AIR Reads: A Sampling of Books by AIR Board Members, Fellows, and Staff Members

Making the world a better and more informed place drives AIR board members, fellows, and staff. These recent books examine pressing issues in depth, drawing on the best research available to understand complex challenges and offer practical solutions.  

Explore books by:

AIR Board Members

Nancy Cantor

Image of Our Compelling Interests book cover

Our Compelling Interests: The Value of Diversity for Democracy and a Prosperous Society

Nancy Cantor and Earl Lewis (Eds.), Princeton University Press (2016)

This inaugural volume of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Our Compelling Interests series illustrates that a diverse population offers communities a prescription for thriving now and in the future. The landmark essay collection, co-edited by Rutgers University-Lewis Chancellor Nancy Cantor, examines the demographic transitions shaping American life and presents a broad-ranging look at the value of diversity to democracy and civil society.

Delano Lewis

Image of No Condition Is Permanent book coverNo Condition is Permanent: A Collection of Memories

Delano Lewis (author) and Brian Lewis (editor), independently published (2018)

It All Begins with Self Image of It All Begins with Self book cover

Delano Lewis (author), Brian Lewis and Gayle Lewis, independently published (2015)

In these memoirs, former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa and past president and CEO of National Public Radio reflects on his life of hard work, faith, focus, and vulnerability. Growing up in Kansas in the era of segregation, Lewis bucked the odds by becoming a lawyer, joining the Peace Corps, and advancing his career in leadership roles as a public servant, businessman, and diplomat.

Manuel Pastor

Image of book coverJust Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America's Metropolitan Regions

Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor, Routledge (2012)

Breaking new ground in its innovative blend of quantitative and qualitative methods, the book argues that sustainable growth, based on economic development and regional equity, is indeed possible. While offering specific insights for regional leaders and analysts of metropolitan areas, the authors also draw a broader—and timely—set of conclusions about how to scale up these efforts.


AIR Institute Fellows

David Hayes-Bautista

Image of La Nueva California book coverLa Nueva California: Latinos from Pioneers to Post-Millennials

David Hayes-Bautista, University of California Press (2017)

This study, based on decades of data and spanning a hundred years, paints a vivid and energetic portrait of Latino society in California. Hayes-Bautista is a distinguished professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Image of El Cinco de Mayo book coverEl Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition

David Hayes-Bautista, University of California Press (2012)

This book traces the roots of the distinctly American celebration of Cinco de Mayo, a holiday with meanings that have shifted over time to reflect the aspirations of the Latino community.

Jack Buckley

Image of Measuring Success book coverMeasuring Success: Testing, Grades, and the Future of College Admissions

Jack Buckley, Lynn Letukas and Ben Wildavsky (Eds.), Johns Hopkins University Press (2017)

Once touted as the best way to compare students from diverse backgrounds, standardized tests like the SAT and ACT have increasingly come under scrutiny for potential bias toward traditionally privileged groups. This book, co-edited by AIR’s Jack Buckley, senior vice president of research and evaluation, investigates the research and policy implications of emerging test-optional college admissions practices and considers both sides of the debate.

Harry J. Holzer

Image of Making College Work book coverMaking College Work: Pathways to Success for Disadvantaged Students

Harry J. Holzer and Sandy Baum, Brookings Press (2017)

Many disadvantaged college students face hurdles in completing coursework, earning valuable credentials, paying for college and keeping up with college debts. This book, co-authored by Georgetown University professor of public policy Harry Holzer, reviews potential causes, as well as promising policy solutions.

Image of book coverWhere Are All the Good Jobs Going? What National and Local Job Quality and Dynamics Mean for U.S. Workers

Harry J. Holzer, Julia I. Lane, David B. Rosenblum and Frederik Anderson, Russell Sage Foundation (2011)

This book examines the structural changes in the U.S. economy and addresses the most-pressing questions faced by today’s workers: Can the labor market still produce jobs with good pay and benefits for the majority of workers, and will these jobs remain stable over time?

Jennifer O’Day

Opportunity for All: A Framework for Quality and Equality in EducationOpportunity for All book cover

Jennifer O'Day & Marshall S. Smith, Harvard Education Press (2019)

The book show how strategies for pursuing educational quality and equal outcomes for all students can be linked, presenting an ambitious idea of the future of American education and a comprehensive theory of change for enacting that vision.

Image of Education Reform in New York City book coverEducation Reform in New York City: Ambitious Change in the Nation’s Most Complex School System

Jennifer O’Day, Catherine S. Bitter, & Louis M. Gomez (Eds.) Harvard Education Press (2011)

Offers insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the City’s ambitious “Children First” school reform efforts conducted from 2002 through 2010 under the leadership of Joel Klein, the former chancellor. The book addresses key aspects of urban systemic reform, including governance, accountability, instruction, finance, choice and competition, and student outcomes.


David Osher

The Science of Learning and Development: Enhancing the Lives of All Young People

Edited By Pamela Cantor, David Osher (2021) 

This book unpacks major transformations in the study of learning and human development and provides evidence for how science can inform innovation in the design of settings, policies, practice, and research to enhance the life path, opportunity and prosperity of every child. The ideas presented provide researchers and educators with a rationale for focusing on the specific pathways and developmental patterns that may lead a specific child, with a specific family, school, and community, to prosper in school and in life.

Claude M. Steele

Image of Whistling Vivaldi book coverWhistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do

Claude M. Steele, W. W. Norton & Company (2011)

Claude Steele, who has been called “one of the few great social psychologists,” offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. Steele, executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Berkeley, sheds new light on American social phenomena—from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men—and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.

Michael A. Stoll

Image of book coverWhy Are So Many Americans in Prison?

Stephen Raphael and Michael A. Stoll, Russell Sage Foundation (2013)

This book evaluates the rapid and dramatic rise in incarceration rates, enforcement practices and sentencing laws. Co-authored by Michael Stoll, professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, the book offers alternative crime control strategies for states confronted with the budgetary and societal costs of mass incarceration. 


AIR Staff

Markus Broer, Yifan Bai, and Frank Fonseca

Image of book coverSocioeconomic Inequality and Educational Outcomes

Markus Broer, Yifan Bai, and Frank Fonseca, Springer (2019)

The positive association between family socioeconomic status and student achievement is well documented, but there is limited research into how this relationship differs across context and country and whether it has changed over time. This e-book uses a unique measure of socioeconomic status to examine how inequality of educational outcomes has changed over the 20-year Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) period (1995–2015). It also looks at the extent to which the performance of students from disadvantaged backgrounds has improved in 13 countries around the world.

Trenita Childers

Image of book coverIn Someone Else's Country: Anti-Haitian Racism and Citizenship in the Dominican Republic

Trenita Brookshire Childers, Rowman & Littlefield (2020)

In this ethnography, Childers explores the enduring system of racial profiling in the Dominican Republic, where Dominicans of Haitian descent are denied full citizenship in the only country they have ever known. As birthright citizens, they now wonder why they are treated like they are “in someone else’s country.”

Marlene Darwin

Image of book coverInternational Perspectives on Leading Low-Performing Schools

Coby V. Meyers and Marlene Darwin (Eds.), Information Age Publishing (2018)

Research is clear: School leadership quality matters. This book advances discussion and disseminates knowledge and global perspectives on what school leadership looks like, how it is enacted and under what circumstances, and when or where lessons might be portable.

Ebru Erberber

Image of book coverStudent Misconceptions and Errors in Physics and Mathematics: Exploring Data from TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced

Teresa Neidorf, Alka Arora, Ebru Erberber, Yemurai Tsokodayi, and Thanh Mai, Springer (2020)

This book traces the most common student misconceptions, errors, and misunderstandings concerning two core physics and mathematics topics: gravity and linear equations. Drawing on 20 years of data, the authors examined patterns across five countries and three grade levels, by gender, over time. Educators can use this information to pinpoint curricular deficiencies and tailor instruction to better meet student needs.

Rebecca Zumeta Edmonds, Alison Gruner Gandhi, and Louis Danielson

Image of book thumbnailEssentials of Intensive Intervention

Rebecca Zumeta Edmonds, Alison Gruner Gandhi, and Louis Danielson (Eds.), Guilford Press (2019)

Few evidence-based resources exist for supporting elementary and secondary students who require intensive intervention. Filling a gap in the field, this book brings together leading experts to present data-based individualization (DBI), a systematic approach to providing intensive intervention which is applicable to reading, math, and behavior. Readers are guided to access and utilize numerous free online DBI resources—tool charts, planning materials, sample activities, downloadable forms, and more.

Tracy Gray

Image of book coverBreakthrough Teaching and Learning: How Educational and Assistive Technologies Are Driving Innovation

Tracy Gray and Heidi Silver-Pacuilla (Eds.), Springer (2011)

Interactive media and mobile devices have vastly enhanced the potential for teaching and learning both in and outside of the classroom, particularly for those with special needs. This book explores the concept of personalized learning and its application to diverse student populations, its limitless possibilities for innovation, and its ability to tap into previously underused areas of the human mind.

Deborah Moroney

Image of book coverSocial and Emotional Learning in Out-of-School Time: Foundations and Futures

Elizabeth Devaney and Deborah Moroney, Information Age Publishing (2018)

In out-of-school time settings, educators have an opportunity to foster social and emotional learning in engaging activities. This volume provides an overview of social and emotional learning in out-of-school time from field experts in practice, policy, and research.

David Osher, Deborah Moroney, and Sandra Williamson, et al.

Image of book coverCreating Safe, Equitable, Engaging Schools: A Comprehensive Evidence-Based Approach to Supporting Students

David Osher, Deborah Moroney, and Sandra Williamson (Eds.), Harvard Education Press (2018)

By taking a continuous improvement approach, Creating Safe, Equitable, Engaging Schools integrates the collective wisdom of over 30 AIR experts, as well as research and field leaders. The volume helps school leaders make sense of the various evidence-based resources and frameworks designed to support the whole child.

David Osher, Kim Kendziora, and Lacy Wood

Image of book coverKeeping Students Safe and Helping Them Thrive: A Collective Handbook on School Safety, Mental Health, and Wellness

David Osher, Matthew J. Mayer, Robert J. Jagers, Kimberly Kendziora, and Lacy Wood (Eds.), Praeger (2019)

Details the safety, mental health, and wellness issues in schools today and focuses on the interactions and collaborations needed among students, teachers, families, community members, and other professionals to foster the safety, learning, and well-being of all students.

Jennifer Pierce

Coaching for Systems and Teacher Change cover

Coaching for Systems and Teacher Change

Jennifer D. Pierce and Kimberly St. Martin (2022)

Coaching between educators is one of the best ways to improve outcomes for all learners. This resource is a comprehensive guide to what effective coaching looks like across the PreK-12 grade span and how to conduct powerful coaching cycles with teachers and teams.