Everything I Know About School Reform I Learned in Prison

by Michael McCarthy



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 2/13/2018

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5x8
Page Count : 120
ISBN : 9781480857377
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 120
ISBN : 9781480857384

About the Book

This story begins in the Concord State Prison a maximum-security facility in New Hampshire, in 1973, following the tragic uprising at the Attica State Prison in Upstate New York. It was a time of political turmoil, chaos in prisons, and the beginnings of upheaval in American education. The story ends at a successful middle school.


Telling a story of bold and relentless leadership in schools, Everything I Know About School Reform I Learned in Prison follows author Michael McCarthy’s career as a school leader and describes the challenges, barriers, and occasional breakthroughs he dealt with and experienced along the way. It shares how he tackled the question: Can you create a school that works for all kids and really mean it?


Offering an unvarnished look at the absurdities and outdated structures and practices which limit student success in schools, Everything I Know About School Reform I Learned in Prison journeys from the discouraging and depressing school stories of prisoners in a maximum- security facility to the hopeful stories of kids in a “school for all.” It narrates a story of teamwork and leadership while describing the complicated ride of risks, guerilla tactics, and skirmishes with both bureaucracy and the national media. It offers an honest and humorous inside look at what it takes to change a school.

About the Author

Michael McCarthy spent thirty-six years as a successful middle school principal. During the last twenty-eight of those years, he led King Middle School in Portland, Maine, from a school parents avoided to a school parents celebrated. Despite making radical and unpopular decisions, he was twice named Maine’s Principal of the Year. He was also awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the University of New England.