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WHEN VIEWING ON A TABLET OR MOBILE -- DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM improve teaching and learning opportunities for more than 34,000 preschool- to-third-grade children. Urban school districts are not the most congenial environments in which to create developmentally appropriate and intellectually engaging classrooms for young children: Superintendents come and go. There is unrelenting pres- sure to improve standardized test scores. And veteran teachers are skeptical if not cynical about the never-ending cascade of innovations and reforms. Mak- ing a difference demands a wide range of talents and abilities. You need to garner and shrewdly deploy money, get parents on your side, recruit credible and effective trainers and coaches, and manage your boss so that you can pro- mote your vision amidst a cacophony of competing initiatives from the federal government, foundations, and private sector partners—all of whom are “here to help.” Most of all, you need to persuade thousands of teachers and more than one hundred principals to buy into new approaches to engaging children in learning and building productive relationships with each other—when you don’t have authority over personnel decisions or evaluation procedures. Maurice met and overcame these challenges by designing and managing a host of initiatives around a common agenda for improving classrooms and teaching, including: An annual Early Childhood Leadership Institute for preschool, Head Start, kindergarten, and primary grade teachers and teacher aides Early childhood demonstration centers for teachers and administra- tors to visit and observe Ongoing professional development through a cadre of collegial con- sulting teachers Seminars for principals and teacher-led study groups on education reform issues A new observational child assessment system and new report cards Funding for new furniture, materials, and equipment for classrooms Partnering with researchers to study the effects of these reforms on children’s learning and engagement in schooling How did he do it? The answer, as conveyed in this cogent and thoughtful book, is his commitment to eight core values: human potential, knowledge, social justice, competence, fun and enjoyment, personal renewal, perseverance, and courage. foreword COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL