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Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America's Children Hardcover – February 26, 2013
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I am very happy to say that "Hope Against Hope" reverses the prevailing dynamic and focuses on the personal narratives and perceptions of those who must engage with school reform on a day-to-day basis. The trifurcated focus on three different actors within the New Orleans school system (a principal with deep roots in the local community, a Harvard TFA alum who now teaches in a new charter school, and a family with experience in both the older public new system and the new charter regime) can hardly be describes as "innovative" yet provides a desperately needed counterweight to the abstract and politically charged accounts of educational elites.Read more ›
Ms. Carr looks at a principal, a teacher and a family but in so doing, gives us real insight into three very different schools as well as a glimpse into the operation of others. While all are located in New Orleans, a city that has undergone immense challenges, they could almost as easily have been located in any major urban area. There are no easy answers presented, no obvious conclusions. To me, that was a welcome positive; I grow weary of outsiders to the profession who provide absolute answers before even undertanding the questions.
I came away from this book with renewed enthusiasm for the education profession and many who serve in it. I admire particularly the principal and hope that there remains a place for her style of leadership in the schools of tomorrow. The family followed by Ms. Carr certainly challenges the stereotype of urban single parent households and suggests there is indeed hope where some think otherwise. The teacher was also interesting and admirable; my reservation in his respect stems from the obvious fact that he is so different from the average beginnign teacher.Read more ›
Discussion of education in an urban setting by necessity must involve a discussion of race and socio-economic status. This book guides the reader to a deeper understanding of these issues through story-telling. For example, consider the recipient of a full tuition scholarship who can't afford to pay the initial deposit or to buy the textbooks. It's great that a scholarship exists that is targeted to racially-diverse, needy students ... but it ends up not helping because it doesn't cover enough. This book is full of such examples of where intentions fall short and children pay the price.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent analysis of the human aspect of school reform. Highly recommended for scholars, policy makers, and casual readers alike.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
As an educator, I read many of the educational theories, put forth in this book with dismay. I felt so very sorry for the people of New Orleans. Read morePublished 5 months ago by ClaudiaB
As a native of New Orleans, I found this book about schools there since Katrina to be fascinating and concerning. Very well researched and written.Published 5 months ago by Clemence Palcso
How NoLa was affected by the great hurricane. Very balanced reporting.Published 13 months ago by cinejevu
this is a travesty of a book, a corporate-backed and self-serving lie about the true crisis of "education reform" in New Orleans. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Liznola
A clear view from the ground, from inside classrooms. Not prettified at all. We need to know this kind of stuff.Published 18 months ago by George Stranahan
If you want to understand the multiple factors that influence a school's effect, this is the book. Set amid the arguments for privatizing schools vs enhancing public ones, this... Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by SCme
Carr's depth of insight is well expressed in her written word...should be mandatory high school reading and followed up with discussion.Published on July 9, 2013 by Kimberly