It's Being Done: Academic Success in Unexpected Schools (Harvard Education Press, 2007)
It's Being Done follows in the tradition of the Effective Schools research from the 1970s that demonstrated that schools can do a much better job educating children than they generally do. It's Being Done identifies twenty-five traits that characterize the schools ranging from, "They teach the kids" to "They are nice places to work." Named one of the top five education books of the decade by Education Next, It's Being Done has been used by schools, school districts, and states around the country to jumpstart conversations about how to better serve all students.
The first in what became a trilogy, It's Being Done profiles fifteen schools and one group of schools that are either high-achieving or rapidly improving and that have significant populations of students of color or students who live in poverty.
From Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president of University of Maryland Baltimore County:
"It's Being Done is a refreshingly honest and thoughtful analysis of American K-12 education. It comes at a time when so many people are asking if it is possible not to leave children behind, especially children who are poor and of color. Chenoweth's research carefully documents important examples of academic achievement among these children in a variety of challenging circumstances. She identifies the many characteristics of successful schools, including setting high expectations for students, data-driven instruction, the wise use of school time, ongoing professional development of teachers, and comprehensive leadership teams made up of principals, teachers, parents, and community members. It's Being Done will contribute significantly to the national conversation on the education of our children. Perhaps more important, it will give us reason to hope."
From E. D. Hirsch, Jr., professor emeritus at University of Virginia and founder of Core Knowledge:
"Can a good school enable disadvantaged children to catch up? Some say, 'No, we must change society first.' This scrupulous and humane book shows that a good school can make a decisive difference in giving every child a chance to achieve the American Dream. Karin Chenoweth is to be warmly thanked for showing in detail some schools and their devoted staffs have refuted the idea that demography is fate."
After It's Being Done was published, educators asked for more information about exactly how the schools achieved their success. That led to the second book in the trilogy, HOW It's Being Done.