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Relentless Pursuit A Year in the Trenches with Teach for America

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ISBN-10: 0307265714

ISBN-13: 9780307265715

Edition: 2008

Authors: Donna Foote

List price: $24.95
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Description:

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 area’s 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 America’s 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 Rachelle’s special ed biology students prove to need remedial reading more urgently than lab work, while Taylor’s 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 Pursuitrelates, 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.
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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/15/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

Donna Footeis a freelance journalist and formerNewsweekcorrespondent. She lives in Manhattan Beach, California, with her husband and fourteen-year-old son.

Lockdown
The School and the Movement
You're in the Army Now
The Men of Locke
Locked In
Dropping Out
What the Hell Am I Doing?
Disillusionment
The Corps
Who Do You Screw?
Si Se Puede!
Rats on a Ship
The Road Show
Significant Gains
The End
Epilogue
Acknowledgments