We Have a Winner!

With 174 votes counted, the Below C Level book cover contest results are in and I’m happy to share with you the cover that so many of you helped me select.

Below C Level book coverThe design is by Caitlin Colvin, a sophomore at Castilleja, the girls school in Palo Alto, California. Caitlin modified the design, per suggestions from me and many of you. Notice the subtle handwriting on the slightly crumpled essay as well as the warmer font.

I am still wrestling with the subtitle and invite you to weigh in if you have an opinion. My own three finalists are:
1, the current one: “Why it pays to be average in public education–and what we can do about it.”

2:  “How public education encourages mediocrity–and what we can do about it”
3: “How public education rewards mediocrity–and what we can do about it”

The last phrase is essential, because the book includes solutions, suggestions and portraits of success.

I would have been more than happy to have either of the other two cover designs on Below C Level. #1 is the work of Lillian Xie, who is a junior at Palo Alto High School. She’s an accomplished pianist, a reporter for the high school newspaper (one of the best in the nation), and a superb artist. #2, the clever play on ‘sea’ and ‘C’, was created by a design team of two Castilleja students, Emily Hayflick, ’11 and Camille Stroe, ’12.

I am making a few final edits on the book itself, all 38 chapters, and expect to send it off to Amazon’s publishing division later this week. It should be available for pre-ordering in just a couple of weeks and in your hands not long after that.

Again, thanks for your participation and guidance in helping me choose a cover. It was interesting and fun to read all of your comments and suggestions!

Judging the Cover of a Book

“You can’t judge a book by its cover,” it’s often said, but can you and will you be the judge for the cover for my new book? A short time ago I asked students at two California schools, Palo Alto High School and Castilleja, to help create the cover for my new book, Below C Level: Why It Pays to be Average in Public Education (and what WE can do about it).

The students submitted dozens of possibilities, and I have selected three finalists—for your consideration. Understand that these are drafts and can be changed, so I am NOT asking for an up-or-down vote but for your preference AND your suggestions as to how to improve the eventual winner.

Here they are. Please submit your vote and suggestions to the blog itself, so we can post your views. Continue reading