I’m not a shopper so the day after Thanksgiving is always a good day for catching up on some reading.   Here are two you might want to enjoy by a fire somewhere:

Regardless of where you come down in the whole “save the Catholic schools” debate, Patrick J. McCloskey’s “The Street Stops Here” is well worth checking out as it’s a compelling and unsparing story of one Catholic school in New York fighting the odds.   I’m surprised the book hasn’t received more attention.*

If you’re thinking of starting a non-profit, want to be a leader in the social entrepreneurial space, or are just interested in organization building, get a copy of Shirley Sagawa and Deborah Jospin’s “The Charismatic Organization.”   I’ve worked with these two, they know how to do it, but the book shows that they also know how to explain it.  This is a valuable book. 

*Update:  My review copy didn’t look like an advance copy but apparently is.  See McCloskey’s note below, the book moves Jan. 2.

4 Replies to “Books!”

  1. I am looking forward to reading McCloskey’s “The Street Stops Here” . I am advocate of Catholic Schools. I have made the choice to send me children to a Catholic school. Next year, the oldest of my children will be entering a Catholic high school. I do teach in the public sector for financial reasons. I have made many sacrificies to provide a catholic education for my children. Often times I need reassurance that the sacrifices will be worth the rewards. Thank you for your insight.

  2. Thanks for the comments about my book. It’s not out until January 2, 2009 and reviews are forthcoming, so hopefully there will be lots of attention. The book is intended as much for public educators as those in parochial schools since the Catholic model works best with inner-city students in my experience. Successful public schools share remarkable similarities to Catholic counterparts and religion aside, some charter schools do a great job. How important religion is to education, I leave the reader to decide.

  3. I can’t wait to read this book. I have taught at both a Catholic school and a public school. My children currently attend Catholic school while I teach at a public school. I have a strong interest in both.

  4. I am reading the book right now…and I’m liking it but I must say that I feel Patrick is writing in a way that is–a little racist. Personally, I cringe every time I read phrases like “the blacks” and “where blacks congregate”. I feel the same way when people say “that neighborhood is where Jews live” or “Jews generally…”, it just makes my skin crawl a bit. Whatever happened to “Black people” or “Black men” or “a predominately Black neighborhood”. It just turned me off. That and the way that Patrick seemed to write about Gober’s Black Panther past in a negative light, instead of discussing how the experiences Gober must have had growing up in a segregated America might have led him to feel a need to grow confidence in himself by being a member of a group that uplifts Black Americans (notice how that sounds better than “a group that uplifts blacks”?). He also incorrectly stated that minorities are not overrepresented in the military front lines. His site was to a newspaper article. Even a Heritage Foundation study found that Black Americans were overrepresented in the military ( for those of you interested). He should have done his research before assuming that Gober was incorrect.

    I also felt that he dwelt on the history of Catholic schools (including the history of Irish Catholics) a wee bit too much. Off topic. Isn’t there some history that would be on topic he could have talked about…like, oh I don’t know, the history of education for Black Americans? As a white woman, I found myself a little embarrassed in the tone of his book. I wish he would have thought some of his statements through before he wrote them.

    Otherwise, an interesting book.

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