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Celebrating City Teachers

How to Make a Difference in Urban Schools

By Jill S Bartoli
Foreword by William C. Ayers

It is not news that drop-out and illiteracy rates are at an all-time high in our city schools. But you rarely hear about the success stories—stories in which teachers, community organizers, and other urban warriors are working at the front lines in support of equal educational opportunity and universal human rights. Jill Bartoli takes an up-close look at two such schools and reveals the successful teaching, learning, and relationship building that is happening in spite of the odds.

Bartoli dispels the myth that public schools with low-income and high student-of-color populations suffer...

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It is not news that drop-out and illiteracy rates are at an all-time high in our city schools. But you rarely hear about the success stories—stories in which teachers, community organizers, and other urban warriors are working at the front lines in support of equal educational opportunity and universal human rights. Jill Bartoli takes an up-close look at two such schools and reveals the successful teaching, learning, and relationship building that is happening in spite of the odds.

Bartoli dispels the myth that public schools with low-income and high student-of-color populations suffer from a poor education and problematic parent and community relations—the two Philadelphia schools she profiles prove otherwise. She offers examples of city folks creating an ecology for successful learning, including observations and interview data from teachers, parents, students, school leaders, and community members. Even successful schools have their failures so Bartoli's "warts and all" approach recognizes the barriers and difficulties that can impact a city system.

Throughout the book, Bartoli emphasizes two aspects of teaching and learning that are too often missing from research on education—relationships and context—which, when recognized and acted upon, can result in better learning for students and teachers in more democratic schools.

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