Work Hard. Be Nice.: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the by Jay Mathews

By Jay Mathews

Whilst Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin signed up for educate for the USA correct after collage and located themselves utter disasters within the lecture room, they vowed to remake themselves into stronger educators. They did that—and extra. of their early twenties, via sheer strength of expertise and resolution by no means to take no for a solution, they created a wildly winning fifth-grade event that might develop into the information Is strength application (KIPP), which at the present time comprises sixty-six colleges in nineteen states and the District of Columbia. KIPP colleges comprise what Feinberg and Levin realized from America's most sensible, such a lot charismatic academics: classes must be full of life; tuition days have to be longer (the KIPP day is 9 and a part hours); the finishing touch of homework should be sacrosanct (KIPP academics can be found by way of mobile day and night). Chants, songs, and slogans corresponding to "Work not easy, be great" energize this system. Illuminating the ups and downs of the KIPP founders and their scholars, Mathews provides us anything really infrequent: a hopeful e-book approximately schooling.

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Work Hard. Be Nice.: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America

While Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin signed up for train for the US correct after collage and located themselves utter disasters within the school room, they vowed to remake themselves into more suitable educators. They did that—and extra. of their early twenties, by way of sheer strength of expertise and backbone by no means to take no for a solution, they created a wildly profitable fifth-grade event that might develop into the data Is energy application (KIPP), which this day contains sixty-six faculties in nineteen states and the District of Columbia.

Extra resources for Work Hard. Be Nice.: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America

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The grant officials were surprised to see them again. The four thousand dollars caused consternation. The two teachers sat patiently while people whispered and scurried about. Eventually, Feinberg and Levin were informed that a KIPP fund-raising account had been established, and the money was deposited there. As the KIPP founders, they could decide how to spend the money, but Virden would have to approve each expenditure. It was exciting to be starting something new. John Lin, the graphic-designer brother of Levin’s college girlfriend, created logos for the new program, including a stylish rendering of the four letters, KIPP, as if they had been written in chalk on a blackboard.

Levin really cared. Feinberg’s Spanish was bad, of course, and Levin’s was no better, but at least they tried to speak it. They were very respectful to the mothers and fathers who were, in many cases, not that much older than they were. Levin and Feinberg’s encouragement of home visits would eventually become one of their most unconventional policies. Many school district administrators, in both poor neighborhoods and rich ones, discouraged the practice. But Feinberg and Levin had discovered that most of their parents considered the visits to be a sign of respect, even when they did not call in advance.

They tried to arrange a job at Bastian for Feinberg. Joyce Andrews was still principal when they hatched their plan, so Feinberg went to see her and the school’s parent coordinator. The coordinator asked about Feinberg’s experience with African American students. Garcia, where Feinberg was teaching, was predominantly Hispanic, but Bastian had mostly black kids. The coordinator was not sure Feinberg was ready for that. He described his experience teaching Ethiopian Jews in Israel. He tried to make his stories about the refugee camp vivid and entertaining.

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