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Whatever It Takes: Transforming American Schools—The Project GRAD Story


reviewed by Anne Wescott Dodd — 2006

coverTitle: Whatever It Takes: Transforming American Schools—The Project GRAD Story
Author(s): Holly Holland.
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807745421, Pages: 193, Year: 2005
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Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams), a program that helps poor and minority students get the foundation, support, and motivation to go on to higher education, began as a scholarship pledge to some Houston, Texas, high school students. Over time, thanks to the determination and hard work of James L. Ketelsen, then head of Tenneco Corporation, and others, it became a national model for school reform. Holly Holland became acquainted with the project when the Ford Foundation asked her to look at this reform initiative. In the book, which is divided into two parts, Holland interweaves generous use of narrative and quotations from participants and stakeholders from several sites with research findings on reforms and education of minority students—a clear strength of the book. Its organization, however, is problematic. She sometimes begins chapters in media res and pages later fills in the details the reader needed sooner.  The chronology is... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 5, 2006, p. 818-821
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12138, Date Accessed: 11/24/2017 5:21:08 PM

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About the Author
  • Anne Dodd
    Bates College
    E-mail Author
    ANNE WESCOTT DODD is a Senior Lecturer in Education, Bates College, Lewiston, ME, and the co-author (with Jean L. Konzal) of How Communities Build Stronger Schools (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2002) and Making Our High Schools Better: How Parents and Teachers Can Work Together (St. Martin’s Press, 1999). One of my earlier books, A Parent’s Guide to Innovative Education (Noble Press, 1992), was named by Child Magazine as one of the 10 best books for parents in 1992. In addition to parents’ involvement with schools, my research interests include teacher education and educational reform.
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