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The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School

The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School

by Ed Boland, Author (Read by)


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In this insightfully honest and moving memoir about the realities of teaching in an inner-city school, Ed Boland "smashes the dangerous myth of the hero-teacher [and] shows us how high the stakes are for our most vulnerable students" (Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black).

In a fit of idealism, Ed Boland left a twenty-year career as a non-profit executive to teach in a tough New York City public high school. But his hopes quickly collided headlong with the appalling reality of his students' lives and a hobbled education system unable to help them. Freddy runs a drug ring for his incarcerated brother; Nee-cole is homeschooled on the subway by her brilliant homeless mother; Byron's Ivy League dream is dashed because he is undocumented.

In the end, Boland isn't hoisted on his students' shoulders and no one passes AP anything. This is no urban fairy tale of at-risk kids saved by a Hollywood hero, but a searing indictment of schools that claim to be progressive but still fail their students.

Told with compassion, humor, and a keen eye, Boland's story is sure to ignite debate about the future of American education and attempts to reform it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455560615
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 02/09/2016
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Ed Boland has dedicated his entire professional life to nonprofit causes as a fundraiser and communications expert. He has worked for predominantly educational institutions but also for arts and social service organizations. Boland was an Admissions Officer at his alma mater, Fordham, and later at Yale, and lived in China as a Princeton in Asia Fellow. He is now a senior administrator at the nation's premier educational access program, which places gifted students of color at leading private schools. He lives in New York with his husband.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Chantay 1

Chapter 1 The Good Ol' Days 5

Chapter 2 Best Practices 17

Chapter 3 Nemesis 42

Chapter 4 Nowhere Over the Rainbow 55

Chapter 5 Powers of Ten 74

Chapter 6 Sweet Jesús 87

Chapter 7 Lord Byron 100

Chapter 8 Free Freddy! 116

Chapter 9 My Funny Valentina 128

Chapter 10 Old School 143

Chapter 11 Lil' Mickey, A Disciple of Soul 150

Chapter 12 The Ivy Curtain 164

Chapter 13 Massacre of the Innocents 182

Chapter 14 Point of No Return 193

Chapter 15 Pomp and Circumstance 207

Epilogue: A Message to Charles 220

Acknowledgments 240

About the Author 243

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