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Crash Course: A Radical Plan for Improving Public Education

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Fifteen million children in our schools today are below basic literacy levels. Chris Whittle took action by founding Edison Schools, the country's largest partner of the toughest inner-city public schools imaginable. His solution radically bettered the education of hundreds of thousands of students. Now he applies it to a revolutionary program for all American schools in t Fifteen million children in our schools today are below basic literacy levels. Chris Whittle took action by founding Edison Schools, the country's largest partner of the toughest inner-city public schools imaginable. His solution radically bettered the education of hundreds of thousands of students. Now he applies it to a revolutionary program for all American schools in this groundbreaking, vitally important book.


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Fifteen million children in our schools today are below basic literacy levels. Chris Whittle took action by founding Edison Schools, the country's largest partner of the toughest inner-city public schools imaginable. His solution radically bettered the education of hundreds of thousands of students. Now he applies it to a revolutionary program for all American schools in t Fifteen million children in our schools today are below basic literacy levels. Chris Whittle took action by founding Edison Schools, the country's largest partner of the toughest inner-city public schools imaginable. His solution radically bettered the education of hundreds of thousands of students. Now he applies it to a revolutionary program for all American schools in this groundbreaking, vitally important book.

34 review for Crash Course: A Radical Plan for Improving Public Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Whittle is a former business person who believes schools should be organized like businesses. His view of the classroom comes largely from what he observed in Japan. He believes in larger class sizes and more opportunities for students to work independently of teacher-directed instruction. He says by high school, only 1/4th of instruction should be directed by teacher. He also states larger class sizes will solve the teacher shortage problem, and thus, increase competition and compensation. He b Whittle is a former business person who believes schools should be organized like businesses. His view of the classroom comes largely from what he observed in Japan. He believes in larger class sizes and more opportunities for students to work independently of teacher-directed instruction. He says by high school, only 1/4th of instruction should be directed by teacher. He also states larger class sizes will solve the teacher shortage problem, and thus, increase competition and compensation. He believes a master teacher (at least 10 years experience) should have the opportunity to make $100,000. Students should be organized in K-8 schools and should be given opportunities for leadership, such as media assistants, custodians, hall monitors, and mentors. Finally, he believes universities should have a school for principals just like they do for medicine or law, and Whittle even goes as far as to say a successful principal should make $250,000. Very interesting book, because Whittle actually shows how practical his idea is. I believe his organization (Edison Schools) are being implemented in Chicago Public as well as other places.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    Edison’s (now former) CEO applies lessons and offers insights derived from working in public education. A bold thinker and excellent conceptualizer—metaphors and comparisons that bring problems and ideas to the forefront—Whittle makes a strong case for major vertical initiatives at the national and state and local level. As someone (I work for Edison)who had heard many of the ideas detailed in the book before, the originality of this treatise was undermined by familiarity. But Whittle has a natu Edison’s (now former) CEO applies lessons and offers insights derived from working in public education. A bold thinker and excellent conceptualizer—metaphors and comparisons that bring problems and ideas to the forefront—Whittle makes a strong case for major vertical initiatives at the national and state and local level. As someone (I work for Edison)who had heard many of the ideas detailed in the book before, the originality of this treatise was undermined by familiarity. But Whittle has a natural, conversational prose style that both engages and maximizes understanding. Compelling, direct, and challenging, he can make pursuing the impossible seem not only plausible but necessary.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    A provocative book, still relevant several years after he wrote it. I don't always agree with Whittle, but you can't accuse him of failing to think big, and I think that his ideas deserve real consideration. His emphasis on education R & D is welcome, and I also like his vision of schools that relentlessly focus on results. Fun stuff to chew on, for sure. A provocative book, still relevant several years after he wrote it. I don't always agree with Whittle, but you can't accuse him of failing to think big, and I think that his ideas deserve real consideration. His emphasis on education R & D is welcome, and I also like his vision of schools that relentlessly focus on results. Fun stuff to chew on, for sure.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This guy's got a lot of great ideas that, with proper support, could honestly revolutionize our education system. It would take a lot of convincing and unless Chris Whittle becomes the Sec of Edu, I don't see it happening the way he wants.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lea

    A very quick, but provocative read. Also interesting to read about ed reform from a perspective several years back- just after NCLB, well before Michelle Rhee, Race to the Top, etc. Why have I not heard about Whittle in the last few years? Or much about Edison?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cody

    Interesting ideas on improving public education.

  7. 5 out of 5

    William Lawrence

    pro-market creator of Channel One; you be the judge.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Swiryn

    This guy and his company are a perfect marriage for No Child Left Behind. The book itself is also not what I hoped for.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bailey

  11. 4 out of 5

    Molly

  12. 4 out of 5

    Penny

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tung

  16. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Louis

  19. 5 out of 5

    LaMar Wilson

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robert Serdar

  21. 5 out of 5

    Clay Burns

  22. 4 out of 5

    Greendot Public Schools

    3 copies in GDL

  23. 4 out of 5

    Afua

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ron Bronson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Donura

  28. 5 out of 5

    Georgi

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  31. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  32. 4 out of 5

    Rstaszew

  33. 4 out of 5

    Meter

  34. 4 out of 5

    Dan Barber

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