1st Edition

Flip the System US How Teachers Can Transform Education and Save Democracy

Edited By Michael Soskil Copyright 2021
    214 Pages
    by Eye On Education

    214 Pages
    by Eye On Education

    This powerful and honest book uncovers how we can flip the system, building a more democratic, equitable, and cohesive society where teacher expertise drives solutions to education challenges. Editor Michael Soskil brings together a team of diverse voices to highlight solutions, spark positive change, and show us the path forward towards a more civil and more peaceful America. In each chapter, inspiring educators describe how we can create lasting and meaningful change by elevating teacher expertise; educating the whole child; increasing teacher morale; and fighting for all of our children to have equitable opportunity and quality schools.

    Part I Public Education as the Foundation of Democratic Society

    1. An American Education System with Integrity

    Dennis Shirley

    2. Engendering Student Civic Engagement: A Los Angeles Student Focus Group

    Estella Owoimaha-Church

    3. Regaining the Democratic Heart of Education

    Gert Biesta

    4. Teaching for Democracy: The Role of Student Autonomy and Agency

    Michael Soskil

    Part II An Equitable System for All

    5. Systems that Promote Equitable Outcomes

    Josh Parker 

    6. Beyond Privilege: Using Student Perspectives to Create a More Equitable System

    Jinni Forcucci, Kristin Nichols, and Karli Sunnergren

    7. The Day After: Education and Equity after the Global Pandemic

    Andy Hargreaves 

    8. Closing the Rural Opportunity Gap

    Lindsey Jensen

    9. Market Forces and Erosion of Education as a Public Good: Widening Equity Gaps

    T. Jameson Brewer and Amanda U. Potterton 

    Part III Healthy Students, Healthy Schools, and Healthy Communities

    10. Educating the Whole Child

    Sean Slade

    11. Flipping the System: A Primer for the Classroom Teacher

    Mairi Cooper

    12. Refugee and Immigrant Education: Strengthening Our Communities

    Mandy Manning 

    13. Impact of Trauma on the Foundational Identities of Our Children

    Beth Davey and Kelly D. Holstine

    Part IV Elevating Teacher Expertise into Education Decisions

    14. Teaching is a Political Profession: Stepping into the Arena

    Melissa Tomlinson

    15. Lessons for the United States from International Education Systems

    Pasi Sahlberg

    16. A Case Study in Distributed Leadership: Sanger Unified School District

    Tracey Fritch

    17. #RedforEd and the Struggle for Our Schools

    Noah Karvelis

    18. Education Union Renewal: The Key to Flipping the System

    Howard Stevenson

    Part V Supporting Teachers in a Flipped System

    19. Addressing the Shortage: Recruiting our Next Generation of Teachers

    Kimberly Eckert 

    20. Supporting Teachers from Historically Marginalized Communities

    Michael Peña, Winter Marshall-Allen, Carlos Avila, Melissa Collins, Alhassan Susso, and Jill Davidson

    21. Democratized Professional Learning: The Edcamp Model

    Dan Callahan

    22. Pockets of Innovation: Transformational Professional Learning and Development

    Trista Hollweck and Dyane Smokorowski 

    Epilogue The Death and Life of the Teacher

    Jelmer Evers


    Michael Soskil is an author, an international keynote speaker, and has spent the past 22 years in various teaching roles. He is a Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, a recipient of the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, and in 2016 was announced as one of the top ten teachers in the world and a finalist for the Global Teacher Prize.

    "In a world struggling to meet overwhelming economic, climate, and public health emergencies, we must all take part in a process of Tikkun Olam—repairing the world. Because schools and their teachers are fierce promoters and protectors of democracy, they are just the warriors of hope our world needs to build a new system. One that illuminates the place for each child to participate in a way that nurtures their intellectual gifts and safeguards their dignity. Our education system of rigid hierarchies, disenfranchisement, and standardized inequities is in dire need of being flipped on its head and reimagined for this purpose. What Mike Soskil—one of the most audaciously gifted educators I know—and his passionate and dedicated colleagues are about in this book is showing you how to do that starting today." Shanna Peeples, U.S. National Teacher of the Year (2015)

    "‘Flip the system’ (not to be confused with ‘flip the classroom’) is about the whole system. Written primarily by teachers, it provides compelling ideas for going from bottom to top and back again to transform education for democracy, for equity, for healthy students and communities, and for elevating teachers individually and collectively as decision-makers, and system problem solvers. Fresh, grounded ideas for a stale system. Makes you think, and propels you to act."Michael Fullan, Emeritus Professor, OISE/University of Toronto 

    "The front-line educators who lend their voices to Flip the System US: How Teachers Can Transform Education and Save Democracy are exactly those who need to be driving any change in education: professionals with classroom experience, informed by research, and who understand the key role education plays in our democracy. Their focus on student wellbeing and their collective call for an equitable system are an important and welcome contribution at a critical time."Jerry Oleksiak, Past President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association

    "Flip the System US: How Teachers Can Transform Education and Save Democracy succeeds at providing a vision of education that gives hope in this time of uncertainty. Bringing together diverse educator voices with practical ideas for the classroom, inspiring stories, and the latest research, this book is a must-read for anyone involved in education." Armand Doucet, Author of Teaching Life: Our Calling, Our Choices, Our Challenges

    "Soskil’s collected texts illuminate the need to reconfigure educational systems, showcasing who and what matters most in the American education system. This is important, timely work."J. Scott Baker, Teachers College Record, April 6, 2021 https://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=23662