Publication date:15 June 2009
Length of book:300 pages
Choosing Excellence in Public Schools explains the origins of the low expectations we have of children, including, notably, children of color, those for whom English is a second language, poor children and children with disabilities. The book dispels the basis for low expectations. It makes clear the economic, demographic, civic, personal and moral imperative to educate all children to high standards and the consequences of not doing so. Hornbeck and Conner set forth a comprehensive, radical agenda based on proven practices and practical experience that will result in education success for virtually all children where faithfully implemented. This book breaks new ground. It establishes that the missing ingredient in school reform is the absence of values-driven, focused, well-financed, professionally staffed, technologically sophisticated grassroots expression of the public will insisting that the political, media, business, judicial and organized labor institutions that make the choices that result in our children's learning conditions make different, and effective choices. We get the education for our own children and grandchildren and those of others that we tolerate or demand.
I've read dozens of books on why we ought to make all of our schools successful and how to do it. No one tells us more compellingly than David Hornbeck. He and Katherine Conner have done unique work describing the public will that must create powerful support for successful schools and how to sustain that will in a way to move mountains, elect governors, and mobilize a people. If we are to realize our dreams for public schools and America's children, if Barack Obama's crusade for change is to succeed, this book must be our roadmap and our inspiration.