Deborah Kenny was a young mother of three small children seeking to make sense of her life amid the despair of her husband's untimely death when she decided to devote herself to radically reinventing public education. Born to Rise recounts a journey that led Kenny to risk her life savings to open schools in Harlem while proving that all children, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances, can learn at high levels. Students enter Harlem Village Academies several years behind grade level, but in just a few years they are transformed, ranking among the highest in the nation—with 99 percent of eighth graders meeting proficiency standards in math, science, and social studies.
How do they do it?
For the first time, Kenny shares the groundbreaking strategy that took ten years to develop. She reveals the secret to creating a powerful workplace culture that attracts the most talented people and brings out their passion and highest performance—a culture that produces stunning student achievement and teachers who regularly use words like magical to describe the workplace environment.
Born to Rise is the moving and strikingly candid account of Kenny's deeply personal dream: to pursue social justice for our nation's most vulnerable children. Part memoir, part manifesto, it is a hopeful and practical exposition of what it takes to transform schools and create organizations where the staff lights up with entrepreneurial drive. It is a must-read for anyone who cares about children and the future of this country, as well as for leaders who want to motivate and inspire fierce dedication in their employees.