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Going Public

Priorities & Practice at the Manhattan New School

By Shelley Harwayne

    [This book] is irresistible. . . . I just wish I had put all of Shelley's ideas into practice yesterday. Thank you, thank you, Shelley. How ever did you find the time-to create the school itself and write so wonderfully about it?

    —Deborah Meier
    Author of The Power of Their Ideas

"With wide readership, this book could change the education of a nation, let alone the lives of the children who attend MNS."
—Mem Fox, Author of Radical Reflections and Possum Magic

"I've visited this unique school six times....At last the book is here and is must reading for every administrator, teacher,...

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    [This book] is irresistible. . . . I just wish I had put all of Shelley's ideas into practice yesterday. Thank you, thank you, Shelley. How ever did you find the time-to create the school itself and write so wonderfully about it?

    —Deborah Meier
    Author of The Power of Their Ideas

"With wide readership, this book could change the education of a nation, let alone the lives of the children who attend MNS."
—Mem Fox, Author of Radical Reflections and Possum Magic

"I've visited this unique school six times....At last the book is here and is must reading for every administrator, teacher, parent, and all who care about public education."
—Donald H. Graves, Author of A Fresh Look at Writing

"Shelley is the most gifted educator I know....She and her colleagues transformed the institution of public school into a schoolhouse and created a culture of trust, respect, character, rigor, common vision, and love....As I read I took notes nonstop about things I want to do, try, and get tomorrow."
—Nancie Atwell, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, Author of In the Middle

"This is not a book about ideas alone, but about all the nitty-gritty details....It's irresistible....I just wish I had put all Shelley's ideas into practice yesterday. Thank you, thank you, Shelley."
—Deborah Meier, Principal, Mission Hill School, Author of The Power of Their Ideas

"{Shelley} celebrates the possibilities for living and loving life in a public school."
—Regie Routman, Teacher and writer, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Author of Conversations

"Read it and discover what deeply intelligent, rigorous education can be, should be, and must be for all children."
—Anthony Alvarado, Chancellor of Instruction, San Diego City Schools

"Going Public is the most important book on education and schooling that I've read in quite a while...It can inspire all teachers and should be required reading for all principals and superintendents."
—David B. Sherman, Vice-President, United Federation of Teachers

How do you create a public school, for a diverse population of children, that is rigorous, nurturing, joyfully literate, and successful by many standards? At the Manhattan New School, Shelley Harwayne has accomplished all this and more. In Going Public, she reveals what happens when she, a literacy expert, accepted the role of principal at a New York City public school and attempted to live up to the words, "Practice what you preach."

Brimming with practical advice, each chapter clearly identifies top priorities of the Manhattan New School community, as well as those practices that have enabled staff and family members to turn their dreams into a reality. You'll learn more about schoolhouse basics such as creating a nurturing social tone, selecting new teachers, developing curriculum, creating assessment tools, meeting standards, and providing worthwhile professional development. You'll also discover helpful advice on some surprising topics: creating bulletin boards that teach, learning students' names, keeping up with housekeeping, and inventing new ways to reach out to parents.

Going Public is a resource that you'll refer to again and again. "Reader's Guides" highlight the priorities and practices contained in every chapter. There are also bulleted lists of important ideas and suggestions, actual letters on a wide range of topics, and illustrative student work. The appendix alone contains dozens of useful and easily reproduced artifacts, including staff meeting conversation starters, interview questions for prospective teachers, and bibliographies of books for children and adults.

Teachers, administrators, parents, and staff developers will find Going Public an invaluable guide to creating a school committed to the very best public education has to offer.

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