Phil Goodstein at West Side Books

West Side Books will be hosting Phil Goodstein, author of over 30 books relating to Denver's history, to read from his new book: Schools for a New Century. Phil will be reading and signing on the patio outside of West Side Books on Monday, October 3rd at 6 pm. 

Schools for a New Century is the concluding volume of a trilogy on The History of Denver Public Schools. The opus traces education in the Mile High City since the Pikes Peak gold rush. The first part, The Denver School Book, deals with the emergence of the public school system in 1859 until 1967. The Denver School Busing Wars, volume two, focuses on the upheavals that swept the district from the departure of longtime superintendent Kenneth Oberholtzer in 1967 to when the federal courts released Denver from an order in 1995 that the system bus students to provide equal educational opportunity in a discrimination-free, unitary district. 

Here is the story of what came next. In the wake of busing, DPS turned to many new and promising programs. Included was an increased emphasis on magnet schools, charter schools, and choice. Rather than selecting seasoned educators to lead the district, the school board turned to politicians and businessmen. While growth swept the system, reflecting the Mile High boom of the early 21st century, voices of opposition decried that DPS had taken a wrong turn. This concluding part of the trilogy emphasizes that schools are not abstract centers of learning, but reflect the values of the community. In particular, it points to the class divisions of society and how those who are not part of the affluent middle class have suffered from many of the school reforms touted by both Republicans and Democrats. 

Goodstein was never happy with Denver Public Schools when he made his way through the system from kindergarten until his graduation in 1970. Since then, he has delved into how society works. Along the way, he earned a doctorate in history from the University of Colorado. Most of all, with nearly 30 books, he has stood out as Denver's pre-eminent historian. His volumes range from solid looks at the city's past and politics to explorations of Mile High folklore and its supposed ghosts. Here he addresses the crucial character of its modern school system. 


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