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A Class Apart: Prodigies, Pressure, and Passion Inside One of America's Best High Schools

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A Class Apart: Prodigies, Pressure, and Passion Inside One of America's Best High Schools Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Enter Stuyvesant High, one of the most extraordinary schools in America, a place where the brainiacs prevail and jocks are embarrassed to admit they play on the woeful football team. Academic competition is so intense that students say they can have only two of these three things: good grades, a social life, or sleep. About one in four Stuyvesant students gains admission to the Ivy League. And the school's alumni include several Nobel laureates, Academy Award winners, and luminaries in the arts, business, and public service.

A Class Apart follows the lives of Stuyvesant's remarkable students, such as Romeo, the football team captain who teaches himself calculus and strives to make it into Harvard; Jane, a world-weary poet at seventeen, battling the demon of drug addiction; Milo, a ten-year-old prodigy trying to fit in among high-school students who are literally twice his size; Mariya, a first-generation American beginning to resist parental pressure for ever-higher grades so that she can enjoy her sophomore year. And then there is the faculty, such as math chairman Mr. Jaye, who is determined not to let bureaucratic red tape stop him from helping his teachers. He even finds a job for a depressed math genius who lacks a college degree but possesses the gift of teaching.

This is the story of the American dream, a New York City school that inspires immigrants to come to these shores so that their children can attend Stuyvesant in the first step to a better life. It's also the controversial story of elitism in education. Stuyvesant is a public school, but children must pass a rigorous entrance exam to get in. Only about 3 percent do so, which, Stuyvesant students and faculty point out, makes admission to their high school tougher than to Harvard.

On the eve of the hundredth anniversary of Stuyvesant's first graduating class, reporter Alec Klein, an alumnus, was given unfettered access to the school and the students and faculty who inhabit it. What emerges is a book filled with stunning, raw, and heartrending personalities, whose stories are hilarious, sad, and powerfully moving.

About the Author

Alec Klein is an award-winning reporter at The Washington Post. His previous book, Stealing Time: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Collapse of AOL Time Warner, was a national bestseller that The New York Times called "a compelling parable of greed and power and hubris." He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Back to School

PART ONE: DELANEY CARDS

EARLY FEBRUARY-EARLY MARCH

Chapter 1: Romeo

Chapter 2: The Gauntlet

Chapter 3: The Wizard of Oz

Chapter 4: Cuddle Puddle Muddle

Chapter 5: Jane's Addiction

Chapter 6: Open House

Chapter 7: Like a Polaroid

Chapter 8: Sing!

Chapter 9: The Natural

PART TWO: DETENTION

EARLY MARCH-MID APRIL

Chapter 10: Lost in Gatsby

Chapter 11: Great Expectations

Chapter 12: The Real World

Chapter 13: Protests and Demands

Chapter 14: Grief Virus

Chapter 15: Polazzo's Time

Chapter 16: Hell's Kitchen

Chapter 17: The Contest

PART THREE: SENIORITIS

LATE APRIL-LATE JUNE

Chapter 18: Zero Tolerance

Chapter 19: College Night

Chapter 20: Peter Pan Tilts

Chapter 21: Neutral Ground

Chapter 22: Love Notes

Chapter 23: The Players

Chapter 24: The Human Element

Chapter 25: The Last Dance

Chapter 26: The Final Days

Epilogue: Back to the Future

Appendix: Notable Alumni

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743299459
Author:
Klein, Alec
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
Secondary
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
General education.
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Education-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20080831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 10.64 oz

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