« Return to Michael C. Johanek

About "Leonard Covello and the Making of Benjamin Franklin High School"

What is the mission of American public education? As a nation, are we still committed to educating students to be both workers and citizens, as we have long proclaimed? Or have we lost sight of the latter goal of encouraging students to be contributing members of a democratic society? What might schools look like if citizenship mattered as much as reading and math?

In this enlightening book, Michael Johanek and John Puckett describe one of America's most notable experiments in "community-centered schooling." In the process, they offer a richly contextualized history of twentieth-century efforts to educate students as community-minded citizens. The authors argue compellingly that the democratic goals of citizen-centered community schools can be reconciled with the academic performance demands of contemporary school reform movements. Using the twenty-year history of community-centered schooling at Benjamin Franklin High School in East Harlem as a case study-and reminding us of the pioneering vision of its founder, Leonard Covello-they suggest new approaches for educating today's students to be better "public work citizens."

Praise for "Leonard Covello and the Making of Benjamin Franklin High School"
"This is a very timely book. Leonard Covello is one of the great characters in the history of American education and surprisingly few people know about him these days. Add to this the fact that the story of community-centered schooling is exactly what the doctor ordered for the test-driven and market-oriented mode of schooling that is on the march today.... This is first-rate historical writing about a compelling case." 
-David Labaree, Stanford University School of Education, and author of The Trouble with Ed Schools

"There are very few books that offer an historical perspective as rich as this one on a range of contemporary educational issues, from the role of schools in promoting full-fledged citizens to related questions about the place of community in urban revitalization." 
-William J. Reese, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of America's Public Schools: From the Common School to "No Child Left Behind"

"Leonard Covello offers a model for urban education today, especially with the growing emphasis on community. A well-written, eye-opening book." 
-Maxine Greene, Teachers College-Columbia University and author of The Dialectic of Freedom

Publication information
November 2006
Temple University Press
ISBN: 1-59213-521-8 Hard 
Hardcover: $59.50 ORDER    
384 pp