Advancing a Free Society

Steve Poizner Learns from Teaching in a San Jose High School

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In the May 9 San Jose Mercury News, I review Steve Poizner's new book "Mount Pleasant: My Journey From Creating a Billion-Dollar Company to Teaching at a Struggling Public High School."

Some critics have slammed Poizner for not portraying every student as eager and academically prepared. On the contrary, I find that this candidness is a strength of the book:

One personal insight that Poizner comes to is how difficult it can be to boost student achievement. He arrives at Mount Pleasant High School somewhat romantic about what one teacher can accomplish for children who have been in weak schools for years.

He never lets go of the goal of bringing out his students' full potential, but comes to recognize that many of them are missing the academic "background knowledge" and scholastic aspirations that many students have in upper-middle-class schools. He courageously faces these politically incorrect facts and the extra work they necessitate, without ever giving up in the least on his students.

Continue reading Bill Evers on his blog Ed Policy