addcalendar Download Event
Buy Tickets/RSVP

Date & Time

Thursday, January 10, 2019
6:00 PM


Other Location


Free and open to the public


Seminary Co-op Bookstore
(773) 752-4381


Emily Krone Phillips discusses "The Make-or-Break Year." She will be joined in conversation by Maurice Swinney and John Q. Easton. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At 57th Street Books

About the book: "The Make-or-Break Year" is the largely untold story of how a simple idea—that reorganizing schools to get students through the treacherous transitions of freshman year greatly increases the odds of those students graduating—changed the course of two Chicago high schools, an entire school system, and thousands of lives. Marshaling groundbreaking research on the teenage brain, peer relationships, and academic performance, journalist turned communications expert Emily Krone Phillips details the emergence of Freshman OnTrack, a program-cum-movement that is translating knowledge into action—and revolutionizing how teachers grade, mete out discipline, and provide social, emotional, and academic support to their students.In a moment of relentless focus on what doesn’t work in education and the public sphere, Phillips’s dramatic account examines what does.

About the author: Emily Krone Phillips is the communications director at the Spencer Foundation. She worked previously as an educator reporter and as the communications director at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, where the Freshman OnTrack research originated and inspired her to write The Make-or-Break Year (The New Press). She lives in Chicago.

About the panelist: Maurice Swinney is the Chief Equity Officer of Chicago Public Schools. He is formerly the principal of Tilden Career Academy in Fuller Park on the South Side and former associate principal at St. Amand High School in Ascension Parish, Louisiana.

About the panelist: John Q. Easton is a Senior Fellow at the UChicago Consortium. Prior, he served as Vice President, Programs at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago. He was affiliated with the UChicago Consortium since its inception in 1990, and became its Deputy Director in 1997 and Executive Director in 2002. He is a member of the Illinois Employment Security Advisory Board, the Illinois Longitudinal Data System Technical Advisory Committee, and the Chicago Public Schools' School Quality Report Card Steering Committee.