Jacobs, Joanne 1952–

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Jacobs, Joanne 1952–

PERSONAL: Born March 31, 1952, in Chicago, IL; daughter of Alan Joseph and Phyllis (Leaf) Jacobs; married Colin Bowman Hunter, June 18, 1977 (divorced, 1985); children: Allison Sarah. Education: Stanford University, B.A., 1974. Hobbies and other interests: Charter school volunteer.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Palgrave Macmillan, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010. E-mail[email protected] [email protected]

CAREER: Journalist and freelance writer. Suburban Newspapers, Cupertino, CA, copy editor and reporter, 1974–76; Super 8 Filmmaker, San Francisco, CA, associate editor, 1976–78; San Jose Mercury News, San Jose, CA, copywriter, 1978–80, editorial writer, 1980–84, columnist and editorial writer, 1984–2001. Also has been a Michigan Journalism Fellow, 1991–92; Casey Fellow, 1994; and a media fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, San Francisco. Member of board of directors, Women's Freedom Network, Washington, DC, 1993.

AWARDS, HONORS: Casey Medal, for column "Making Welfare Work," 1999.


Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea, and the School That Beat the Odds, Pal-grave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Joanne Jacobs wrote for the San Jose Mercury News for over fifteen years, primarily covering education topics, before leaving to pursue a freelance career. In 2001 she began volunteering at Downtown College Prep, a charter school of 102 ninth-grade students in San Jose, California, to get first-hand experience on the workings and culture of charter schools. Made up primarily of low-income Mexican-American students, the school's purpose is to prepare these students for college despite the prevailing influence of local gangs.

Many reviewers of Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea, and the School That Beat the Odds commented that the concept of the book provides interesting insight into this alternative education system. A reviewer for Kirkus Reviews, for one, called the reporting "balanced" and "persuasive." Curt Schleier, writing in the Journal Sentinel, similarly stated that the writing is balanced, but he added that the book is "written and researched too early," leaving several questions "unanswered" and "unasked." With "some useful data," commented a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, Our School is a "fascinating case study." Overall, Booklist contributor Deborah Donovan lauded how "Jacobs vividly portrays everyday life at the school … [in this] remarkable story."



Booklist, December 1, 2005, Deborah Donovan, review of Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea, and the School That Beat the Odds, p. 10.

Journal Sentinel, December 10, 2005, Curt Schleier, review of Our School.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2005, review of Our School, p. 1063.

Publishers Weekly, October 3, 2005, review of Our School, p. 61.


Joanne Jacobs Home Page, http://www.joannejacobs.com (December 15, 2005).

TCS Daily Online, http://www.techcentralstation.com/ (December 15, 2005), brief biography of Joanne Jacobs.