Keeping It Simple: A Principal's Story of Change: A Guide for Closing the Achievement Gap, Creating High Performing Schools, and Laying the Foundation for the Common Core Curriculum by Dr Benjamin D Carpenter Jr (Paperback / softback, 2012)
Keeping It Simple is a step by step guide for school reform and preparing a school for the upcoming common core curriculum. It tells a principal's true stories of change and the steps for closing the achievement gap at two very different public schools. The stories details how a junior high moved into the top ten percent in its respective school rank, and explains how an underachieving high school became one of the top performing schools in the nation. You will get a view from the trenches, in the war that is school reform. You will gain an understanding of the real challenges of raising student achievement and why it is so difficult. The stories of change will give you the perspective for installing the actual plan and its systems. Ben Carpenter shares his philosophy on each of the six components of his plan followed by the actual steps for implementation. He answers questions educators have posed to him regarding the process. He shares his lessons learned through thirty-one years as an educator as well as student policies, teacher expectations and the actual curriculum maps developed by his staff. This book is a must read for every teacher and administrator. It will give board members a site level perspective of the real challenges principals face on a daily basis.
Benjamin D. Carpenter Jr. (Ben) is the principal at Cypress High School in Cypress, California. His experiences over a period of thirty-one years in education have given him a keen insight into education and its reform. He has worked in schools from North Pole, Alaska, to an inner-city school in Los Angeles County. He has served as principal for two schools in Orange County, California, both in the Anaheim Union High School District. He understands schools and is a battle-scarred veteran of the war for school reform. He earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of La Verne in California in 1996. At the 2009 California State Education Conference, he spoke on school reform. He lives with his wife, Joan, and dog, Buddy, in Fullerton, California.