The Achievable Dream: College Board Lessons on Creating Great Schools

Thirteen profiles (of quality school leaders, innovative big thinkers, and stellar teachers) comprise this volume by former College Board president Gaston Caperton (with Richard Whitmire)—and provide quite a “who’s who” in education: Mike Miles and the Harrison County School District’s pay for performance system is featured, along with David Steiner and the Relay Graduate School of Education and Chris Steinhauser and the Long Beach School District. Into each narrative, Caperton laces lessons that he’s garnered over his long career in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors on how to achieve great, equitable schools for all. None of it is mystical, which doesn’t mean it’s not worth heeding: Improve teacher quality by recruiting top-flight candidates. Increase rigor with high expectations, consistent use of data, and comprehensive AP programs. And embrace accountability. He also lauds inner-city exam schools. While not breaking new ground, Caperton utilizes his knowledge (and Whitmire’s fine storytelling capacity) to provide an encouraging set of strategies and examples that point toward a more equitable and effective education system.

SOURCE: Gaston Caperton and Richard Whitmire, The Achievable Dream: College Board Lessons on Creating Great Schools (New York, NY: College Board, 2012).

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