Finally, a book about public education that’s for the public. Part memoir, part manifesto, this journey into the Sacramento, California school system brings readers into the heart of our education crisis, and offers an accessible road-map for transforming public schools into thriving centers of excellence.
Every child, Jonathan P. Raymond believes, is as exceptional and unique as a wildflower, able to adapt and grow even in the face of adverse conditions. As Superintendent of an urban school district beset by budget cuts and neglect, Raymond spearheaded changes that raised test scores and graduation rates, and made “failing” schools succeed.
From organic gardening to adult education to leadership training with the Navy SEALs, Raymond mobilized students, teachers, parents, and community leaders around the “Whole Child” philosophy that long ago spurred America’s public schools into existence, then was abandoned by shifting national priorities and policymakers with little understanding of how children really learn.
Public education touches all Americans — parents, taxpayers, employers, and consumers — yet for many, the debate over our ailing public schools is a baffling tug of war among professional “experts,” more invested in acronyms and competing ideologies than in finding a common path forward. Raymond’s “third way” philosophy puts students at the center of education policy, and his riveting first-person account of how schools and leaders serve and fail our youth gives every American the tools, insights, and inspiration to get involved and take a stand on an issue critical to the future of our country.
All proceeds from the sale of Wildflowers will be donated to advance Whole Child education. For more information, visit www.wholechildchallenge.org.