September 2010


Write Your College Essay in Less Than a Day by Elizabeth Wissner-Gross

by Elizabeth Wissner-Gross, author of Write Your College Essay in Less Than a Day

Having led college essay-writing workshops for English teachers and guidance counselors (as well as students) in high schools throughout the country, I know that faculty members are generally eager to step in to help alleviate the stress. But many teachers and counselors tell me that they really don’t know what sort of essays colleges prefer nowadays. Even in this weak economy, or perhaps because of it, the competition to get into the most competitive colleges is still increasing. And teachers say the results of college admissions are often baffling. Some teachers report that they’ve seen their top students—outstanding essay writers with top grades and test scores—get turned away from colleges inexplicably. And teachers wish to be more helpful. (more…)

Each school day during Banned Books Week (September 25−October 2, 2010), the Random House Academic Marketing department will share notes from authors and organizations that discuss the challenges and triumphs in the fight against censorship. Our goal is to get educators across the country engaging in meaningful conversation about this subject. Be a part of our campaign by visiting our Facebook, Twitter, and blog pages, and help spread the word!

Waiting for “Superman”, the new documentary from Davis Guggenheim, Academy Award-winning director of An Inconvenient Truth, examines the current state of public education in America, and, according to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, “is going to create sense of outrage, and a sense of urgency” (“Schools, the Disaster Movie,” New York Magazine). Following the stories of five children from around the country, the film features interviews with luminaries at the forefront of education today, including: Geoffrey Canada (Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America) and Bill Strickland (Make the Impossible Possible: One Man’s Crusade to Inspire Others to Dream Bigger and Achieve the Extraordinary). Canada is the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone whose 1996 memoir Fist Stick Knife Gun will be released in October as a graphic adaptation from Beacon Press. Strickland is President and CEO of Manchester Craftsmen Guild and Bidwell Training Center, which offers programs in ceramics, photography, digital arts and painting to over 500 kids a year, as well as 3,400 additional students in the Pittsburgh inner-city school district; his book has been selected for common reading at several schools.

Read articles about the film in Education WeekNew York Magazine, and The New York Times. For more information, visit the film’s official website.

Waiting for “Superman” opens in select theaters on September 24.