Summer reading

Well, it’s finally here, the proof copy of Below C Level. I looked it over and then went on line to give my approval. That one keystroke made the book available immediately.

Below C LevelAnd if you want to be the first in your neighborhood to have a copy, please visit the Below C Level website or purchase it online directly at

When you do that, you will be getting a pretty good read and also helping Learning Matters–because I am donating most of the royalties to the company.

What’s in the book, you ask? Well, It’s 432 pages before you even get to the index, 37 chapters covering everything from pre-school through higher education.

A wry friend suggested that, if I wanted to sell a lot of books, I should just write about all the people I’ve interviewed over the past 34 years. An option, he said, was to tell the truth about them. I’ve actually followed his advice (including the option); the index is 11 pages of mostly names.

A few of the 37 chapters in Below C Level are personal favorites:“Convenient Lies”, the first chapter, is pretty strong stuff. “Safety First” tackles bullying and cyberbullying with powerful stories of what’s gone wrong and suggestions for immediate change. “Following Leaders” is my personal take on Michelle Rhee in Washington and Paul Vallas in New Orleans. Not sure how they’ll feel about the chapter, but I daresay you will enjoy it.

Many of you helped select the cover of Below C Level. When you have the book in your hands you will be able to read the faux ‘theme’ that the designer, HS sophomore Caitlin Colvin, wrote. It’s a clever pastiche of teenspeak that would make any English teacher write, “See me.”

I’ve dedicated Below C Level to two dear friends, Ted Sizer and Bill McAnulty. Most of you know Ted, the author of Horace’s Compromise and the founder of the Coalition of Essential Schools. Bill McAnulty was a courageous family court judge in Kentucky when I met him in the early 80’s. He became the founding Board Chair of Learning Matters; more importantly, he was the first African American on the Kentucky Supreme Court. The contributions that both have made to a better society, and to my life, live on.

Visit the book website at: or purchase the book directly at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s