December 20, 2021

Our Favorite Education Books Read in 2021

Education is a dynamic and exciting world that we love being a part of, and are always eager to learn more about the newest developments, trends, and best practices in order to better serve our district partners and larger community. Here are just a few of our favorite education titles that we read this year!

How the Other Half Learns: Equality, Excellence, and the Battle Over School Choice by Robert Pondiscio

Summary from Goodreads: The promise of public education is excellence for all. But that promise has seldom been kept for low-income children of color in America. In How the Other Half Learns, teacher and education journalist Robert Pondiscio focuses on Success Academy, the network of controversial charter schools in New York City founded by Eva Moskowitz, who has created something unprecedented in American education: a way for large numbers of engaged and ambitious low-income families of color to get an education for their children that equals and even exceeds what wealthy families take for granted…. But Moskowitz herself admits Success Academy is not for everyone, and this raises uncomfortable questions we'd rather not ask, let alone answer: What if the price of giving a first-rate education to children least likely to receive it means acknowledging that you can't do it for everyone? What if some problems are just too hard for schools alone to solve?

Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America from My Daughter’s School by Courtney E. Martin

Summary from Goodreads: Many of us are newly awakened to the continuing racial injustice all around us but are unsure of how to go beyond hashtags and yard signs to be part of transforming the country. Martin discovered that her public school, the foundation of our fragile democracy, is a powerful place to dig deeper. She examined her own fears, assumptions, and conversations with other parents as they navigated school choice. A vivid portrait of integration’s virtues and complexities, and the palpable joy of trying to live differently in a country re-making itself, Learning in Public might also set your family’s life on a different course forever.

Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Circumstances by John P. Cotter

Summary from Goodreads: Most of the denizens of the Antarctic penguin colony sneer at Fred, the quiet but observant scout who detects worrying signs that their home, an iceberg, is melting. Fred must cleverly convince and enlist key players, such as Louis, the head penguin; Alice, the number two bird; the intractable NoNo the weather expert; and a passle of school-age penguins if he is to save the colony. Their delightfully told journey illuminates in an unforgettable way how to manage the necessary change that surrounds us all. Simple explanatory material following the fable enhances the lasting value of these lessons. 

Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom by Lisa Delpit

Summary from Goodreads: In a radical analysis of contemporary classrooms, MacArthur Award–winning author Lisa Delpit develops ideas about ways teachers can be better “cultural transmitters” in the classroom, where prejudice, stereotypes, and cultural assumptions breed ineffective education. Delpit suggests that many academic problems attributed to children of color are actually the result of miscommunication, as primarily white teachers and “other people’s children” struggle with the imbalance of power and the dynamics plaguing our system.


Powerful Partnerships by Dr. Karen L. Mapp

Summary from Goodreads: Teachers and administrators will learn how to create the respectful, trusting relationships with families necessary to build the educational partnerships that best support children’s learning. The book will cover the mindset and core beliefs required to bond with families, and will provide guidance on how to plan engagement opportunities and events throughout the school year that undergird effective partnerships between families and schools. 

Transforming Schools for Excellence: Closing the Achievement Gap - Increasing Accountability in Charter and Traditional Public Schools by Tiffany C. Anderson

Summary from Goodreads: The book is filled with practical strategies aimed at eliminating achievement gaps and improving performance in charter and traditional public schools. The author, Dr. Tiffany Anderson, is a national motivational speaker and a distinguished educator who served as a superintendent for charter and traditional public schools. She shares proven strategies and forms leaders can duplicate for their schools. The book dispels myths about obstacles to high performance in schools and focuses on the high performance that all schools can achieve. This is also a great handbook for leadership courses in post-secondary settings. 

What do you think? Do you have a favorite education book not on this list? Share it with us on Twitter @EveryDayLabs!




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