The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial

Overview

With our nation's urban schools growing more segregated every year, Susan Eaton set out to see whether separate can ever really be equal. An award-winning journalist, Eaton spent four years at Simpson-Waverly Elementary School, an all-minority school in Hartford, Connecticut. Located in the poorest city in the wealthiest state in the nation, it is a glaring example of the great racial and economic divide found in almost every major urban center across the country.

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Overview

With our nation's urban schools growing more segregated every year, Susan Eaton set out to see whether separate can ever really be equal. An award-winning journalist, Eaton spent four years at Simpson-Waverly Elementary School, an all-minority school in Hartford, Connecticut. Located in the poorest city in the wealthiest state in the nation, it is a glaring example of the great racial and economic divide found in almost every major urban center across the country.

The Children in Room E4 is the compelling story of one student, one classroom, and one indomitable teacher, Ms. Luddy. In the midst of Band-Aid reforms and hotshot superintendents with empty promises, drug dealers and street gangs, Ms. Luddy's star student, Jeremy, and his fellow classmates face tremendous challenges both inside and outside of a school cut off from mainstream America.

Meanwhile, across town, a team of civil rights lawyers fight an intrepid battle to end the de facto segregation that beleaguers Jeremy's school and hundreds of others across America.

From inside the classroom and the courtroom, Eaton reveals the unsettling truths about an education system that leaves millions of children behind and gives voice to those who strive against overwhelming odds for a better future.

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Editorial Reviews

the Oprah magazine O
"Riveting."—O: The Oprah Magazine
Washington Post Book World
"Timely and important."—The Washington Post Book World
O: the Oprah magazine
"Riveting."—O: The Oprah Magazine
Newsday
"Powerful. . . . Eaton's book makes a stirring companion to Jonathan Kozol's The Shame of a Nation."—New York Newsday
Chicago Tribune
"Compelling....Vivid."—Chicago Tribune
Boston Globe
"[Eaton] has written a book that goes to the heart of who we are as a nation, of what we mean when we ask our children to pledge allegiance to the flag of 'one nation, indivisible.'"—The Boston Globe
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565126176
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 1/27/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 406,445
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Eaton, an award-winning journalist specializing in education, is the research director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard, where she received her doctorate in education policy.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2008

    A real eye-opener.

    The idea that we still have segregated schools was very new to me when I read this book, because I've lived in Louisville, KY for all of my life. I wasn't even aware of my city's efforts to increase school integration until I read this book and learned about the horrible effects of concentrated poverty and racial isolation in the city of Hartford. I had always thought that every school was integrated just as the schools I attended were, but the information in The Children of Room E4 made me rethink a lot of 'common sense' notions I had instilled in my mind. Great book, well written, and hard to put down.

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