"This fabulous book comes as an inspiration at a time when our schools are in need of honesty, healing, and hope. By telling the stories of real teachers and leaders struggling to teach and lead across differences, Cohen brilliantly fuses modern reform efforts and local context with the civil rights struggles to unearth the very real and still present truth of our shared history: teachers in the US are part of a proud tradition of liberators, and this book challenges them to own that mantle and face the challenge of making our country better as only teachers can."
"In this important new book, Justin Cohen describes how educators can guide their schools on a path of continuous improvement drawing on core ideas from the learning sciences. Written in a clear, straightforward manner, educators will appreciate how guidance is provided and the ability of the author to anticipate where problems are likely to occur. For those who are tired of pursuing reforms that are little more than fads, this book will be a resource you can turn to when the work is hard and the problems you encounter seem daunting.
"Change Agents: Transforming Schools from the Ground Up is written by and for educators about the gritty work of learning to improve. It offers powerful stories about educators making the principles, tools and methods of improvement science come alive in their classrooms and schools, the human challenges that can arise along the way, and also the sense of exhilaration that accompanies this work as educators experience transformation — how through their efforts they are making a real difference in their students’ lives.
"We are reminded that making incremental improvements at the margins of a system originally designed to sort children by race, class, and language will only make inequitable sorting more efficient. This book shows us how to disrupt that cycle through the art and science of a school improvement methodology that is people-centered, asset-based, and equity-focused."
"There is only one way to generate change... together. This volume helps us do just that."
"Educators are the beating heart of our communities, striving to make a difference in their schools, and in their country. In this book, Justin Cohen has woven together stories, tools, and actionable advice to help teachers and leaders do just that. It is a must-read for any school or district that wants to become an even more vibrant place to teach and learn."
“We are in a season where the most essential work for us all is to present the truth about the flaws in our education system and offer solutions to transforming it. This book does exactly that. A solid contribution to the literature and a powerful take on school improvement.”
"This very practical and powerful work by Cohen and Partners in School Innovation demystifies what it means to do equity work in schools that primarily serve Black and Latinx students. The book features in-the-trenches story-telling, deep relationship-building, and an intense focus on how schools can effectively meet the needs of these historically underserved students. This is the work all urban school teachers and leaders must master if our students are going to reach their full potential.
"Many people can point to what's wrong with public education, but few can identify both the problems and concrete solutions to address them. Cohen has done that and more in Change Agents. He presents an incisive indictment on how institutionalized racism has produced pervasive inequality in our public schools. He explores the history of social movements to change public education to help us better understand the obstacles change agents face today. Transforming public education is complicated, but Cohen delivers a clear vision for how to begin.