"The Make-or-Break Year," by Emily Krone Phillips details the story of Freshman On-Track in the city of Chicago

On January 11th, 2019, Emily Krone Phillips launched her new book, The Make-or-Break Year, at a book launch at 57th Street Books. The book focuses on how the dropout crisis could be solved if careful monitoring and support was provided to students in their freshman year of high school.
During the event, a panel discussed the "politics of distraction" in education reform and how shifting the focus to solving problems inside schools offers a more effective lever for improvement. The panelists also highlighted how a change in focus occurred under Arne Duncan, and schools were provided with useful, real-time data on freshmen and their progress, while principals and teachers were held accountable for a metric they could actually move. Furthermore, panelists also discussed the impact of coaching, especially from the Network for College Success, which helped people in schools learn how to do the work of building teams and developing strategies to support freshmen.
The Q&A session covered what CPS's next challenge could be tackled using the collaborative approaches pioneered through Freshman On-Track.