Cover image for A light shines in Harlem : New York's first charter school and the movement it led
Title:
A light shines in Harlem : New York's first charter school and the movement it led
Title:
A light shines in Harlem : New York's first charter school and the movement it led
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition
Publisher Info:
Chicago, Illinois : Lawrence Hill Books, an imprint of Chicago Review Press, Incorporated, [2014]
Physical Description:
220 pages ; 24 cm
Contents:
Forward -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- A civil right -- Laying the groundwork -- A brother's legacy -- Building a team -- Building a community -- Building a school -- Year one -- Battles -- In the valley -- A light shines -- Evolution: coming of age -- What have we learned? -- A return to Sisulu-Walker -- Zeyna Diouf -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index.
Abstract:
"A Light Shines in Harlem tells the fascinating history of New York's first charter school, the Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem, and the early days of the state's charter-school movement. It is a penetrating look at the real world of education reform--the hundreds of small decisions and big risks that go into making a school succeed. And it imparts an inside view, through the involvement of a hero of the civil rights movement, a Wall Street star, inner-city activists, educators, parents, and students, who all came together to create a groundbreaking school that, in its best years, far outperformed public schools in the neighborhoods in which most of its children lived. But this book also looks at education reform through a broader lens, discussing recent research and issues facing the charter movement today. It answers two fundamental questions: What makes a school succeed or fail? And how can these lessons be applied to other schools to make them better? The result is not only a gripping narrative of how one school fought to succeed despite the odds but also an illuminating glimpse into the future of American education"-- provided by publisher.
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371 BOUN New or Popular Book Adult Nonfiction
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A NF 371 LIGH New or Popular Book Adult Nonfiction
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371.05 BOUN New or Popular Book Adult Nonfiction
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Summary

Summary

A Light Shines in Harlem tells the fascinating story of the Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem, the first charter school in New York, and of the charter movement. It is a penetrating look at the host of real-world decisions that make a charter school, or any school, succeed. And it is a true-to-life inspirational tale of how a hero of the civil rights movement, a Wall Street star, educators, inner-city activists, parents, and students all joined together to create a groundbreaking school that, in its best years, far outperformed other schools in the neighborhoods in which most of its children lived.

This book also looks at education reform through a broader lens. It discusses the most recent research and issues facing the charter movement, a movement which now educates more than 2.5 million students nationwide. A Light Shines in Harlem describes the strengths and weaknesses of charter schools and explains how lessons from them can be applied to other schools to make all schools better. The result is not only the gripping inside narrative of how one school fought to succeed despite the odds but also an illuminating glimpse into the future of American education.


Author Notes

Mary C. Bounds , an award-winning journalist, has written for the New York Times , the Chicago Tribune , the Houston Chronicle , and other publications. Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker was chief of staff for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Virginia state director of the Congress of Racial Equality, and executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; he helped organize the 1963 March on Washington. For 37 years he served as senior pastor at Harlem's Canaan Baptist Church of Christ.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Notable more for what is missing than for any new insights into the school-reform movement, this fervent endorsement of one of the earlier charter school management companies swaps substance for glossy generalities. Commissioned by Victory Education Partners to tell its story, journalist Bounds dedicates over half the book to the efforts of Victory founder Steven Klinsky, touching on his Michigan childhood and his success at the private equity firm Forstmann Little, before launching into the founding of Victory Schools, and the openings of the Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem and the Roosevelt Children's Academy. After concluding an oversimplified abstract of the charter school movement, Bounds achieves a more relaxed style, but her efforts to humanize Klinsky, which rely on pointing out how much money and prestige he sacrificed, distract from the educational focus. Bounds offers up general tips on achieving excellence (creating a culture of learning, and instituting well defined standards of accountability), and recommends lifting charter school caps, decreasing regulatory oversight, and providing rent-free space for charter schools. She works elements of recent political conflicts with other charter school management companies into her analysis, which suggests a more timely motive for this book length publicity packet. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
1 A Civil Rightp. 5
2 Laying the Groundworkp. 17
3 A Brother's Legacyp. 39
4 Building a Teamp. 51
5 Building a Communityp. 67
6 Building a Schoolp. 83
7 Year Onep. 99
8 Battlesp. 111
9 In the Valleyp. 123
10 A Light Shinesp. 135
11 Evolution: Coming of Agep. 149
12 What Have We Learned?p. 163
13 A Return to Sisulu-Walkerp. 175
14 Zeyna Dioufp. 185
Notesp. 189
Bibliographyp. 209
Indexp. 215