The titles listed below can be purchased at your local bookseller or at

Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago

Anthony S. Bryk, Penny Bender Sebring, Elaine Allensworth, Stuart Luppescu and John Q. Easton
This book provides a detailed analysis of why students in 100 public elementary schools in Chicago were able to improve substantially in reading and math over a seven year period and students in another 100 schools were not. Using massive longitudinal evidence, the study yields a comprehensive set of school practices and school and community conditions that promote improvement, noting that the absence of these spells stagnation. These five essential supports are: school leadership, professional capacity, parent-community ties, student-centered learning climate, and instructional guidance.

Failing at School: Lessons for Redesigning Urban High Schools (The Series on School Reform) 

UChicago CCSR researcher Camille Farrington argues that high schools were designed to generate widespread student failure and considers the changes that would need to occur for all students to have a legitimate shot at college. Currently, roughly half of all incoming ninth-graders across urban districts will fail classes and drop out of school without a diploma, suggesting an underlying flaw in the way high schools are structured. Failing at School: Lessons for Redesigning Urban High Schools proposes fundamental changes to high school design, based on what researchers 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.

Starting Up: Critical Lessons from 10 New Schools

Edited by Marv Hoffman and Lisa Arrastia, Forward by Pedro Noguera
A collection of first-person accounts by some of the best-known founders of new schools in America. The authors share how they worked to make their educational aspirations a reality while wrestling with social and economic obstacles, such as the distressed state of the communities in which these schools operated and the constant competition for resources. Starting Up tells real stories that capture the rich sense of possibility that currently exists for urban education.


Examining Effective Teacher Leadership: A Case Study

Sara Ray Stoelinga and Melinda M. Magin 
The book examines the work of elementary-level, non-supervisory, school-embedded, instructional teacher leader roles using research-based case studies.

So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools

Professor Charles Payne
Committee on Education Member Charles Payne argues in this book that most education policy discussions are disconnected from the daily realities of urban schools, especially those in poor and beleaguered neighborhoods.

Effective Teacher Leadership: Using Research to Inform and Reform

Sara Ray Stoelinga and Melinda M. Magin
This authoritative collection presents both qualitative and quantitative evidence on the enactment, design, conditions, constraints, and successes of nonsupervisory, school-based instructional leadership. 

Trust in Schools

Anthony Bryk and Barbara Schneider
Former Chicago Consortium Director Anthony Bryk and his co-author examine the importance of social relationships in the successful implementation of school reform. More>>

Charting Chicago School Reform: Democratic Localism as a Lever for Change

Anthony S. Bryk, Penny Bender Sebring, David Kerbow, Sharon Rollow and John Q. Easton
In 1989, Chicago began an experiment with radical decentralization of power and authority. This book tells the story of what happened to Chicago's elementary schools in the first four years of this reform.

Chasing Hellhounds: What My Students Taught Me

Marv Hoffman
An inspirational and instructive chronicle of inner-city high school kids discovering the joys of literature and of learning.

Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities

William Bowen, Matthew Chingos, Michael McPherson
Probing graduation rates at twenty-one flagship public universities and four statewide systems of public higher education, the authors focus on the progress of students in the entering class of 1999--from entry to graduation, transfer, or withdrawal. They examine the effects of parental education, family income, race and gender, high school grades, test scores, financial aid, and characteristics of universities attended (especially their selectivity).

"You Won't Remember Me": The Schoolboys of Barbania Speak to Today

Marv Hoffman
Published in 1967, Letter to a Teacher by the Schoolboys of Barbiana was an indictment of class bias in Italian schools. Featuring most of the original text coupled with Hoffman’s insightful commentary, Hoffman provides an alternative vision of how today’s public schools can provide a quality education for all children.