Saving the School: The True Story of a Principal, a Teacher, a Coach, a Bunch of Kids, and a Year in the Crosshairs of Education Reform

. 2012. 274p. 978-1-59420-344-2. 25.95.
The phrases “saving schools” and “education reform,” in the context of public education today, are ominous, now synonymous with mass firings, corporate takeovers, and contentious teacher unions. But former New York Times reporter Brick introduces reform-minded readers to the students, teachers, and administrators of Reagan High School in Austin, TX, the kind of people who remain mostly anonymous in the debates about and heavy-handed changes made on behalf of school reform. The book tells the story of a few key individuals who have become the face of Reagan High School, which, like many underperforming schools, is plagued by poverty, social ills, and lack of resources. In spite of seemingly insurmountable odds and students who face numerous obstacles, however, the people of Reagan High managed to persevere and experience personal growth.
VERDICT Recommended for anyone interested in an inspirational story of a school beating the odds, and especially those readers looking for different perspectives on the debate about education reform. [See Prepub Alert, 3/1/12.]

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