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Be the Change

Reinventing School for Student Success

Linda Darling-Hammond Nicole Ramos-Beban Rebecca Padnos Altamirano Maria E. Hyler

264 pages
Teachers College Press

Be the Change tells the remarkable story of an innovative public high school launched by dedicated teachers in East Palo Alto, California, one of a growing number of low-income communities starved of the resources needed to serve its students and schools. Chronicling a rags-to-riches story of how two very different communities came together to change the historical trajectory of educational failure that had robbed so many students of their futures, Be the Change demonstrates how to plant the seeds of new possibilities in its place. The school’s unique design, modeled after successful small schools in New York City, offers authentic and engaging instruction in a personalized setting that has allowed students who start off far behind to graduate and go on to college in record numbers. Each chapter examines one of the critical elements the teachers found essential to enable student success: the creation of an academic culture, the development of high standards with high supports, and the process of learning to teach so that students can learn. Filled with the deep knowledge of education leaders and a team of dedicated teachers, and guided throughout by the expertise of renowned educator Linda Darling-Hammond, this book will help improve student outcomes not just in East Palo Alto but in ALL schools.

Book Features:

  • A performance-oriented, college-preparatory model for school success that includes advisories, inquiry learning, and capstone projects.
  • Valuable tools for schools including guidelines and policies, curriculum designs, student guidebooks, performance rubrics, and more.
  • Real-world stories of how specific obstacles were overcome and new Common Core State Standards were incorporated.
Author Bio

Linda Darling-Hammond is president and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education emeritus at Stanford University. Her books include Teaching in the Flat World, Getting Teacher Evaluation Right, and The Flat World and Education, which won the 2012 Grawemeyer Award in Education. Originally a high school teacher, Linda has worked with countless schools and districts and has advised state and national leaders to support school and teaching quality, personalized and authentic learning opportunities, student and teacher assessment practices, and educational equity. She received the 2022 Yidan Prize for Education Research. Nicky Ramos-Beban is an instructor in the San Jose State University Teacher Education Program and assistant director of alternative education at the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Rebecca Padnos Altamirano is an educator, social entrepreneur, and partner at Tangelo, Inc. Maria E. Hyler is a senior researcher and policy analyst with the Learning Policy Institute in Washington, DC.