Dr. Mike Schmoker is a former administrator, English teacher and football coach. He has written several bestselling books and dozens of articles for educational journals, newspapers and for TIME magazine. His most recent ASCD bestsellers are the expanded second edition of FOCUS and Results NOW, 2.0. which was a "#1 New Release" on Amazon. The first edition was a finalist for "book of the year" by the Association of Educational Publishers.
Mike is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Secondary School Principals for his publications and presentations. In an Education Week survey of national school leaders, he was ranked near the top of the best sources of "practical, nuts-and-bolts advice, wisdom and insight" on effective school improvement.
Dr. Schmoker has consulted and keynoted throughout the US, Canada, Australia, China and Jordan. He now lives in Tempe, Arizona with his wife Cheryl.
"Schmoker has lit a fire in this book to make clear that there are right ways, across all curricula domains, to promote the acquisition of knowledge, deeper understanding, greater curiosity, and fun in learning."
- John Hattie, Laureate Professor at Melbourne Graduate School of Education
"Few writers on education ever get close to the clarity provided by Mike Schmoker. In this book, he blows me away. Read it and be amazed, and frustrated, and motivated to do something to fix this mess."
- Jay Mathews, education columnist for the Washington Post
"One of those books every educator needs to read."
- Dick Allington, educator and author of What Really Matters for Struggling Readers
"Once again, Mike Schmoker takes a wide array of complex concepts and initiatives and weaves them into a framework that is not only easily understood but translates into immediate action."
- Robert J. Marzano, C.E.O. of Marzano Research Laboratory and author of The Art and Science of Teaching
"This is a book to which many teachers will say “Hallelujah”. If we can get our schools focused on the elements Schmoker identifies, more teachers will be achieving dramatic results in their classrooms."
- David T. Conley, director of the Center for Educational Policy Research, University of Oregon
"This is a brave, powerful book, brimming with good ideas and plainspoken common sense. The real question is: Do we have the will to make it happen? This powerful book shows us the way."
- Sam Wineburg, Margaret Jacks Professor of Education, Stanford University
"Finally, a book that cuts through the noise and helps us return to sensible, authentic teaching. Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning is insightful, practical, and, above all else, inspiring — a must read for all teachers, administrators, board members, and policymakers."
- Kelly Gallagher, author of Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It
"If you admired Schmoker’s earlier writings, you won’t be able to put this newest entry down. Just think how we might impact student learning if we all put his ideas to work."
- Greg Netzer, principal of Van Horn High School, Independence, Missouri
"Mike Schmoker’s new book is brimming with ideas that I immediately want to pass along to the principals, teachers, and district leaders I work with. It is learned, accessible, packed with specific examples, and powerfully convincing. If you read one book this year, read this one!"
- Kim Marshall, author, educator and editor of The Marshall Memo
"Mike Schmoker nails it again. His guidelines for clarifying what we teach and how we teach should bear positive results across this great land. "
- Carol Jago, president of the National Council of Teachers of English
"Mike Schmoker gets it right in this trenchant diagnosis of American schools."
- Gerald Graff, 2008 president of the Modern Language Association and author of Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind