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Opinion: The difference between good schools and effective schools


I just found a book review I wrote for The Elementary School Journal in 1986. The book I reviewed was McDonogh 15: Becoming a School by Lucianne Bond Carmichael, says Joanne Yatvin, a longtime public school educator, author and past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, for the Washington Post. (If you’ve never read it, you should get a copy, read it, and hold it close to your heart forever.  Better yet, buy several copies and send them to your federal and state legislators.) Reading it reinforced and expanded my own idea of what a truly good school is and the specific things it does to empower its students and strengthen its teachers. I will quote one section of my review: a definition and description of a good school based partly on Carmichael’s experience as a principal and partly on my own.  Because I am taking the quoted section out of context and because educational terminology has changed over the years, I have altered some of it but the meaning remains the same…

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