Call For Chapter Proposals

Did you work in or attend a high-compliance, “No Excuses” charter school? Do you have a counternarrative about the practices/policies and their impacts on students, families, and/or staff?

No formal writing necessary and no minimum length. Poems, essays, letters, and original art accepted! We just want to create space for counter-narratives and hear from people who’d like to share their lived experiences in high-compliance, “No Excuses” schools.

Proposals Due: Sep 30, 2018 to

Proposal Requirements:

  1. Name of Author(s):
  2. Address of each author:
  3. Email of each author:
  4. Phone number of each author:
  5. Proposed Title (this can change):
  6. High Compliance School(s) / Location this piece is about:
  7. Overview (or simple draft) of your piece:

BOOK TITLE: Heavy Cost of High Compliance: Counter-Narratives of No Excuses Schooling from Those Who’ve Paid the Price

BOOK OBJECTIVE: The editors aim to provide a book of rich counter-narratives from students, families, and teachers to complicate the well-funded, positive narrative of No Excuses Schools.[1]

High compliance schooling—marked by relentless academic rigor, rigid structure, zero tolerance, frequent testing and overall emphasis on compliance for success—has been deemed by many reformers as “quality education” and “equity-driven.” It is promoted as a solution to the achievement gap, one that levels the playing field for students who are marginalized and historically underserved. But this is only one side of the story. Individuals are beginning to speak out[2] about their lived experiences inside of these schools; they detail oppression, obedience, anxiety, assimilation, exhaustion, intimidation, disproportionality, and segregation. Their narratives, however, are not welcome or publicized. In fact they are often met with hostility; they are discredited, shamed, and ultimately silenced.

The editors hope that by creating space for counter-narratives and compiling them into one powerful place, validation and healing can take place for those impacted by No Excuses schooling. Additionally, people who are considering creating, attending, promoting, and working in these schools will have access to a fuller, messier truth about No Excuses schooling and the costs to those who experience it.

“There are no voiceless: only the deliberately silenced or the preferably unheard.”(Arundhati Roy)

“I learned to read, write, and do math … it came at a heavy cost.” (Salazar, Lowenstein, & Brill, 2010, p. 27)


PROPOSAL: (Due September 30, 2018)

  1. Name of Author(s):
  2. Address of each author:
  3. Email of each author:
  4. Phone number of each author:
  5. Proposed Title (this can change):
  6. High Compliance School(s) / Location this piece is about:
  7. Overview (or simple draft) of your piece:

*None of your proposal / writing will be published or shared without your express permission and signature.

EDITORS SUBMIT PROSPECTUS: (October 2018). We will ask your permission to use your proposal in the submission process.


BOOK CONTRACT: (We aim to have a contract by the end of October.)

DRAFTING/REVISION/EDITING DATES: TBD upon your decision notification.

[1] These include but are not limited to KIPP, Success Academy, Democracy Prep, Noble, UnCommon Schools, STRIVE, University Prep, Achievement First, DSST, etc.

[2]Examples of Counter-narratives:

Please submit proposals and questions to Amber Kim at Visit for more information on the lead editor.


Published by

Amber Kim, PH.D.

Dr. Amber Kim is a first generation college student who earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver with a focus on Urban Education and Culturally Responsive and Critical Pedagogy. She is a consultant, speaker, and professor committed to helping educators develop equity literacy and student-centered schools. She partners to create academically challenging educational environments that resist harm, fight oppression, and strengthen and nourish all students and staff--particularly those who are marginalized, excluded, and suffer discrimination. She has worked with Tulsa Public Schools and San Francisco Unified School District, as well as Big Picture Learning and Denver KIPP schools. She taught for ten years in three cities. Amber is a competitive kick-boxer who is an unapologetic advocate fighting to eliminate oppression from schools and to create spaces for our most marginalized students and staff to be heard.

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