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The Heart of a High School


reviewed by Dick Corbett — 2003

coverTitle: The Heart of a High School
Author(s): Holly Holland and Kelly Mazzoli
Publisher: Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH
ISBN: 0325003939, Pages: 320, Year: 2001
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Holland and Mazzoli’s The Heart of a High School is a refreshingly incomplete look at urban high school reform.  The work is “incomplete” in that the authors concentrate on the second year of a four-year, $10,000,000 foundation-funded, high school initiative in a single school district; and, so, the reader never learns the rest of the story – i.e., what worked, what did not work, and why.  This approach is so refreshing because it makes it impossible for the book’s audience to latch prematurely onto any “research-based best practices,” “lessons learned,” or “proven strategies” to try elsewhere, especially in this day and age of obsequious obsession with “what works.”  Obviously it is important that educators be able to learn from one another’s travails, but too often reformers act as if good ideas can be transported intact from one setting to another without careful reflection about what made the idea successful in the prior place and what is different about the new situation that would require adaptations.  With The Heart... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 105 Number 4, 2003, p. 576-578
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11026, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 11:58:35 PM

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About the Author
  • Dick Corbett
    Independent educational researcher
    E-mail Author
    DICK CORBETT is an independent educational researcher who spends his time studying reform in low-income schools. Currently he is investigating the effects of several Comprehensive School Reform models, including Talent Development, Onward to Excellence II, Different Ways of Knowing, Middle Start, and Mississippi’s Whole Schools Initiative. Recent books are Listening to Urban Kids (State University of New York Press, 2001, with Bruce Wilson) and Effort and Excellence in Urban Classrooms (Teachers College Press, 2002, with Bruce Wilson and Belinda Williams).
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