From Joel Klein, the former chancellor of the New York City schools, a behind-the-scenes account of the city's dramatic campaign to improve public education and an inspiring blueprint for national reform In 2002, newly elected New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg began his first term with a controversial announcement: his administration would seize control of the city's school system in a first step toward reversing its precipitous decline. Joel Klein, an accomplished lawyer completely unknown in the education world, was thrust into the spotlight when Bloomberg tapped him to lead this ambitious, unprecedented campaign. Lessons of Hope is Klein's inside account of this eight-year journey, which faced resistance and conflict at every turn: demanding accountability from teachers and principals; reversing the trend of exchanged favors between politicians and school administrators; and battling a powerful teachers' union that seemed bent on protecting the worst in its ranks. The stunning results of Klein's initiative included more school choices for families, higher graduation rates, and improved test scores. The New York City model is now seen as a national blueprint for meaningful school reform. Even as this book serves as a guide to the ills plaguing public education and the steps school districts we need to take to overcome them, at its core lies Klein's personal story: his humble upbringing in Brooklyn and Queens, his lifelong love of learning, and the essential role that outstanding public school teachers played in his admission to Columbia University, which led him in turn to Harvard Law School and a successful career in law and public service. Provocative, illuminating, thoughtful, and absorbing, Lessons of Hope is essential reading for anyone with a stake in the future of public education in America.