Publication Date: March 7, 2014
Series: series on school reform
Roughly half of all incoming ninth-graders across urban districts will fail classes and drop out of school without a diploma. Failing at School starts with the premise that urban American high schools generate such widespread student failure not because of some fault of the students who attend them, but because high schools were designed to stratify achievement and let only the top performers advance to higher levels of education. This design is particularly detrimental for low-income, racial/ethnic minority students. To get different results, Farrington proposes fundamental changes based on what we now know about how students learn, what motivates them to engage in learning, and what kinds of educational systems and structures would best support their learning.
Camille A. Farrington is a research associate (assistant professor) at The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and the Consortium on Chicago School Research. She is also director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment for the Network for College Success.
“Groundbreaking and eye-opening.... I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in getting beyond the typical talking points of school reform.”
—Grant Wiggins, Authentic Education
“An important contribution to the re-visioning of American high schools.”
—Ronald F. Ferguson, Achievement Gap Initiative, Harvard University
"Why is there such a pattern of failure in urban high schools? This is a vital issue for every city in America. Camille Farrington’s analysis of the roots of this problem and suggestions for structural changes to break this cycle is the best I have seen. This book combines research and practitioner wisdom with common sense and heart, and for those of us engaged in this work, presents concrete directions for positive change."
—Ron Berger, chief academic officer, Expeditionary Learning