According to Mahmoud, the achievement gap is really a combination of five: gaps in preparation, time, leadership, teacher, and belief. Schools must address all five and his Gap-Closing Framework provides a coherent and aligned model to accelerate student learning.
Best in Class provides examples of lesson planning and evaluation materials for teachers, and testing and support systems for students. Together, they give educators and administrators a complete picture of how this work is done. The book also discusses the “10 Best Practices” used by the top gap-closing schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
The book is intended to serve as an inspiration for “what is possible” in educating poor and socially disadvantaged children. Mahmoud believes that the problem is not the hardware—children’s minds—it’s the software and children are not being properly programmed for success. According to Mahmoud, when adults organize themselves for children’s success, there’s no limit to what children can accomplish, regardless of social, economic, or family circumstances.
About the Authors
Eric Mahmoud was born and raised in Philadelphia. He earned his engineering degree on an academic scholarship. Mahmoud has over 20 years’ experience in educational administration. He is founder and CEO of Seed Academy, Harvest Prep, Best Academy, Sister Academy, and Mastery School. Mahmoud has received local and national recognition for his work in educating economically and socially disadvantaged children. Mahmoud and his wife of 27 years, Dr. Ella Mahmoud, have four children and live in Minneapolis.
Jeffrey A. Hassan, Esq., has attained his profession’s highest rating. After practicing in Washington, D.C., he returned to Minnesota and became outside legal counsel to Minneapolis Public Schools. Later, he expanded his educational practice and represented such clients as Harvest Prep, Best Academy, and the University of Minnesota. In 2012, Mr. Hassan was legal counsel and start-up coordinator for the new Mastery School. He recently wrote Crisis in Our Community: Closing the Five Educational Achievement Gaps.