Press Release

OAKLAND, CA (August 3, 2011) – In her new book, Diploma Matters: A Field Guide for College and Career Readiness (Jossey-Bass; $29.95; ISBN13: 978-1-118-00914-7; August 2011), Dr. Linda Murray provides practitioners and advocates throughout the nation with a practical set of tools to transform schools so that all students have the opportunity to achieve their college and career aspirations.

The book is a must-read for anyone interested in education reform. It describes how district and school leaders can examine the current high school experience of their students to expose barriers to college and career readiness. Furthermore, it provides practitioners with a detailed action plan to transform curriculum and course-taking patterns so that all students have the choice to attend college.

“Unlike many books on the topic of high school reform, Diploma Matters is a field guide that gets down to the nuts and bolts of how to accomplish reform,” said author Dr. Linda Murray, Superintendent-in-Residence at The Education Trust—West. “As a practical guide, the book provides the reader with a set of tools and describes implementation of the tools in a wide variety of districts.”

Dr. Murray uses her personal and professional journey as the Superintendent of the San Jose Unified School District to dispel myths that raising academic expectations will lead to negative outcomes for students. She proves that schools can be transformed when adults hold high expectations for all students and provide them with vital supports to ensure their success.

“The book highlights a systemic and comprehensive approach to increasing expectations and rigor to ensure that all students graduate college and career-ready,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, a statewide education advocacy organization that works to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement for students of color and students in poverty. “It is a story of sustained leadership built on a shared belief system that all students can achieve at high levels when taught at high levels.”

About the Author: Linda Murray is Superintendent-in-Residence at The Education Trust—West (ETW) and led the organization’s collaborative work with school districts over the last six years. Prior to joining ETW, Dr. Murray served as Superintendent of Schools for the San Jose Unified School District for eleven years. In 1998, San Jose Unified graduation requirements  changed to match the University of California and California State University entrance requirements.

Find additional resources and/or buy Diploma Matters by visiting The book is published by Jossey-Bass and is now available for $29.95 at various retail book outlets.

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About The Education Trust—West

The Education Trust—West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps.