From Publishers Weekly
Many people in the United States believe that low-income children can no more be expected to do well in school than ballerinas can be counted on to excel in football, begins Washington Post education reporter Mathews (Escalante: The Best Teacher in America). He delves into the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) and follows the enterprise's founders, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, from their days as young educators in the Teach for America program to heading one of the country's most controversial education programs running today. Luckily for many low-income children, Feinberg and Levin believed that with proper mentors, student incentives and unrestrained enthusiasm on the part of the teachers, some of the country's poorest children could surpass the expectations of most inner-city public schools. (Jan.)
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"Mathews does a smart, respectable job here. Frankly elucidating the major struggles and roadblocks inherent in attempting to reform how underprivileged children are taught, he nonetheless leaves readers convinced of the truth in Levin’s idealistic statement on his Teach for America application: “an educator could change lives.” A grand example of humanitarianism in the classroom: Naysayers who believe there’s no hope for America’s inner-city schools haven’t met Feinberg and Levin."--Kirkus
(Kirkus Review )
"A lively account of the way two young guys with more passion than knowledge overcame bureaucratic and financial barriers, garnered knowledge from experienced teachers, and made those ideas and techniques core KIPP ideas. Mathews makes his book as entertaining as any novel by weaving personal and professional stories and by surrounding his two stars with interesting characters." —World magazine
(World magazine )
“In Work Hard, Be Nice, Jay Mathews captures the exuberance, intelligence, and plain old-fashioned stick-to-itiveness of two young educators. Like them, the book is filled with energy and hope. It's why KIPP schools are successful and why this book should be read by everyone who cares about education in our country. —Richard W. Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education
KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is honored and humbled to have been featured in the film Waiting For "Superman" as a part of what is working in public education. The film was released in theaters on September 24, 2010.
Learn more about the film by visiting the official website.