1997 – Mike Rose

Societal respect for and confidence in American public education may be at an all-time low. Yet remarkable things are happening in classrooms across the nation.

In his book “Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America,” Mike Rose focuses on the positive things going on in these classrooms and, through them, offers hope for the future of public education. Rose’s work has earned the 1997 award.

“Possible Lives” offers insights into the traits that make for outstanding educational experiences in schools from Los Angeles to Berea, Ky., and from New York City to Missoula, Mt.

During four years of visiting classrooms, Rose found that outstanding schools have much in common, including students who feel safe and respected and those who feel challenged and inspired to take part in shaping their own futures. The schools also have caring faculty who feel a calling to teach, and they have administrations that don’t allow politics to overshadow the best interests of their students.

Rose has personal experience in many different educational settings. A student of both parochial and public schools and colleges, he has taught at levels ranging from kindergarten to higher education and adult literacy programs.

A professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California-Los Angeles, Rose has taught in the Los Angeles area since 1968. Since becoming affiliated with the university in 1973, he has filled a variety of roles ranging from acting director of UCLA Writing Programs to instructor in the Veterans’ Special Educational Program.

He has received many honors for his work, including awards from the National Academy of Education, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Modern Language Association, the McDonnell Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation.