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Beating the Odds: High Schools as Communities of Commitment

reviewed by Alice Ginsberg - 2004

coverTitle: Beating the Odds: High Schools as Communities of Commitment
Author(s): Jacqueline Ancess
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807743550, Pages: 177, Year: 2003
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In Beating the Odds: High Schools as Communities of Commitment, Jacqueline Ancess intimately explores the working lives of teachers and students at three public high schools: a vocational-technical school in suburban Delaware composed almost entirely of working class students; a New York City international high school for immigrants learning English; and a “last chance” school for failing students, primarily African-American and Latino. What draws these seemingly diverse schools together is that they all provide examples of schools where students feel listened to and cared for, both inside and outside the classroom. Likewise, these are schools in which teachers do more than simply “transmit” knowledge to students. Teachers, administrators and students are genuinely involved in all aspects of the running of the school -- acting both as policymakers and implementers, developing curriculum, fostering a school community, and, working collaboratively, creating a culture of success. The book’s chapters are not organized by case studies, but rather by helping readers to understand what it means for a school to be... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 2, 2004, p. 362-365
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11175, Date Accessed: 10/26/2020 5:46:01 PM

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About the Author
  • Alice Ginsberg
    E-mail Author
    ALICE GINSBERG is a consultant who specializes in the areas of educational equity, gender studies, school reform, and educational philanthropy. Her recent clients include the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the Caroline and Sigmund Schott Foundation. Ginsberg holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Temple University and a Ph.D. in “Education Culture and Society” from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1990-1998 she was Program Officer at the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (the state’s partner to the National Endowment for the Humanities), where she developed and directed GATE (Gender Awareness Through Education), a three-year professional development program for teachers, administrators and parents in a large urban school system. She is the author of numerous articles on gender, diversity and equity in urban educational reform, most recently in Women’s Studies Quarterly and Comparative Issues in Contemporary Education. She is also the co-author of the book Gender in Urban Education: Strategies for Student Achievement (forthcoming, Heinemann, 2003).
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