"Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools aims to do for education what David Halberstam once upon a time did for Vietnam or Bob Woodward these days does seriatim about the White House. It's a superb book."
—David A. Kaplan, Fortune Magazine
About the Book
In a reporting tour de force, award-winning journalist Steven Brill takes an uncompromising look at the adults who are fighting over Americas failure to educate its children.
Brills vivid narrative filled with unexpected twists and turns -- takes us from the Oval Office, where President Obama signs off on an unprecedented plan that will infuriate the teachers unions because it offers billions to states that win an education reform contest;" to boisterous assemblies where parents join the fight over their childrens schools; to a Fifth Avenue apartment, where billionaires plan a secret fund to promote school reform; to a Colorado high school, where students who seemed destined to fail are instead propelled to college; to a Harlem elementary school, where the two sides in the fight over teacher accountability compete in classrooms on different floors of the same building; to state capitols across the country, where school reformers hoping to win Obamas contest," push bills that would have been unimaginable a few years ago.
"Within the first few pages I was taking the book everywhere--the supermarket checkout line, the dinner table, the movies. It is funny, exciting, surprising and deep."
—Jay Matthews, The Washington Post
Its the story of an unlikely army fed up public school parents, Ivy League idealists, hedge fund millionaires, a new generation of civil rights activists, conservative Republicans, and insurgent Democrats squaring off against unions and bureaucracies who the reformers claim are protecting a system that works for the adults but victimizes the children.
Class Warfare is filled with extraordinary people taking extraordinary paths: A young woman who goes into teaching almost by accident, then becomes so talented and driven that fighting burnout becomes her biggest challenge; an antitrust lawyer who almost brought down Bill Gates and now forms a partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates to overhaul New Yorks schools; a naïve Princeton student who launches an army of school reformers with her senior thesis; a rookie Colorado legislator who writes the most sweeping education reform law ever; a visionary Florida special education teacher who persuades her union to make peace with the reformers; a California teachers union lobbyist, who becomes the Mayor of Los Angeles and then the unions prime antagonist; a stubborn young teacher, who, as a child growing up on Park Avenue, had been assumed to be learning disabled and who ends up co-founding the nations most successful charter schools; and an anguished national union leader who walks a tightrope between compromising enough to save her union and giving in so much that her members will throw her out.
"Steve Brill has combined extraordinary reporting with smart passion to create one of the most important historical narratives of our era. This is investigative journalism and powerful writing at its best."
—Walter Isaacson, CEO, Aspen Institute; Board Chair, Teach For America; author of Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Steve Jobs
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News & Events
- Class Warfare Press Release »
- Fox Business News - John Stossel's Take, Oct. 20, 10PM »
- Reason TV - Steven Brill on How To Fix Public Schools, Oct. 14 »
- Bloomberg/Businessweek - How to Fix the Education Crisis, Oct. 13 »
- BAM Radio - Oct. 7 »
- MSNBC - Morning Joe, Sept. 30, 7:45AM »
- Michael Medved's MedHeads, Sept. 29, 3PM »
- NBC News Education Nation Summit, Sept. 27, 9AM »
- Fox News - On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, Sept. 19, 10PM »
- Broad Foundation Panel Discussion, Washington, DC, Sept. 20 »
- Aspen Institute, Washington, DC, Oct. 4 »
- US Chamber of Commerce - Are We There Yet? Race to theTop, Washington, DC, Oct. 21 »
- World Affairs Council, Six Top Issues for the 2012 Election, Washington, DC, Nov. 4 »
- Rotary Club of NY Luncheon, Harvard Club, New York, NY, Nov. 21 »
- Journal of School Choice, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Jan. 15 »
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About the Author
Steven Brill is the CEO of Press+, which has created a new business model for journalism to flourish online. He has written feature articles for The New Yorker (where he wrote about the Rubber Rooms" that house teachers accused of incompetence), The New York Times Magazine, and TIME, and has been a columnist for Newsweek and Esquire. He teaches journalism at Yale and founded the Yale Journalism Initiative, which recruits and trains journalists. Brill founded and ran The American Lawyer magazine, Court TV, and Brills Content magazine. He is the author of After: How America Confronted The September 12 Era, and The Teamsters. A graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, he is married with three children and lives in New York.