Crash Course by Chris Whittle

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The visionary founder of Edison Schools and Channel One shares the hard lessons of life on the front lines of education-and charts a breathtaking new direction for safeguarding the future of our children.

Imagine that upon your arrival at an airline ticket counter, you are told that only 65 percent of the flights to your intended destination actually even arrive. The remainder crash en route. And, if you are a child of color, or poor, you are required to fly on special, poorly maintained planes-of which only 35 percent make it.

Sounds crazy, right? But this is exactly the deal that, as a nation, we are serving up daily to millions of children in thousands of our public schools. On average, only two-thirds of American public school children graduate with basic or above-average math and language skills. And for poor children and/or children of color, that number is far worse.

Faced with a seemingly irremediable situation, fifteen years ago Chris Whittle decided to take action. The company he founded, Edison Schools, is now the country's largest private manager of public schools-usually the toughest inner-city schools you can imagine. By connecting our schools to the engine of progress in every other sector of our society-large-scale research and development-Whittle has radically improved the performance of hundreds of schools, bettered the education of hundreds of thousands of students, and learned some fundamental lessons about how to help restore our schools-all of them-to the world-class status that we expect and deserve.

In Crash Course, Chris Whittle teaches what he has discovered about education-how to find and reward excellence; how to promote and disseminate innovation; and how to fund a massive renovation of our educational institutions that is necessary if our children are to compete successfully in the global economy.

Inimitable and visionary in the tradition of the national bestseller Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol, this is an extraordinary, groundbreaking book that will change forever the way we think about public education.

About Chris Whittle

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Chris Whittle was the owner of Esquiremagazine and the founder of Whittle Communications and Channel One, all before the age of forty. In 1991, he conceived and founded Edison Schools, which now serves more than 270,000 students in twenty states and two countries.
Published September 8, 2005 by Riverhead Hardcover. 288 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, History. Non-fiction

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Founder of the Edison Schools franchise (“If it were an actual public school system, Edison would be the forty-seventh largest in the country”), Whittle reckons that 20 percent of all Americans spend all day within the K-12 educational system, which “enrolls or employs 54 million people, nearly t...

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Publishers Weekly

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Whittle, founder and CEO of Edison Schools, one of the nation's leading charter school companies, wants to fix America's education system.

Aug 29 2005 | Read Full Review of Crash Course

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Chris Whittle who runs the Edison Schools makes a strong case for how to improve public education without using phony gimmicks.

Aug 26 2005 | Read Full Review of Crash Course

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