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Saving the School: One Woman's Fight for the Kids That Education Reform Left Behind Paperback – July 30, 2013
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I was excited to read Saving the School because I have a special fondness in my heart for the teachers in a school who can make a difference. (Stand and Deliver, anyone?) But I watch these movies, read these books with a wary eye. Although in Stand and Deliver, Jaime Escalante's story is one chalk full of miracles, the movie version leaves out the cost of his marriage he paid to help his students be AP success-stories. As if most teachers don't work enough hours during the school year, adding extra tutoring, home Bible studies, study groups and backyard concerts (as one of the teachers in Saving the School did) leaves little to no room for a personal life. And now that that particular teacher is married, I would hope for the sake of her family that she has cut back. But we don't read about any pitfalls with the extra work piled on top of the already daunting task of teaching/coaching/principalling a group of students throughout the year.Read more ›
Not that this book doesn't have a happy ending. (Please stop reading now if you don't want to know how the school fares.) At the heart of this story is an old, once-proud high school, a school where fabulous athletes once-upon-a-time won all their games and where promising scholars rose to become doctors and lawyers and Indian chiefs. Key phrase is once-upon-a-time, though. Now the school sits amid a neighborhood that is worn down by time and poverty, with students who miss class to work to help out their families and have babies themselves too-soon. Students who, in the key educational buzz phrase of our time are Left Behind.
To the rescue comes new superhero principal Anabel Garza. She is on fire for these students and for her teachers and for this school. Well she should be. If scores on tests and attendance figures don't come up, it's the end for this high school. What a superhero Anabel Garza is. She flies around the school, class to class, urging students to show up and learn and go to tutorials. She drives to students' homes and pulls them out of bed and gets them to school. She strategizes with key student leaders to keep the school focused. She ends up now and then in the emergency room with high blood pressure troubles, but all ends well when scores go through the roof and the school is saved. At least for this year.
I live in Texas where education reform has been underway for decades now and which basically consists of cutting everything at schools (except, of course, football) and moaning loudly and publicly when students do poorly on more and more tests which are made more and more difficult every year.
Yes, there is a happy ending for this story. But at what cost? Sigh.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Michael Brick's incredible talents as a reporter and as writer have enabled him to describe what's really been going on in U.S. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
As a Raider alumni and educator, I am inspired by this true story. I'm reminded that each child is important. Read morePublished on March 24, 2014 by Todd Gage
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It describes the struggles and triumphs of a struggling school and the community in and around it. Read morePublished on June 12, 2013 by judy burns
I am a student and I couldn't put this book down in the heat of exams and homework. I had to keep pushing forward and finish it. Read morePublished on April 4, 2013 by Josh Birdwell
Very informative book and well written. Makes you wonder a lot about why parents don't show greater love for their children and get them to school everyday.... Read morePublished on February 23, 2013 by Mary Jane Chisholm
If you are interested in education or are in education this is a fairly good read. I liked how hard the principal worked to save the school. Read morePublished on January 12, 2013 by Susanne