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College Now!

What Needs to be Done to Give Urban Students a Real Path to Success

Scott Mendelsberg

160 pages
Teachers College Press
This is a story of hope and triumph; how believing in all kids helped save a school and change education in the state of Colorado. College Now! chronicles the life of one principal at an inner-city high school that led the state in almost every negative category possible: lowest test scores, lowest graduation rate, highest in expulsions. In 2 years, Principal Scott Mendelsberg took his school from a 17% to a 73% college matriculation rate. He didn’t get new teachers, a new building, different kids, or a new curriculum. He just made sure students realized that college was an option for them. This remarkable, first-hand account reveals the impediments and challenges to educating secondary students when so much is arrayed against them, including the school district itself. Readers will follow the author as he battles district administrators, teachers, state legislators, and local and national media to fundamentally change how schools treat students. The book underscores the strategies Mendelsberg employed to turn his school into a shining star for its district, as well as how he created “College Now,” a program that paid urban students to attend college for a year. While some of these stories will make you uncomfortable, others will make you laugh out loud. Either way, this book is a one-of-a-kind learning tool and teaching guide that will impact the future of our nation’s children.
Author Bio
Scott Mendelsberg is executive director of Colorado GEAR UP. He has over 20 years of experience in education as a teacher, coach, program director, high school principal, and state director of federal programs.