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Event Education Pre K-12

How The Other Half Learns: Equality, Excellence, And The Battle Over School Choice

Tuesday October 2019


Robert Pondiscio Senior Fellow, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

The promise of public education is excellence for all. But, with few exceptions, that promise has not been kept for low-income children of color in America. In How The Other Half Learns, Robert Pondiscio explores one of those exceptions: the Success Academy network of charter schools in NYC founded by Eva Moskowtiz.

Success Academy may be controversial, but its results are indisputable. Moskowitz has created something unprecedented in American education: a way for large numbers of engaged and ambitious low-income families of color to get an education for their children that equals and even exceeds what wealthy families take for granted.

Pondiscio takes the reader through a year at one of Success’s schools to show how this can be done. He explores distinctive features of the school’s culture, such as no-nonsense behavioral management, a knowledge- and language-rich classroom experience, an established curriculum, and the extraordinary demands on parents to participate in their children’s education. With research, interviews, and diligent firsthand observation, How The Other Half Learns brings new light to challenging questions about equity, education policy, and the future of schools in America.

Robert Pondiscio is a senior fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a former inner-city public-school teacher. He writes and speaks extensively on education and education reform issues and has more than twenty years of journalism experience, including senior positions at Time and BusinessWeek.