- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
During and after his term as interim Central Falls superintendent in 2006-2007, Bill Holland sought answers to why some Central Falls High School students had school success while over half of their classmates failed to graduate. Much can be learned from how these students survived in a chronically low-achieving school located in the poorest community in the state. Holland provides behind-the-scenes details on the issues of poverty, ineffective teaching, and cultural differences while also advising students, parents, and teachers on ways to gain greater educational success. Before the book was completed, a federal and state mandate unexpectedly resulted in the superintendent having to adopt a turn-around model and fire the entire high school faculty and staff-an action that set off a firestorm between the school and state leadership and the American Federation of Teachers. The conflict made national headlines and was mentioned by President Obama as a prime example of a 'last resort' approach in reforming failing inner-city schools.
Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Interim Superintendent in Central Falls Chapter 4 The Obstacles to Success in an Inner-City School Chapter 5 A Jaded Perception of Urban Schools Chapter 6 An Urban Principal Questions Dropout Figures Chapter 7 Residential Instability Among Latinos Chapter 8 The Role of Poverty Chapter 9 The Need for Better Teaching Chapter 10 Is It Poverty or Better Teaching? Chapter 11 The Unique City of Central Falls Chapter 12 Central Falls High School Today Chapter 13 An Agenda for Change Chapter 14 The URI-Central Falls Partnership Chapter 15 A Severe Bump in the Road Chapter 16 Central Falls Students Chapter 17 Theresa Agonia - Overcoming Adversity Chapter 18 Bryant Estrada - An Independent Thinker Chapter 19 Guillermo Ronquillo -The Importance of Faith Chapter 20 George Carle - A Basketball Dream Chapter 21 Summary Chapter 22 Postscript
Posted October 17, 2010
Although Holland's book suggests contents that will be germane to Central Falls parents and Latinos, it could almost have been named "American's Schools in Trouble" because the major problems in education are universal as well as unique to schools like those in Central Falls, R.I.
In his book, Holland deftly handles the complexities one confronts when trying to prevent a school from failing. He reminds us that the problems in education are multifaceted and must be acknowledged and dealt with appropriately and that complex problems cannot be solved with simplistic solutions. Fire all the teachers? Eliminate the unions? Hopefully, no one is naive enough to believe that doing either of those things will be a panacea for the legion of ills that exist. Blame poverty, the law, the culture, etc., these are pieces of every broken school.
For someone who "has been there" and "done that" his tone is neither hostile nor defensive. At the end of the book in a positive vein, Holland highlights four students whose success stories are quite amazing and well worth our contemplation. Kudos to William Holland for a sensitive, refreshingly, well written, easy 134 page read on an incredibly complex topic.
Posted September 17, 2010
No text was provided for this review.