Part memoir. Part field guide. A message of hope.

“My father died in a spectacular room overlooking
the Florida coast.”

So begins this provocative story of a businessman’s journey through the land of blueberries, bell curves, and smelly eighth graders. Part memoir, part how-to manual, Schools Cannot Do It Alone tells of Jamie Vollmer’s transformation from vocal critic to award-winning defender of America’s public schools.

Based on twenty years of work with school districts across the country, Jamie argues that we have come to a watershed moment in our history. Bashing public education has become a blood sport—a dangerous game in which sensational headlines publicize half-truths, statistics are used out of context, and test results are reported in the worst possible light.

Schools Cannot Do It Alone confronts these threats head-on and presents a step-by-step program to bring educators and the public together to create schools that unfold the full potential of every child. From the first pages of a most personal Introduction, to the final chapter’s message of hope, Vollmer argues with conviction that America’s teachers and administrators are ready and able to meet the challenges of our time, but they cannot do it alone.

$17.95 (Direct discount)
Bulk pricing available for orders over 10

What Readers Are Saying

“Vollmer brings a voice of reason and balance to the debate.”

—David H. Monk, Dean, College of Education, Pennsylvania State University

“I can’t remember a time when I have been more excited about a process… My mind is running a 100 miles an hour.”

—Randy J. Manning. Board President, Kirtland, NM

“Insightful and smart. This can help us build enduring community support for our schools.”

—Mary Broderick, President, National School Board Association

“Oh I loved it. Truly it’s wonderful, and what I needed to re-up my spirits.”

—Deborah Meier, Founder, Coalition of Essential Schools

“A stunning portrayal of the unvarnished truth!”

—Gail Connelly, Executive Director, National Association of Elementary School Principals

“With fresh eyes, Jamie helps us see and feel how the permeating culture within our schools is tied to public attitudes and beliefs.”

—Rich Bagin, Executive Director, National School Public Relations Association

“Jamie offers every community an opportunity to develop successful models for student and school success.”

—Chuck Saylors, President, National PTA

“A refreshing voice of reason. Vollmer’s book is the how-to manual for starting conversations that will ultimately ensure that every child receives a quality public education.”

—Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association

“Vollmer has written a tonic for every educator’s soul! Teachers, administrators, and school board members will LOVE his message because it is what we believe at our core”

—Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director, National School Boards Association

“One of the top ten education books of the year! Vollmer offers a step-by-step system for schools to reach out to their communities to get the support they need.”

—American School Board Journal

“I wish everyone who cares about our future could read this story and share in his discovery that “public education is a miracle.’”

—The Honorable Richard W. Riley, United States Secretary of Education 1993-2001

“Most ‘outsiders’ don’t get it, but Jamie hits the nail on the head again and again. Should be eye opening to ALL teachers.”

—Darla Burton, Administrator, Fennimore, WI

“This book could be the spark for a revolution in the way our society views the public schools.”

—The School Administrator Magazine


For the first time in one place, this attractive, 12”x40” poster answers two perennial questions asked by the public:

“Why don’t these schools just teach the basics?”
Read vertically, this powerful resource chronicles the mind-boggling list of social, psychological, and medical responsibilities that have been shifted from families and communities onto the schoolhouse door. By the bottom of the page it becomes painfully clear that the mandate is no longer, "Teach our children," it's "Raise our kids!"

"Where does all the money go?”
Read horizontally, the poster reveals just how much this ever-mounting list of demands has cost America's taxpayers from 1900 to 2016 in inflation-adjusted dollars.

When “Vollmer’s List” is distributed widely throughout your community, it will increase public understanding of the challenges facing your schools, raise appreciation for your staff, and foster greater public support.

refrigerator door in America!

Sold in packets of 25 for $27.95
Discounts available for orders over 400.

What Readers Are Saying

“Vollmer’s List is a valuable addition to the national debate about the future of public education.”

—Dr. Amy Sichel, President Elect, American Association of School Administrators

“This may help Americans to recognize our shared responsibility to remove the obstacles to student success.”

—Dr. Nathan Parker, Superintendent of Schools, Summit, New Jersey

“This is nuts!”

—Ken Zornes, Executive Director, Texas Business and Education Coalition

“A great way to teach the public about the challenges facing our schools.”

—Steve McNeal, Superintendent of Schools, Beloit, Wisconsin

“Outstanding! The poster will increase local support for schools and build the capacity to change.”

—George Boland, Superintendent of Schools, Idaho Falls, Idaho

“It silenced my know-it-all neighbor.”

—Teacher, Philadelphia, PA

“It's not a business. It's school!”

This remarkable story of personal transformation, written by Jamie Vollmer, first appeared in Education Week, (March 6, 2002). Since then, it has been reprinted hundreds of times in newspapers, professional journals, periodicals, and text books across North America, and Jamie has become known as "The Blueberry Guy" from coast to coast. The story tells of a smart classroom teacher who, in a crowded auditorium, stood up to a powerful business executive and pushed back against his glib “run schools like a business” proclamations. She fearlessly rebutted his empty, free-market rhetoric with a cold splash of classroom reality.

Share this story widely to uplift your staff and inform your community.

Now packaged as an attractive pamphlet
for wide distribution.
$24.95 per 100

What Readers Are Saying

“I am using this great resource to improve communication and PR in the district.”

—Superintendent SAU 55, NH

“I shared this story with my local paper in response to a nasty editorial about our “failing” schools. I got a great response.”

—Teacher Clinton County, IA

“This message helps the public realize that there is so much more to teaching than standardized tests.”

—Elementary Principal Frankfort, MI

“I distribute copies of The Blueberry Story to teachers, parents, patrons, and local officials at the beginning of every year.”

—Superintendent Prairie Grove, AR

“I heard Jamie tell this story at an Inservice. It is so great to be able to share it with my friends in business.”

—School Board Chair Grand Coulee, WA