Top New Books for Educators
Outside the Classroom

Top New Books for Educators

Mission HighMission High: One School, How Experts Tried to Fail It, and the Students and Teachers Who Made It Triumph

Kristina Rizga

Release Date: August 4, 2015

It’s easier for a journalist to embed with the Army than to go behind the scenes at an American public school. Kristina Rizga spent an unprecedented four years reporting from the classrooms and hallways of Mission High School in San Francisco. The result is Mission High, a first hand report from inside a “low-performing” school whose students are, in fact, thriving.

Rizga expected noisy classrooms, hallway fights, and disgruntled staff. Instead, she found a welcoming place; satisfied students, teachers and parents; plummeting dropout rates; and a diverse student body with an 88% college acceptance rate. By closely following the individual lives of students and teachers, Rizga illustrates the invisible structures, essential ingredients, and specialized skills that drive genuine academic achievement.

Mission High shows how the alternative, hyper-local and progressive approach of Mission High School works. In providing context for the success of Mission High, Rizga explores the most contentious issues surrounding education in America. She argues that attentive, conceptually driven teaching can lead to learning regardless of socio-economic background, and that mixing high-achieving students and underachieving students benefits both groups. She shows how the focus on standardized test scores can’t fix America’s education system, because the most important data lives at the individual classroom level—where positive outcomes depend on the cooperation between students and teachers.

In tracking Mission High’s students through college, Rizga provides a model for the future of education in America and shows how we all benefit from the kind of engaged learners, innovators, independent thinkers, and compassionate citizens that can emerge from the public school system.

Never Send a Human to Do a Machine's Job

Never Send a Human to Do a Machine’s Job: Correcting the Top 5 EdTech Mistakes

Yong Zhao, Gaoming Zhang, Jing Lei, Wei Qiu

Release Date: August 4, 2015

Technology has transformed our lives. Virtually every school and classroom is connected. Why then, has it not transformed education? Consider these five ways educators can begin to optimize classroom technology and rethink its use:

  • See technology as a complement rather than a replacement.
  • Embrace its creation potential over consumption function.
  • Encourage design and personalized learning over standards and outcomes.
  • Celebrate the journey toward digital competence over curriculum improvement.
  • Focus on tech-pedagogy over product usage.

Learn how to let technology cultivate student autonomy, creativity, and responsibility while focusing on lessons that hone higher-order and critical thinking skills.

Leadership

Leadership: Key Competencies for Whole-System Change

Lyle Kirtman, Michael Fullan

Release Date: August 14, 2015

Develop a creative, productive school culture. Based on their decades-long work in leadership, the authors offer seven core leadership competencies for systemic change in schools, districts, and state education systems. Discover targeted strategies to move past failed initiatives and overcome initiative overload, explore how to cultivate effective work practices, and gain the know-how to create enjoyable, innovative learning environments.

Most Likely to Succeed

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era

Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith

Release Date: August 18, 2015

From two leading experts in education and entrepreneurship, an urgent call for the radical re-imagining of American education so that we better equip students for the realities of the twenty-first century economy.

Today more than ever, we prize academic achievement, pressuring our children to get into the “right” colleges, have the highest GPAs, and pursue advanced degrees. But while students may graduate with credentials, by and large they lack the competencies needed to be thoughtful, engaged citizens and to get good jobs in our rapidly evolving economy. Our school system was engineered a century ago to produce a work force for a world that no longer exists. Alarmingly, our methods of schooling crush the creativity and initiative young people need to thrive in the twenty-first century.

In Most Likely to Succeed, bestselling author and education expert Tony Wagner and venture capitalist Ted Dintersmith call for a complete overhaul of the function and focus of American schools, sharing insights and stories from the front lines, including profiles of successful students, teachers, parents, and business leaders.

Most Likely to Succeed presents a new vision of American education, one that puts wonder, creativity, and initiative at the very heart of the learning process and prepares students for today’s economy. This book offers parents and educators a crucial guide to getting the best for their children and a roadmap for policymakers and opinion leaders.

Freedom to Learn

Freedom to Learn

Will Richardson

Release Date: August 31, 2015

Give students control over the learning process. The twenty-first century has seen vast advances in technology—which can connect students and teachers to more information, knowledge, and experts than ever before. Investigate why the traditional education system isn’t working, uncover why the meanings of education and success should be redefined, and understand the teacher’s role in a free learning environment.

About the Author

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Debbie Malone

Debbie is an Arizona native and longtime resident of the Phoenix area. She has always had a passion for telling a good story and decided to study journalism and mass communication at Arizona State University where she earned her BA in 2009. Following graduation, she spent four years working as a web content writer before joining the Edgenuity family in 2014. Debbie is proud to be able to share the story of her time at Edgenuity and the company's efforts to propel students everywhere toward academic success and achievement. In addition to writing (both professionally and for fun), Debbie also enjoys reading, gaming, archery, and avoiding sunlight.