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Palgrave Macmillan

Reforming a School System, Reviving a City

The Promise of Say Yes to Education in Syracuse

ISBN 9781137346827
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Paperback Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Can a bold investment in education turn around the economy of an entire city? Gene I. Maeroff, a former education reporter for the New York Times, explores how the nonprofit group Say Yes to Education has instituted a network of reforms in Syracuse, New York, that supports students at every level from kindergarten through college. He traces out how Say Yes and the Syracuse school district built a coalition of partners in business, education, and local and state government, implemented a series of programs to improve the school system, and reached out to support students. Telling the story and identifying the strengths of this remarkable and replicable program, Maeroff shows how this focused, directed, and broad-based coalition has created a model for reviving the economy and civic fabric of American cities by investing in children's education.

Gene I. Maeroff is President of the school board in Edison, New Jersey, USA. He is the former national education correspondent of The New York Times and was a senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The is the 15th book he has written, co-writen, edited, or co-edited.

1. The Stakes
2. Say Yes to Education
3. Elements of Collaboration
4. Getting Started in Syracuse
5. Teaching and Learning
6. Outside Influences on the Classroom
7. Extended Time for Learning
8. Making Time More Productive
9. Weaving a Web of Social and Emotional Support
10. Getting Ready for College
11. A Summer Bridge
12. Paying the Bills
13. Lifting the City
14. Putting It All in Perspective


"You're doing something fantastic here, with programs like Say Yes . . . you have declared that no child in the city of Syracuse should miss out on a college education because they can't pay for it. And so we're hoping more cities follow your example . . . because what you're doing is critical not just to Syracuse's future, but to America's future." - President Barack Obama in a speech in Syracuse, August 2013
"Say Yes to Education is one of the most innovative and comprehensive school reform efforts in America today. In this important book, Gene I. Maeroff offers a clear and compelling analysis of this project and situates his study in the larger context of the national debate over the direction of school reform. Readers will not only learn why this work is important to the future of Syracuse, but they will also see that the lessons to be learned from this project have profound implications for education throughout the United States. Maeroff brings great insight and clarity to this project. Educators, policymakers and anyone concerned about the future of American education will find much to learn in this book." - Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University, USA
"Highly recommended." - Choice
"Amid urban school reform failures by both government agencies and big-ticket donors since the 1990s comes Gene I. Maeroff's report on the Say Yes foundation's work in Syracuse, where it guarantees free college tuition to every high school graduate. In cooperation with city officials, business leaders, and college presidents, the Say Yes foundation seeks no less than improving schools and student lives but goes further in wanting to revitalize the economic, social, and cultural life of this mid-size city. While it is a work in progress after five years and much remains to be done in Syracuse, Say Yes's work does offer a model of school and city cooperation that promises an educational and urban makeover. Maeroff documents in clear, crisp language the errors in earlier reform models, bumps in Syracuse's road, and lessons anchored in Say Yes's ambitious efforts. Reformers need to heed the errors, bumps, and lessons in this ambitious, far-reaching venture." — Larry Cuban, Professor Emeritus of Education, Stanford University, USA
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