir l'obligation de lire ce livre;
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Par Ego Christophe le 25 février 2012
Format: Broché
Ce livre à caractère biographique retrace la carrière des deux fondateurs des maintenant célèbres écoles KIPP (knowledge is power program). Ce livre démontre qu'il est possible de nettement relever le niveau de l'enseignement pour tous, même les plus démunis.
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Amazon.com: 69 commentaires
45 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Engaging story of a promising school model 11 février 2009
Par Timothy J. Bartik - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Jay Mathews's book is a good story and description of the history and accomplishments of the KIPP schools. Among its strengths are the following:

1. It is a well-written and highly engaging book. The personal stories of KIPP's founders are interwoven with their battles with institutions in a manner that attracts and keeps the reader's attention.

2. The book includes some detailed stories of what goes on within KIPP schools. The book does a good job of describing key KIPP program elements that include longer school days and school years, more homework, more teacher home contact, along with an eclectic group of pedagogical techniques.

3. The book highlights the contribution to the KIPP model of teachers Harriett Ball and Rafe Esquith, who greatly influenced KIPP's founders.

4. The book is fair in discussing some criticisms of the KIPP model, including that it may select more motivated students and parents in some cases, and may lead to selective dropouts of students who do not progress as well.

Among its weaknesses are the following:

1. I was surprised that the book did not more extensively discuss WHY KIPP appears to be successful. To what extent can KIPP's effects on academic achievement simply be attributed to its students spending more time in school? It would be interesting to discuss this with KIPP teachers, students, and parents, and with educational researchers who have observed KIPP. There are empirical estimates available of how time in school affects achievement gains, and it might be interesting to see whether KIPP performs better or worse than one would expect given the increased time it implies in school.

2. The report did briefly discuss some of the empirical research on KIPP's outcomes. I thought that this empirical research deserved a lengthier review. I recognize that Mathews may have felt that such a review might not fit into his comparative advantage as a journalist, and might put off some readers. For those interested, Columbia Professor Jeffrey Henig has written a useful recent review entitled "What Do We Know About the Outcomes of KIPP Schools?" You can find this online for free easily by googling.
45 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
No Short Cuts; No Panacea 31 juillet 2009
Par Teresa Buczinsky - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
To their credit, no one in the KIPP story, neither the writer of this book, nor the teachers themselves, claims that the KIPP program is a panacea for all the ills of education among disadvantaged students. Nonetheless, I imagine that many of this book's readers are teachers like myself who continue to look for ideas and strategies proven successful in schools, especially among struggling students. I opened this book hoping that I might encounter an idea to apply in my own classroom or to bring up as an option for my school administrators as they look for ways to improve. This is not that kind of book.

Halfway through Work Hard, Be Nice, I realized that the heart of the KIPP method--extended teaching hours, Saturday school, summer school, evenings spent with students' families and a cell phone at hand to ensure that students can reach the teacher for homework help--was a recipe for teacher burn out. No one should be surprised by KIPP's success; these students get nearly twice as much attention as most students do. Unfortunately, KIPP's success seems to be built upon the backs of young, energetic teachers who do not yet have families and who do not seem to have a personal need for down time. For those of us who are committed to teaching as a lifetime profession, the book simply underlines what we already know: there are no short cuts, and there is never enough time to do all that we would like to for our students.

Five years into my career, I knew that I had to adopt some limits to the time I would give my students. If I didn't, I would end up leaving a career I loved. I began to limit my workday to eleven hours. That gave me one additional hour of prep and assessment time for each hour I spent with students. I limited my weekend work time to five hours or one set of essays; I would answer email and phone calls during my workday, but not once I was home with my family. Largely because I learned the limits of what I could do, I stayed with the profession and will begin my twenty-fourth year of teaching this fall. And I still love it.

I applaud the idea of doubling up the time we give our students, but to do so, we need two teachers in every class room.
71 internautes sur 77 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Where was the editor? 3 avril 2009
Par Swimmer's mom - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I read this book on a plane. It's a fascinating story, but could have used some serious editing, particularly with respect to chronology. There was too much jumping ahead and then rewinding, which was confusing, especially because the story moved between New York and Houston after the first several years and it was sometimes hard to keep straight which school we were reading about. I don't like the recreated dialogue convention -- obviously, no one was taking notes during all of these conversations and confrontations over more than a decade. And do all of the physical descriptions of the major players (other than the two teachers) really add to our understanding of this story? Do we really need to know when Feinberg and his wife-to-be began their physical relationship?
With regard to the small section devoted to empirical research, I believe that the author has too easily dismissed the observation that the students attending KIPP schools are not randomly selected. Although their family socioeconomic background may be identical to students who are languishing in nearby non-KIPP public schools, each of the KIPP students who perseveres in this program, and their parents or other relatives, has freely chosen to be there -- to do the extra work, to put in the extra time, and to push themselves. The relatively high dropout rate in some KIPP schools illustrates that this approach is not a panacea for all lower-income students, especially those non-immigrant students whose parents are so mired in their own dysfunction that they would never even consider a program like KIPP. (The differences the teachers noted between the Hispanic immigrant families in Houston and the mostly black families in New York was profound, and perhaps deserved more attention in the book.) And although Feinberg and Levin may not have wanted to make much of their gender, the fact remains that much of what they achieved was made possible, at least in the early years, by their being big guys who could deal with troublesome boys in a way that petite women usually cannot. For most fifth graders, a young and energetic male teacher is a novelty, and these teachers clearly made the most of it.
Having said that, I think that this book should be required reading for all inner-city teachers and, especially, administrators.
34 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A most important book 26 janvier 2009
Par Donald E. Graham - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
You can't be more biased than I am in writing this review: I am a lifelong friend and co-worker of the author's AND a believer in KIPP (I'm a board member of KIPP-DC).

That said: I think this is one of the most important books that will be published in 2009--and for all its importance, a lot of fun as well.

The book describes an amazing, but now widespread group of charter schools that produce what look like impossible results. They take thousands of inner-city public school students and help them turn into top-class academic performers. Here in Washington DC, the number one public middle school on standardized reading and math tests in 2008 wasn't the school in Georgetown or another upper-income neighborhood. It was a KIPP school across the Anacostia River.

Jay Mathews tells the story of KIPP back to its earliest days--back to two lost Teach for America teachers in Houston groping desperately for help in becoming successful teachers--and being wise enough to find it in a classroom across the hall. They learned, and they started a school. Only a few years later there are KIPP schools all across the country producing extraordinary results. The book is detailed, fascinating--and often, very funny.

You'll enjoy this book no matter who or where you are. But if you are at all interested in urban public education, you won't want to miss it.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Very, Very Impressive! 8 mars 2009
Par Loyd E. Eskildson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
"Work Hard, Be Nice" is the story of how two young dedicated 1992 Teach for America graduates drove themselves to study successful teachers and experiment themselves to create a model for significantly improving the academic achievement of mostly low-income, minority pupils - beginning in Houston and then New York city. En route, they also persuaded several of their earlier role models to join them, and founded the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) that has now grown to 66 schools in 19 states and D.C., with more than 16,000 students. The majority of these schools teach 5th through 8th-graders; over 90% of the students are minorities, and over 80% qualify for free or reduced-price lunch programs. In 2007, nearly 95 percent of KIPP alumni went on to college-preparatory high schools; more than 80% of those completing 8th grade in KIPP matriculate into college.

The two founders, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, did not have an easy time of it. Their early formal training was of little/no value, the children were often ill-behaved and spoke mostly Spanish, and the education bureaucracy was almost always more of an obstacle than benefit. Yet, they learned how to impose strict discipline, took the initiative to visit parents at home (a "no-no" per school rules), improve their beginners' Spanish, and extended the school day (7:30 - 5:00, M-F), school week (selected Saturdays 8:30 - 1:30, usually twice/month), and school year (2 - 3 week mandatory summer-school). All pupils were given their teachers' home phone # - to call about homework or anything else. The two teachers usually got 10 - 20 calls/night, sometimes collect calls from neighborhood pay phones.

Finding their pupils frustrated by less demanding and rewarding classes after finishing Levin and Feinberg's 5th-grade classes, the two hit upon the idea of expanding through the 8th-grade, by which time the habits would be thoroughly ingrained and the pupils could be then relayed to magnet or college-prep high-schools.

Feinberg and Levin's work was initially measured by the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. The practice was to exempt low-scorers from taking the test - either parents or the teacher would sign a form stating the pupil's language skills were not adequate for the test, or that they had a learning disability. Both Feinberg and Levin refused and asked the parents to do so also - this got Levin (teacher of the year at his school in his second year) fired, but only from that school. Needless to say, their pupils did very well.

"Work Hard, Be Nice" includes several instances of strong leadership that helped turn individual pupils around. My favorite involved a young girl that repeatedly failed to do her homework. At a home visit, Levin discovered the problem - watching TV. He then persuaded the mother to let him take the TV away - to be returned upon her completing the homework every day for three weeks. She did, went on to become a success, the TV was returned, and all the other pupils took note.

Critics point out that there is a degree of self-selection for KIPP classrooms - only the motivated parents and pupils join and stay. This ignores, however, the strong role Levin and Feinberg have in building that motivation. It also ignores the fact that sometimes principals encourage problem pupils to join KIPP so they no longer have to deal with them.

Bottom Line: Fineberg and Levin are making a major contribution to America's future, and "Work Hard, Be Nice" does a great job telling their story.
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