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Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea, and the School That Beat the Odds

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Honest, engaging, and inspiring, Our School tells the story of Downtown College Prep, a public charter high school in San Jose that recruits underachieving students and promises to prepare them for four-year colleges and universities. The average student enters ninth grade with fifth-grade reading and math skills. Many have slid through school without doing homework. Some ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published November 29th 2005)
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Terry
May 29, 2008 Terry rated it really liked it
There are several things I really loved about this book (and the school it presents). One, the administrators recognize and DEAL WITH the fact that their incoming 9th graders read at roughly a 3rd grade level. There's no tap-dancing or hand-wringing; they saw the problem, identified the problem, and designed their curriculum to address the problem. I love the honesty and the "let's-deal-with-the-problem" attitude. Secondly, the teachers and administrators FLUNK the students who are, well, flunki ...more
Julie
Apr 22, 2009 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, teach-y
I was a bit skeptical about this book; ever since I became a teacher I have come to loathe those "inspirational true stories" of Hero Teachers Who Win Everyone Over, Even The Annoying/Nasty/Shy/Non English Speaking Students, All In The Span of a Conveniently Short and Unrealistic Time Period.

As it turns out, gratifyingly enough, this story is definitely realistic and I could so relate to many of the profiles and anecdotes (of teachers, students, and classroom situations). I found myself wanting
...more
Audrey
Feb 28, 2008 Audrey rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this more than I did -- mostly because what this charter school is trying to accomplish with their students is exactly what the grant I work for is trying to do with our Kentucky students. Unfortunately, there were so many niggling little problems with this book/the writing that I couldn't enjoy it. Chronography was a huge problem -- she kept jumping around so it was hard to follow when events were occurring in the school year. A lot of the "supplemental" materials that she incl ...more
May-Ling
Nov 04, 2009 May-Ling rated it really liked it
Shelves: saving-the-world
i really enjoyed this book. it's the story of young, energetic teachers that create a charter school in san jose. they make a lot of mistakes and do many things right. the book chronicles the ups and downs of a journey and gives insight into what goes into the start of a charter school. it's particularly interesting to me because it's local, fairly current and makes references to eastside prep in east palo alto.
Bethany
Jan 10, 2008 Bethany rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
Our School is the true story of a charter school in California. Joanne Jacobs chronicles the entire start-up process, showing the perspectives of students, parents, administrators, educators, and bureaucrats. If you are interested in the red-tape side of education, and particularly in charter schooling, this is the book for you.

Otherwise, go ahead and pass this by.
Ubersmaug
Aug 03, 2011 Ubersmaug rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
very thorough story of a school in downtown San Jose CA that expects a lot from its underserved, poor and/or Spanish-speaking student body. Inspirational and depressing over the state of education in CA.
Chetan
Aug 30, 2008 Chetan rated it it was amazing
Really inspiring book for starting a school. It tells everything about one can face while running a sschool.
Natalie
Apr 09, 2008 Natalie rated it really liked it
cheesy title and writing is mediocre, but i thought she gave a great examination of the development of a charter school from the very beginning
Michal
Feb 15, 2009 Michal rated it liked it
About an academic charter school serving disadvantaged students in San Jose, California, written by a former San Jose Mercury News reporter.
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