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The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trialby Susan Eaton
Synopses & Reviews
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.
In a country long divided by race and class, Susan Eaton set out to see if separate can ever really be equal. She immersed herself for four years in one of the best all-minority schools: Simpson-Waverly Elementary,which has been declared a Blue Ribbon school by the Bush Administration. Located in Hartford, Connecticut, the poorest city in the wealthiest state in the nation, it is a glaring example of the deepening educational disparity found across the country— in cities like Detroit, Miami, Newark, Providence, St. Louis,Milwaukee, and Fresno.
In the style of a documentary filmmaker, Eaton follows Simpson-Waverly’s star student, his classmates, and their extraordinary teacher in a school that is racially isolated, overburdened, and cut off from mainstream society. She reveals the long odds against the success of even the brightest students and the way cities like Hartford have become ghetto-ized.
Meanwhile across town, Eaton follows an intrepid team of civil rights lawyers as they fight a legal battle to end the enduring segregation that beleaguers not only Simpson-Waverly but hundreds of other schools around the nation. In this groundbreaking account, Eaton goes inside the classroom and the courtroom to disclose the unsettling truths about an education system that is leaving millions of children behind.
Compelling and critically acclaimed by educators, policymakers, and the media, The Children in Room E4tells the story of one student, one classroom, and one resolute teacher. 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 must overcome tremendous challenges to succeed. Susan Eaton takes us inside and outside their classroom as she reveals the repercussions of ignoring urban schools that are cut off from mainstream America. And she introduces us to a team of civil rights lawyers fighting an intrepid battle to end the de facto segregation that beleaguers not only Jeremy's school but urban schools throughout the country.
About the Author
Susan Eaton, an award-winning journalist specializing in education, is the former assistant director of the project on school desegregation at Harvard University, where she received a doctorate in education policy. Her work has appeared in the Nation, the Hartford Courant, and the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.
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