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Reader's Roundup: What's Hot for Charter School Leaders

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

With so many new releases and popular books on Amazon, it can be overwhelming to choose your next book. I've searched through the best seller lists, recent releases, and even old favorites to offer a few suggestions. The description for each book is an excerpt copied from Amazon's sales page.

School leaders understand how important it is to make time to continue learning. Invest a little in yourself today. What's your favorite? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Prepared by Diane Tavenner

#1 Best Seller in Education Leadership

An educator and mother, Diane Tavenner cofounded the first Summit school in 2003. Summit Public Schools has won national recognition because 99 percent of Summit students get into a four-year college, and Summit students finish college at twice the national average. But in a radical departure from the environments created by the college admissions arms race, Summit students aren’t focused on competing with their classmates for rankings or test scores. Instead, students spend their days solving real-world problems and developing the skills of self-direction, collaboration, and reflection, all of which prepare them to succeed in college, thrive in today’s workplace, and lead a secure and fulfilled life. 

Lost at School by Ross W. Greene

#1 Best Seller in Education Administration

School discipline is broken. Too often, the kids who need our help the most are viewed as disrespectful, out of control, and beyond help, and are often the recipients of our most ineffective, most punitive interventions. These students—and their parents, teachers, and administrators—are frustrated and desperate for answers.


Go straight to the source with this book list on Amazon.

I have collected your recommendations and my favorites on one page.

Bookmark this page and check back whenever you need a new book to read. I update frequently.


How the Other Half Learns by Robert Pondiscio

The promise of public education is excellence for all. But that promise has seldom been kept for low-income children of color in America. In How the Other Half Learns, teacher and education journalist Robert Pondiscio focuses on Success Academy, the network of controversial charter schools in New York City founded by Eva Moskowitz, who has created something unprecedented in American education: a way for large numbers of engaged and ambitious low-income families of color to get an education for their children that equals and even exceeds what wealthy families take for granted. Her results are astonishing, her methods unorthodox.

The Knowledge Gap by Natalie Wexler

It was only after years within the education reform movement that Natalie Wexler stumbled across a hidden explanation for our country's frustrating lack of progress when it comes to providing every child with a quality education. The problem wasn't one of the usual scapegoats: lazy teachers, shoddy facilities, lack of accountability. It was something no one was talking about: the elementary school curriculum's intense focus on decontextualized reading comprehension "skills" at the expense of actual knowledge.

Why Don't Students Like School? by Daniel Willingham

Cognitive scientist Dan Willingham focuses his acclaimed research on the biological and cognitive basis of learning. His book will help teachers improve their practice by explaining how they and their students think and learn. It reveals-the importance of story, emotion, memory, context, and routine in building knowledge and creating lasting learning experiences.

Addicted to Reform by John Merrow

This insightful book looks at how to turn digital natives into digital citizens and why it should be harder to become a teacher but easier to be one. Merrow offers smart, essential chapters—including “Measure What Matters,” and “Embrace Teachers”—that reflect his countless hours spent covering classrooms as well as corridors of power. His signature candid style of reportage comes to life as he shares lively anecdotes, schoolyard tales, and memories that are at once instructive and endearing.

Transforming School Culture by Anthony Muhammad

The second edition of this best-selling resource delivers powerful new insight into the four types of educators (Believers, Fundamentalists, Tweeners, and Survivors) and how school leaders can work with each group to create positive school culture. The book also includes Dr. Muhammad's latest research as well as a new chapter dedicated to answering frequently asked questions on culture and school leadership in education.

School Choice Roadmap by Andrew Campanella

You want your children to benefit from a great education. But every student is unique. One type of school might be a great fit for your neighbor’s child, but it might not work for your son or daughter. Across the country, many parents today have more choices for their children’s education than ever before. If you are starting the process of finding your child’s first school—or if you want to choose a new learning environment—The School Choice Roadmap is for you.


Stay up to date with my book list on Amazon.

I have collected your recommendations and my favorites on one page.

Bookmark this page and check back whenever you need a new book to read. I update the list frequently.


Grant Writing for School Leaders

Check out my new series, Grant Writing for School Leaders.

  1. Start-Up Guide for School Grants (Answers to the Questions You Should Be Asking) – FREE e-book

  2. Charter School Grants (Save Time and Write a Better Grant)

  3. Grant Writing for Impact (Leverage Grants to Dramatically Increase Funding, Impact, and Credibility for Your School)

Each book in this series addresses a different level of grant writing skills. Just getting started and full of questions? Start with book 1. Ready to write your first grant? Choose book 2. Interested in learning how to develop a school grants program? Then book 3 is for you. Each book offers links to free resources to help you be successful with school grants.

Thinking about school grants? Grant Writing for School Leaders can help.

You can find all three books on Amazon. Shop now:


Important Note

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You pay nothing extra; any commission I earn comes at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!


Ready to learn more? Check out these posts:


Peggy Downs works with school leaders who want to leverage grants to dramatically increase funding, impact, and credibility for their schools. More info and a ton of free resources are waiting for you at:

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