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2 Burnside Education- General

Relentless Pursuit: A Year in the Trenches with Teach for America

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Relentless Pursuit: A Year in the Trenches with Teach for America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A revealing look inside a national phenomenon, Teach For America, which, since its founding in 1990, has pursued one of the most daring—and controversial—strategies for closing the educational achievement gap between the richest and poorest students in the country.

The story is set in South Los Angeles at Locke High School, an institution founded in 1967 in the spirit of renewal that followed the devastating Watts riots but that, four decades on, has made frustratingly little progress in lifting the fortunes of the areas mostly black and Latino children. Into this place, which resembles a prison as much as a school, are dropped a group of “recruits” from Teach For America, the fast-growing organization devoted to undoing generations of disadvantage through a fiercely regimented selection and deployment of Americas best and brightest. Nearly twenty thousand top college graduates apply for two thousand slots. Then, with only a summer of training, the lucky ones are sent to face the most desperate of classroom environments.

Giving us a year in the life of Locke through the absorbing experiences of four TFA corps members—Rachelle, Phillip, Hrag, and Taylor—Donna Foote recounts the progress of their idealistic but unorthodox mission and shares its results, by turns exhausting, exhilarating, maddening, and unforgettable. As the four struggle to negotiate the expectations of their Locke colleagues (most conventionally trained, many skeptical) and the relentlessly exacting demands of the overseers at TFA headquarters (to say nothing of the typical stresses of youth), we see these young people assume a level of responsibility that might crush a seasoned educator. Limited training must often be supplemented with improvisation in a school where Rachelles special ed biology students prove to need remedial reading more urgently than lab work, while Taylors ninth-grade English classes show themselves equal to discussing Shakespeare. Through it all, these teachers are sustained not only by the missionary fervor of their cause but also by the intermittent evidence that they can make a tangible difference.

Without romanticizing the successes or minimizing the failures, Relentless Pursuit relates, through the experiences of these four new teachers, the strengths, the foibles, and the peculiarities of an operation to accomplish what no government program has yet managed — to overcome one of the most basic and vexing of social inequities, a problem we can no longer afford to ignore.

Review:

Marvin Bressler, chair of the Princeton University sociology department, was intrigued by Wendy Kopp, a slender undergraduate from Dallas who came to see him in 1988. She had fire-breathing self-confidence. He dismissed her proposed senior thesis on creating a national teaching corps as "quite evidently deranged," but she wrote it anyway. Like everyone else, Bressler succumbed to her iron will, gave... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Book News Annotation:

Foote, a freelance journalist, provides a narrative illustration of the Teach for America program within the framework of a poor, largely- neglected Los Angeles school. Teach for America, since its founding in 1990, has sought to provide better educational opportunities for disadvantaged children. The book chronicles a year in the life of the school through the eyes of four of Teach for America's briefly-trained, but idealistic corps members who relate their frustrating, maddening, and exhilarating experiences in the classrooms. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Journalist Foote offers a revealing look inside a national phenomenon, Teach for America, which has pursued one of the most daring--and controversial--strategies for closing the educational achievement gap between the richest and poorest students in the country.

About the Author

Donna Foote is a freelance journalist and former Newsweek correspondent. She lives in Manhattan Beach, California, with her husband and fourteen-year-old son.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307265715
Subtitle:
A Year in the Trenches with Teach for America
Author:
Foote, Donna
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Education, urban
Subject:
High school teachers
Subject:
Teaching Methods & Materials - General
Subject:
Educational Policy & Reform
Subject:
Education
Subject:
High schools
Subject:
High schools - California - Los Angeles
Subject:
Education - California - Los Angeles
Subject:
Educational Reform
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Capi
Publication Date:
20080415
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.52x6.40x1.25 in. 1.35 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Education » General

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Product details 352 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307265715 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Journalist Foote offers a revealing look inside a national phenomenon, Teach for America, which has pursued one of the most daring--and controversial--strategies for closing the educational achievement gap between the richest and poorest students in the country.
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