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Mount Pleasant: My Journey from Creating a Billion-Dollar Company to Teaching at a Struggling Public High School

3.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  57 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
A Silicon Valley entrepreneur takes on the challenge of a lifetime: teaching in one of California's toughest high schools.

Entrepreneur Steve Poizner has run a billion dollar company, but the greatest challenge of his life was the year he spent teaching twelfth graders at San Jose's Mt. Pleasant High School. On many days, like the one when a student's boyfriend was arreste
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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Portfolio Hardcover
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(showing 1-30 of 107)
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Terry
Jun 30, 2013 Terry rated it did not like it
This book is utterly disgusting. It is an incredible insult to public school educators AND students. The author is, for all his financial success, irresponsibly narrow-minded, mind-numblingly stubborn, utterly thoughtless, cluelessly classist, and tone-deaf in every possible way. The book could be considered useful in that it is a great case study of exactly what is happening in "school/education reform", especially in the state of California: a billionaire businessman thinks that whatever he to ...more
Moira
Aug 12, 2010 Moira rated it it was ok
There are better books about working with teens.

Poizner is undoubtedly a talented person and he shares many of his 'insider' leadership stories in this book - that's it's chief selling point.

However, it feels like a superficial treatment of his time teaching in a poor school in San Jose: while the chronology is there, the heart is not. He may have come to a deeper, more open place in his heart from being in contact with others who did not share his very privileged background and good luck, but
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Megan
Oct 15, 2011 Megan rated it liked it
This book superficially hits the right notes, but it lacks a lot of soul. Poizner's writing just doesn't convey what he's trying to communicate about what he learned from his experience and how it shaped him. I can't quite put my finger on it, but where the heart of this book should be, there's nothing.
E
Aug 02, 2014 E rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It rises above your typical "celebrity" memoir/campaign book. Poizner was a Silicon Valley start-up multi-millionaire who spent a year in a tough public school in East San Jose. He tried to apply his entrepreneurial spirit to the classroom, with some success. He is not afraid to bash the system, but in a constructive way. California's educational bureaucracy is unbelievable. Local teachers and principals get very little say in what they must do.

Poizner is
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Maria
Apr 27, 2011 Maria rated it liked it
It was an intereting read about how Steve Poizner taught a semester of American Government without a teaching credential. Personally, I don't think teaching credentials are worth their weight the way they stand now. It doesn't even come close to measuring the ability a person has to teach. But after reading this book, it made me painfully aware that education in California has not improved since I was a student back in the 70's and 80's. Steve Poizner is promoting charter schools which might not ...more
David Mccracken
Mar 05, 2015 David Mccracken rated it liked it
This is really two books. Part of it is the good-hearted Steve Poizner who wants to give back and wants to learn about his students, his ability to teach, and public education. This part is fun, well written, and engaging.

The second part is by the "entrepreneur" Steve Poizner who wants to comment on his experience teaching and draw lessons from it. This part is completely out of touch. I'm not sure who he is trying to impress, but it doesn't work.
Pat
Mar 25, 2013 Pat rated it liked it
When Steve Poizner decided to teach in a high school in an underprivileged area, he was obviously learning as he went along. For me, the point is that he did get one semester of actual experience as a teacher under his belt before he went into politics. It would be great if more politicians got a look at the reality many people are dealing with.
I found it astounding that he initially spent a day talking about "vc" with the assumption that these children of immigrant parents, some not proficie
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Suzie
Dec 05, 2011 Suzie rated it it was ok
I do respect what the entrepreneur Pointer did to the kids in mount pleasant. however, I wonder how ordinary people can have access to those resources as what he offered to those minority kids. yes, we admit the fact that students' potentials can be ignited after innovative and meaningful teaching;however, there is no denying that educational budgets and resources did count. how do both teachers and students survive under the circumstances of poor educational resources, heavy workload, and high ...more
Jennifer
Jun 02, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Interesting book about Silicon valley billionaire/engineer/entrepreneur who is passionate about the California education system and local politics. Steve volunteers at one of California's worst schools, co teaching a Government class. He has some great ideas to introduce concepts to the class and donates a lot of time, money and resources to getting the kids the best education he can. His main focus is their writing skills or lack thereof, and their inability to craft and build convincing argume ...more
Karen
Aug 10, 2010 Karen rated it it was ok
I expected this book to be more about Steve's journey from becoming a billionaire to teaching at the struggling California school, especially since the first pages quickly combed his business side. I thought he would talk about the kids a little more and maybe even what ended up happening with them, but I guess its too soon to know. I did feel like Poizner had a good grasp on the California educational system and that his ideas could be applied all over the country. In that respect the book was ...more
Cathy Campbell
Jul 27, 2010 Cathy Campbell rated it it was amazing
A few years back Steve Poizner came to my door during one of his early political campaigns. We had a conversation and I found him quite interesting. Recently, while I was in the library I saw a best seller that Steve has authored. Great non fiction book about his experience teaching at an East San Jose High School. Extremely interesting and funny. Full of insights.
Cathy
May 03, 2010 Cathy rated it liked it
Interesting book. It's a good story of someone learning and giving back to the community in the school system, but it's particularly useful for California voters to read before the primary election next month. I really appreciated the opportunity to get to know Steve Poizner, his background, his character, and his opinions and intentions.
John Jannuzzi
Oct 29, 2014 John Jannuzzi rated it really liked it
A good viewpoint into the needs of our education system from one who made the effort to sacrifice and get personally involved to make it better. A big take away is that teachers and our education system can do a lot, but can't make up for the handicaps caused by broken homes and lack of parental support.
Brian Kirby
Sep 12, 2010 Brian Kirby rated it it was ok
Mr. Poizner spent quite a bit of time talking about who his was and how "shell shocked" he was when he started teaching in a underprivileged school.

I felt the story was more about him and less about his relationship with the kids.
Ratforce
As a fan of both biographies and books about politics and government, you may enjoy this memoir of one businessman/politician’s experience teaching high school seniors.
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