New York Times Bestseller (Education)
The Economist Best Books of the Year Selection
In this revealing and provocative memoir, the former chancellor of the New York City schools offers the behind-the-scenes story of the city’s dramatic campaign to improve public education and an inspiring blueprint for national reform.
In 2002 New York City’s newly elected mayor, Michael Bloomberg, made a historic announcement: his administration had won control of the city’s school system in a first step toward reversing its precipitous decline. In a controversial move, he appointed Joel Klein, an accomplished lawyer from outside the education establishment, to lead this ambitious campaign.
Lessons of Hope is Klein’s inside account of his eight-year mission of improvement: demanding accountability, eliminating political favoritism, and battling a powerful teachers union that seemed determined to protect a status quo that didn’t work for kids. Klein’s initiatives resulted in more school choice, higher graduation rates, and improved test scores. The New York City model is now seen as a national standard for meaningful school reform. But the journey was not easy. Klein faced resistance and conflict at every turn.
Lessons of Hope lays bare the problems plaguing public education and shows how they can be solved. At its core lies Klein’s personal story: his humble upbringing in Brooklyn and Queens, and the key role that outstanding public school teachers played in nurturing his success. Engaging and illuminating, Lessons of Hope is essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of American public education.