the last two hours of each day. They
also regularly contact students’ parents
and attend the same professional
meetings as teachers. This arrangement
doesn’t just allow for more in-school
time; Citizen School teachers organize
engaging extras like hands-on projects,
mock trials, and field trips, which
parent volunteers might conduct in
richer schools. These activities broaden
students’ life experiences, providing
knowledge and motivation to help close
the achievement gap.
So where’s the person-power coming
from for arrangements like these?
Pappano bursts a partially true per-
ception: that no one wants to teach in
poor urban schools. She profiles highly
educated young people who believe
that education can level the playing
field for poor children and who aim to
do “turnaround”-style urban teaching.
These young adults may not want to be
classroom teachers for life, and many
have a more entrepreneurial and policy-
oriented bent to their sense of mission.
We meet members of this army in Pap-
pano’s chapter on teacher quality. Here’s
one teacher on the brink of burnout:
She is the picture of smart, edgy, urbane.
The good news is that much of this
urgency is creating positive change in
places formerly short on hope. EL
Inside School Turnarounds: Urgent Hopes,
Unfolding Stories by Laura Pappano was
published by Harvard Education Press in
2010. Paperback, $21.95.
Naomi Thiers is associate editor, Educational Leadership, email@example.com.
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