A School in Trouble: A Personal Story of Central Falls High School

A School in Trouble: A Personal Story of Central Falls High School

by William R. Holland
     
 

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"This book addresses the challenge of turning around persistently low-performing high schools in communities with concentrated poverty. In documenting the schooling experience of four graduates from Central Falls High School in Rhode Island, the author offers contextually rich insights on what works. These stories will enable school reformers and practitioners to

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Overview

"This book addresses the challenge of turning around persistently low-performing high schools in communities with concentrated poverty. In documenting the schooling experience of four graduates from Central Falls High School in Rhode Island, the author offers contextually rich insights on what works. These stories will enable school reformers and practitioners to sharpen their focus on the key elements in their restructuring efforts."---Kenneth K. Wong, chair, Education Department, and director, Urban Education Policy Program, Brown University" "I received validation, direction, and emotional support from my teachers in Central Falls. I credit them constantly in playing a huge role in my path as an actor. In his book, William R. Holland has illuminated a fact that has been ever present since I moved to Central Falls as a child at the age of two."--- Viola Davis, Academy Award-nominated actress for her supporting role in Doubt, in a lead role with Denzel Washington in the 2010 critically acclaimed Broadway production of Fences, and a 1983 graduate of Central Falls High School" "William R. Holland's book is required reading for finding solutions to the challenges facing urban schools. Central Falls is a microcosm of America, and in his book, Holland debunks the superficial assessment of the high school as a ádropout factory.' The author examines four students whose challenges were great and whose successes came as a result of the determination of parents and teachers who refused such a label for their school. His book gives us an in-depth look into a school full of pride, fear, and hope and at the complexities facing education in this century. It is a sobering portrayal of a school whose problems are complex and for which solutions don't fit a bumper sticker or a three-minute report in the six o'clock news. If you want the real story, read this book."---Pablo Rodriguez, president of Latino Public Radio and former chair of the Rhode Island Foundation" "A School in Trouble is a must-read for teachers, school administrators, parents, students, professors, and state and federal officials who are striving to find answers to complex problems that plague urban school districts. As a veteran educator with experience at all levels of education, William R. Holland doesn't mince words when he provides insightful and specific details about the challenge to provide poor, inner-city students with a better educational opportunity to realize the American Dream. At the same time, he provides cases of four successful inner-city graduates as examples of what can be. This is indeed a narrative of hope."---Richard Bradley, former executive director, New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Persistently low-performing high schools have become all too common, and it is a challenge to determine what really works to turn schools around and restore their original educational identity. In A School in Trouble, the reader is taken on the journey of a school's renewal through the eyes and experiences of four students who face great challenges, and yet are successful due to the determination of parents and teachers who refused to accept the label "failing school." The challenges facing Central Falls High School's are complex, and many are not easily solved; they include poverty and residential instability among the students. Holland (emer., education leadership, Rhode Island College), a former Rhode Island commissioner of education, brings his vast educational experiences to this work and writes with straightforwardness and fairness to reveal what can be done to support student success in low-achieving schools. This must read is a narrative of hope for all. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
Pablo Rodriguez
William R. Holland's book is required reading for finding solutions to the challenges facing urban schools. Central Falls is a microcosm of America, and in his book, Holland debunks the superficial assessment of the high school as a "dropout factory." The author illustrates four students whose challenges were great and whose successes came as a result of the determination of parents and teachers who refused such a label for their school. His book gives us an in-depth look into a school full of pride, fear, and hope and at the complexities facing education in this century. It is a sobering portrayal of a school whose problems are complex and for which solutions don't fit a bumper sticker or a three-minute report in the six o'clock news. If you want the real story, read this book.
Viola Davis
I received validation, direction, and emotional support from my teachers in Central Falls. I credit them constantly in playing a huge role in my path as an actor. In his book, William R. Holland has illuminated a fact that has been ever present since I moved to Central Falls as a child at the age of two.
Kenneth K. Wong
This book addresses the challenge of turning around persistently low-performing high schools in communities with concentrated poverty. In documenting the schooling experience of four graduates from Central Falls High School in Rhode Island, the author offers contextually rich insights on what works. These stories will enable school reformers and practitioners to sharpen their focus on the key elements in their restructuring efforts.
Richard Bradley
A School in Trouble is a must-read for teachers, school administrators, parents, students, professors, and state and federal officials who are striving to find answers to complex problems that plague urban school districts. As a veteran educator with experience at all levels of education, William R. Holland doesn't mince words when he provides insightful and specific details about the challenge to provide poor, inner-city students with a better educational opportunity to realize the American Dream. At the same time, he provides cases of four successful inner-city graduates as examples of what can be. This is indeed a narrative of hope.
Inc. Book News
Holland, a former teacher and school superintendent, Rhode Island commissioner of education, and retired professor of educational leadership at Rhode Island College, draws on his recent experience as interim superintendent of schools in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where he was charged with recommending reforms. His reforms focused on the low-performing, urban high school in the area and better educating its Latino students. Here, he describes the struggles and realities of four recent Latino graduates, how they achieved success in spite of personal adversity and other obstacles, and the role parents, schools, and communities played in their education and what they can do to help more Central Falls students, within the context of the city and the school's reforms.
CHOICE
Persistently low-performing high schools have become all too common, and it is a challenge to determine what really works to turn schools around and restore their original educational identity. In A School in Trouble, the reader is taken on the journey of a school's renewal through the eyes and experiences of four students who face great challenges, and yet are successful due to the determination of parents and teachers who refused to accept the label "failing school." The challenges facing Central Falls High School's are complex, and many are not easily solved; they include poverty and residential instability among the students. Holland (emer., education leadership, Rhode Island College), a former Rhode Island commissioner of education, brings his vast educational experiences to this work and writes with straightforwardness and fairness to reveal what can be done to support student success in low-achieving schools. This must read is a narrative of hope for all. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
Times
If anyone has a background to compose such a book it's the 72-year-old Holland, who had spent approximately 44 years in the education field.
Library Journal
Poverty creates myriad problems, including abuse, poor health, and itinerancy. It also contributes to low school performance, although the question of how much this is a result of poor teaching and how much is owing to a school system's failure to provide the proper resources remains unanswered. Holland, a former superintendent, commissioner of education, and professor emeritus in educational leadership at Rhode Island College, focuses here on his final assignment as interim superintendent in Central Falls, RI, a district with a graduation rate below 50 percent and where more than 90 percent of its students received free or reduced lunches. Written primarily to show parents of Central Falls High School (CFHS) students how important their role is in helping their children succeed in school and graduate, Holland highlights four CFHS students who were able to overcome obstacles and graduate with high marks.Verdict This is an optional purchase for most collections, but educators and other parents in low performing schools may find it of interest.—Terry Christner, Hutchinson P.L., KS

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781607098737
Publisher:
The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
Publication date:
09/16/2010
Pages:
136
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

William R. Holland is a former Rhode Island commissioner of education and professor emeritus in educational leadership at Rhode Island College. Previously, he was a school superintendent for twenty years in Massachusetts and Rhode Island with his last assignment being interim superintendent in Central Falls during the 2006-2007 school year.

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