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There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other Americaby Alex Kotlowitz
Synopses & Reviews
Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Christie, and Cory Booker were ready to reform our failing schools. They got an education.
When Mark Zuckerberg announced in front of a cheering Oprah audience his $100 million pledge to transform the Newark Schools — and to solve the education crisis in every city in America — it looked like a huge win for then-mayor Cory Booker and governor Chris Christie. But their plans soon ran into a constituency not so easily moved — Newark’s key education players, fiercely protective of their billion-dollar-per-annum system. It’s a prize that, for generations, has enriched seemingly everyone, except Newark’s students.
Expert journalist Dale Russakoff delivers a story of high ideals and hubris, good intentions and greed, celebrity and street smarts — as reformers face off against entrenched unions, skeptical parents, and bewildered students. The growth of charters forces the hand of Newark’s superintendent Cami Anderson, who closes, consolidates, or redesigns more than a third of the city’s schools — a scenario on the horizon for many urban districts across America. Most moving are Russakoff’s portraits from inside the district’s schools, of home-grown principals and teachers, long stuck in a hopeless system — and often the only real hope for the children of Newark.
The Prize is a portrait of a titanic struggle over the future of education for the poorest kids, and a cautionary tale for those who care about the shape of America’s schools.
As serialized in the New Yorker, a roiling, behind-the-scenes look at the high-pressure race to turn around Newark’s failing schools, with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Governor Chris Christie, and Senator Cory Booker in eyebrow-raising leading roles
The New York Times
This meticulous portrait of two boys in a Chicago housing project shows how much heroism is required to survive, let alone escape. Kotlowitz's story informs the heart.
San Francisco Chronicle
Amid the darkness and ever-present despair, Kotlowitz beautifully captures the moments of brightness and hope. Easily could become the 1990s equivalent of Michael Harrington's The Other America.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 314-315) and index.
About the Author
DALE RUSSAKOFF is a veteran reporter who spent twenty-eight years at the Washington Post covering presidential campaigns, education, the economy, and other breaking topics.
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