free hit counter code The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial - GoBooks - Download Free Book
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial

Availability: Ready to download

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 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.


Compare
Ads Banner

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 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.

30 review for The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    This book read smoothly, and Eaton's a strong writer and reporter. It held special interest to me since it's about Connecticut, and it's quite relevant to some work I'm doing in law school right now. That said, my own biases interfered somewhat with my overall enjoyment of the book. Eaton's a good enough reporter that the story she tells is complex despite her attempts to tell a simple anti-testing morality tale, but her instinct is very much to criticize standardized testing. In fairness to her This book read smoothly, and Eaton's a strong writer and reporter. It held special interest to me since it's about Connecticut, and it's quite relevant to some work I'm doing in law school right now. That said, my own biases interfered somewhat with my overall enjoyment of the book. Eaton's a good enough reporter that the story she tells is complex despite her attempts to tell a simple anti-testing morality tale, but her instinct is very much to criticize standardized testing. In fairness to her, she writes from anecdote and not generalization, and the anecdote is indeed troubling -- it sounds like the school she visited adopted many of the worst strategies for dealing with a standardized test regime (kill and drill all the time, discouragement of creative thinking, etc.). When she rhapsodizes about a suburban school near the one in Hartford she is writing about, though, I couldn't help wondering -- what are the test scores like at that school? My strong hunch is that they're pretty darn good. So why doesn't Eaton realize that excellent teaching (like the instruction described at the suburban school) leads to learning without eliminating test score gains? The issue isn't the existence of tests, it's the way people respond to them. After all, there's more than one way to eat a Reese's cup, and we should be arguing about the best way to eat it and not whether to eat it at all (mmm...chocolate and peanut butter). All in all, though, a good book and a valuable attempt to connect the legal side of a desegregation case (which is described excellently, by the way) with the practical impact the law has on kinds.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    While the primary foucs of this book is racial segregation in schools (the stats are stunning) for me the bigger story is the disconnect between impoverished schools and the rest of America. I also think anyone who believes we all have an equal opportunity to be successful in this country should read this book. It is an easy, if frustrating, read with relatable characters.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steph (loves water)

    Amazing. Well-researched and eye-opening book about inner city education and the differences between the city and the suburbs. An eye-opener for anyone who believes that educated children are the hope for our future.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    This is a book on Hartford, CT. I was reading it at the same time as Richard Rothstein's book, The Color of Law. It's about how extreme residential segregation reinforces poverty and lack of educational equity in an urban area in the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation in the world. The book develops on two parallel tracks. The author interviewed people connected to a lawsuit to end educational segregation in the city. She also embedded herself in a great teacher's third and fourth grade c This is a book on Hartford, CT. I was reading it at the same time as Richard Rothstein's book, The Color of Law. It's about how extreme residential segregation reinforces poverty and lack of educational equity in an urban area in the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation in the world. The book develops on two parallel tracks. The author interviewed people connected to a lawsuit to end educational segregation in the city. She also embedded herself in a great teacher's third and fourth grade classroom in a segregated urban school. The children in the classroom get to know the author and she gets to know them. I think what I liked best about the book was the author's ability to get to know individual people. I have to find a way to incorporate this material in my college course on gender, race and class, but I'm not sure how yet.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jack Clonan

    I had to read this book for my EDTE 314 class, Applying Learning Theories in a Diverse Setting. It was not the most interesting thing in the world, and while I was reading it the details just seemed to drone on for endless pages. I have to say I really don't care about the color tie which the Supreme Court just was wearing... can we just get on to the arguments or decision maybe? I enjoyed the overall meaning of the book however, which was the importance of desegregation in school systems and ne I had to read this book for my EDTE 314 class, Applying Learning Theories in a Diverse Setting. It was not the most interesting thing in the world, and while I was reading it the details just seemed to drone on for endless pages. I have to say I really don't care about the color tie which the Supreme Court just was wearing... can we just get on to the arguments or decision maybe? I enjoyed the overall meaning of the book however, which was the importance of desegregation in school systems and necessity for deemphasizing standardized testing. It used a classroom which the author was observing and some really interesting kids to prove these points.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katie Fuller

    Excellent. Eaton breaks down how Hartford, CT went from one of the wealthiest cities in the US to one of the most devastated by following a path of redlining and white flight. Sadly, Hartford's children are the ones who suffered this de facto segregation. The book focuses on the landmark Supreme Court case Sheff V O'Neill, that was decided in 1996 and then revisited in the early 2000s. It is an expose of many sorts, but, most importantly, if a court system that never followed through on its prom Excellent. Eaton breaks down how Hartford, CT went from one of the wealthiest cities in the US to one of the most devastated by following a path of redlining and white flight. Sadly, Hartford's children are the ones who suffered this de facto segregation. The book focuses on the landmark Supreme Court case Sheff V O'Neill, that was decided in 1996 and then revisited in the early 2000s. It is an expose of many sorts, but, most importantly, if a court system that never followed through on its promise to integrate schools within four years.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    The topic is compelling, and Eaton does a good job breaking down the intricacies of the court case and of Connecticut's town-based school funding system. The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial is sadly still relevant over a decade later; the 2016 CT Superior Court ruling on CCJEF v. Rell and the 2018 CT Supreme Court overturning of that ruling is evidence of that relevance. The book is at its best during the sections about "Jeremy," the real-life personification of the problems tha The topic is compelling, and Eaton does a good job breaking down the intricacies of the court case and of Connecticut's town-based school funding system. The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial is sadly still relevant over a decade later; the 2016 CT Superior Court ruling on CCJEF v. Rell and the 2018 CT Supreme Court overturning of that ruling is evidence of that relevance. The book is at its best during the sections about "Jeremy," the real-life personification of the problems that still exist in urban school districts after Sheff v. O'Neill. I do think Eaton missed a part of the problem with Hartford, which is the building of I-84 between downtown and the North End--but then again, one cannot expect Eaton to tackle EVERYTHING that has gone wrong with the city. If you enjoyed the narrative aspects of this book and are interested in learning more about Hartford from a very different perspective and time period, I recommend Girls of Tender Age: A Memoir.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Compelling overview of the Sheff case and the issue of school desegregation in Hartford. Sadly, I'm not sure how much has changed in the 10 years since the book was published.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kirsta Bowman

    This book was eye opening into the extreme segregation of schools between city and suburbs.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Thought provoking. A great mix of policy review with a human face.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nshslibrary

    The Children in Room E4 by Susan Eaton is a book that follows young Jeremy through an average day in a life of poverty, while providing insight and critiques on the current day education system. As Jeremy, a top student in his 4th grade class, works through schooling as he is shadowed by Eaton whom interviews his peers, teachers, and family members for a clear understanding on education in impoverished cities. Many interviews are held with Mrs. Luddy, the 4th grade teacher at Simpson-Waverly Ele The Children in Room E4 by Susan Eaton is a book that follows young Jeremy through an average day in a life of poverty, while providing insight and critiques on the current day education system. As Jeremy, a top student in his 4th grade class, works through schooling as he is shadowed by Eaton whom interviews his peers, teachers, and family members for a clear understanding on education in impoverished cities. Many interviews are held with Mrs. Luddy, the 4th grade teacher at Simpson-Waverly Elementary School. Eaton does a superb job at providing information from very personal sources like the main character's teacher and grandmother, who was left to parent him alone. The ‘No Child Left Behind’ act is looked into, which states that every child in Massachusetts is promised an education. Although it is clearly highlighted that not all students across America have access to an education because of personal setbacks like race, home life, and the schooling that each child is filtered into. This is examined in depth throughout the book and is also backed up by well researched facts while being written in a clear, interesting way. Eaton establishes a close relationship with Jeremy, a great way at looking into education throughout Hartford, plus giving her first hand information on the area, and the people around her. The first half of the book is mostly based around Jeremy, how he gets to school, his home life, and his school life. This was the part I found most interesting. Throughout the second half of the book it starts to focus more on the political aspect of the educational system, an important but less enthralling part of the story. Although this part did not interest me as much, it is still very well written and filled with primary sources, interviews, and commentaries on the education system through the de facto segregation court case. This information all leads back to Eaton's assessment of the current day educational system very well, and provides many answers and facts to the reader. Overall, author and journalist Susan Eaton writes an empowering book that brings many difficulties in education to the forefront of problems in America. Smoothly written, and a well told story that displays Eaton's true love and care for children it is no wonder that the front and back of the book are filled with more than positive criticism of the book. ~ Student: Jason M.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    In The Children in Room E4 (year) by Susan Eaton, the author, a journalist who spends many hours observing in an inner city classroom in a northeastern urban center, is appalled at the way adults treat students at the school. She recounts such disturbing incidents in the passage below: In the corridor at Simpson-Waverly, the dour (white) chaperone lightly but repeatedly slapped the hands of first graders who sucked their thumbs. A (black) former vice-principal hollered at a second grader, ‘you sh In The Children in Room E4 (year) by Susan Eaton, the author, a journalist who spends many hours observing in an inner city classroom in a northeastern urban center, is appalled at the way adults treat students at the school. She recounts such disturbing incidents in the passage below: In the corridor at Simpson-Waverly, the dour (white) chaperone lightly but repeatedly slapped the hands of first graders who sucked their thumbs. A (black) former vice-principal hollered at a second grader, ‘you should be ashamed to say my name. Don’t you speak my name. Don’t you dare. And get that foolish hat off your foolish head.’ A (black) substitute teacher hurled insults at a fifth grader: ‘lazy, rude, foolish.’ Another substitute (black) screamed, ‘Shut up.’ A third substitute teacher (Asian) declined conversation with children. A visibly exasperated, young (white) teacher pushed a whiny, jumpy child against the wall (hard) and back into a line. I overheard a teacher (black) say scoldingly to a child in the hallway, ‘What is wrong with you? There is something very wrong with you.’ [year:page number] After several weeks of teaching at Dunbar, I was appalled to find myself making the type of negative, mean statements to children that I would never have imagined I could make. “Shut up” was the statement most common and most upsetting to me, though the kids were not surprised to hear it. Other Teach For America members and I would excuse this type of abuse by saying, correctly, that many other teachers at our schools struck students or doled out other unacceptable and illegal forms of corporal punishment, creating a school wide environment in which no appropriate or legal punishment was feared by students. Two and a half years after leaving Dunbar, it is still painful for me to read Eaton’s account from an academic perspective with the knowledge that I am guilty of the same sort of atrocious acts.an academic perspective with the knowledge that I am guilty of the same sort of atrocious acts.

  13. 4 out of 5

    DW

    I picked up this book because it was on a display at the library and it looked readable. It starts off engagingly, with a third grader from the projects who is amazingly bright and mature. Over the course of the book, we follow his third and fourth grade years with Ms. Luddy. We also hear about the court case that was brought against the state of Connecticut that alleged that the state was denying an adequate education to the kids in the city of Hartford, because the schools were effectively seg I picked up this book because it was on a display at the library and it looked readable. It starts off engagingly, with a third grader from the projects who is amazingly bright and mature. Over the course of the book, we follow his third and fourth grade years with Ms. Luddy. We also hear about the court case that was brought against the state of Connecticut that alleged that the state was denying an adequate education to the kids in the city of Hartford, because the schools were effectively segregated. I almost put down the book at the legal stuff. I think that the case took an interesting tactic to try to address the problem of kids not learning, but unfortunately it did not solve any problems. Also, the case had basically no effect on the lives of the kids in the class, so the book seemed a little disjointed when it jumped back and forth between the case and the classroom. I've read news reports about such things, but it never struck me just how boring the school experiences are for these kids. They do test prep, all day, with no science, social studies, recess, or summer break. Even more eye-opening for me was the description of how horribly the children are treated by some staff members. Substitute teachers scold them for asking definitions of words in their assignments, and a janitor arbitrarily forbids them to talk to each other at lunch. What stuck with me most was day the class visits a 4th grade class in the suburbs. The kids are amazed at the sight of the Connecticut River (which they live right next to), their vocabulary during a joint writing assignment is far behind that of their peers, and at least one kid doesn't know how to swing on a swing set (they can't play outside for fear of being shot). This book makes the case that mixing school populations so that no schools are more than 40% poor kids would raise the learning level of the poor kids without slowing down the rich kids. It's an interesting idea, though it seems like a political non-starter.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cleokatra

    This book might have seemed less interesting to me if I didn't have educational roots in Connecticut. I went to public grade schools and a private high school in rural northwestern Connecticut. I remember panicked discussions between my parents and their friends about forced busing. I knew families who moved away from the suburbs of Hartford, out to our little town, to avoid even the possibility of desegregation and busing.  It was heartbreaking to read on this book about the preparation for mast This book might have seemed less interesting to me if I didn't have educational roots in Connecticut. I went to public grade schools and a private high school in rural northwestern Connecticut. I remember panicked discussions between my parents and their friends about forced busing. I knew families who moved away from the suburbs of Hartford, out to our little town, to avoid even the possibility of desegregation and busing.  It was heartbreaking to read on this book about the preparation for mastery tests in urban schools. I remember when the mastery tests were instituted. They were boring and stupid and we all hated them. Plus, they didn't prove mastery or anything else. They were a joke for kids in the wealthier school districts and they missed the mark culturally for the urban kids. They were just a way to pit school systems (and children) against one another and they didn't measure anything. I was an undergraduate at Trinity College in Hartford. There I learned about the problems with Hartford public school system from current and former students of those schools. Those problems are the focus of this book. It tells the story of a particular urban school system, but Hartford, Connecticut has a lot in common with other urban areas. I live in Oregon now and Portland is dealing with issues of redistricting right now. It would be nice to have a solution finally, but I that would involve upsetting the status quo for those in power. It's frustrating to know that the children of my friends and classmates in Hartford are still dealing with the same issues that we thought we'd solved in the 90s. I'm sorry if this review is too much about me. My reading of this book was very much informed by my personal experience and the experiences of people close to me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kate H

    I really came to care about the children in room E4 and their teacher, Ms. Luddy. The portraits of the kids were great and Ms. Luddy seemed to be a wonderful teacher. Even though I once worked in a community development project which aimed to rectify some earlier segregational (if that's a word) real estate practices, I had never really learned about those practices formally, and the book explained them well. But the book, I felt, had real limitations. I live in a non-segregated city/school distr I really came to care about the children in room E4 and their teacher, Ms. Luddy. The portraits of the kids were great and Ms. Luddy seemed to be a wonderful teacher. Even though I once worked in a community development project which aimed to rectify some earlier segregational (if that's a word) real estate practices, I had never really learned about those practices formally, and the book explained them well. But the book, I felt, had real limitations. I live in a non-segregated city/school district and we still have lousy test scores that rarely impove. I think generational poverty is a very complicated problem that encompasses both our economic system (someone has to be a cashier) and psychology (breakdown of the family, substance abuse) and it can't be solved by real estate, integrating schools, Montessori, or the Ms. Luddys out there. It has been years since the original court case took place and not much has changed. And it has been years since American schools have not done well. It also kind of bothered me that the "solutions" to Hartford's school problems were posed not by Jeremy's family, but well-meaning outsiders, even if some of them came from Hartford originally. If I could offer up a solution, I guess I would run for the school council--but I can't so I'll keep on listening and looking and reading and hoping that some of the small positive actions I see in my daughters' public schools make a real difference in individual lives.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Scott Schneider

    This is an insightful book about an important topic How do we solve the inequities that arise from poverty and racism in America? School is supposed to be the great equalizer. Yet poor children live in economically segregated ghettos and attend increasingly segregated schools. White middle-class people have fled to the suburbs which have wealthier tax bases and much better schools. Eaton shows the clear benefits of integration. There are only two real solutions- busing or economic integration- b This is an insightful book about an important topic How do we solve the inequities that arise from poverty and racism in America? School is supposed to be the great equalizer. Yet poor children live in economically segregated ghettos and attend increasingly segregated schools. White middle-class people have fled to the suburbs which have wealthier tax bases and much better schools. Eaton shows the clear benefits of integration. There are only two real solutions- busing or economic integration- building more low income housing in wealthy neighborhoods. The book details the legal battles over desegregation of schools in Hartford, CT. It also takes a deep look at one classroom with an extraordinary teacher in a poor school which showed some success despite its segregation. This book was published almost 10 years ago and I fear we have not made much progress since and in fact have gone backwards. It would be interesting to see it updated and what has happened since, but it seems still very relevant today.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    In The Children in RoomE4, Susan Eaton takes us straight to the point and perfectly intertwines the emotional rough edges of her subject: America's incline in segregated schools, inequities in urban/suburban education, and the increasing impact poverty and racial issues have on the entire system. Eaton moves us through a single civil rights trial that spans decades. And, with a constant current of truth and compassion, Eaton introduces us to the kids of Lois Luddy's class at Simpson-Waverly Elem In The Children in RoomE4, Susan Eaton takes us straight to the point and perfectly intertwines the emotional rough edges of her subject: America's incline in segregated schools, inequities in urban/suburban education, and the increasing impact poverty and racial issues have on the entire system. Eaton moves us through a single civil rights trial that spans decades. And, with a constant current of truth and compassion, Eaton introduces us to the kids of Lois Luddy's class at Simpson-Waverly Elementary School in Hartford, Conn, who ultimately become the targets of the positive or negative results of the court's ruling. Eaton is a masterful reporter. She leaves no fact behind, but she also keeps it simple. This was an excellent read, and since I'm in the opinion that too many of our schools are failing to deliver even the basic tools and skill sets to our nation's children, I felt it was required material.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    If you know anything about Connecticut, you know that its cities are among the poorest in the nation and its suburbs are the richest. If you know anything about education and social justice, you can imagine the achievement gap that exists in Connecticut. This book looks at the landmark Sheff v. O'Neill school desegregation case, in which the plaintiffs argued that their children were being provided with a "separate and unequal" education and that Connecticut has not lived up to the requirements If you know anything about Connecticut, you know that its cities are among the poorest in the nation and its suburbs are the richest. If you know anything about education and social justice, you can imagine the achievement gap that exists in Connecticut. This book looks at the landmark Sheff v. O'Neill school desegregation case, in which the plaintiffs argued that their children were being provided with a "separate and unequal" education and that Connecticut has not lived up to the requirements of Brown v. Board. It's an interesting way to look at education reform - perhaps, instead of trying to improve our essentially segregated schools, we should not take for granted that brown children almost always go to different schools than white children. Perhaps everyone - including white kids - deserves an integrated education.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bookmarks Magazine

    Susan Eaton, a former member of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, has written extensively on the growing problem of segregation in America's public schools. In The Children of Room E4, she skillfully intertwines the dual threads of her narrative__her vibrant description of an inner-city classroom and her suspenseful account of the lawsuit and its aftermath__into a gripping and forceful argument. Critics observed Eaton's lack of objectivity but praised the book for its sincerity and Susan Eaton, a former member of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, has written extensively on the growing problem of segregation in America's public schools. In The Children of Room E4, she skillfully intertwines the dual threads of her narrative__her vibrant description of an inner-city classroom and her suspenseful account of the lawsuit and its aftermath__into a gripping and forceful argument. Critics observed Eaton's lack of objectivity but praised the book for its sincerity and depth. As the No Child Left Behind Act expires, "a spate of books on education theory is surely in the offing, but none will be more trenchant, frightening or important than this incursion into the Hartford Conn., school system" (Miami Herald).This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marie Hew

    If anyone is interested in the legal battles of school desegregation or the worsening of severe isolation of urban students of color in poverty, this is the book for you. We've all heard of Brown v. the Board of Ed that was supposed to end such injustices, however this book fills us in on the lack of progress since. Eaton does a wonderful job weaving together the stories of a committed and talented Hartford elementary school teacher, her students and the various attorneys involved in the lawsuit If anyone is interested in the legal battles of school desegregation or the worsening of severe isolation of urban students of color in poverty, this is the book for you. We've all heard of Brown v. the Board of Ed that was supposed to end such injustices, however this book fills us in on the lack of progress since. Eaton does a wonderful job weaving together the stories of a committed and talented Hartford elementary school teacher, her students and the various attorneys involved in the lawsuits against Connecticut and its lack of effort to desegregate its schools. Brown outlawed de jure, or lawful segregation, particularly in the south but this book discusses the de facto segregation that further damages children in all parts of the U.S. There is still much work to be done, even though we are well into the 21st century.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Albert Hong

    This book along with the This American Life episodes that referenced this book had a powerful impact on how I view educational inequity in our schools. I've loved hearing about the underperforming urban schools that somehow beat the trend, but this suggests a much more challenging call to address educational inequity than just the hero teacher or administrator. The idea that schools will never be equal as long as they are separate is an o!d idea, but a striking one when unapologetically pointed This book along with the This American Life episodes that referenced this book had a powerful impact on how I view educational inequity in our schools. I've loved hearing about the underperforming urban schools that somehow beat the trend, but this suggests a much more challenging call to address educational inequity than just the hero teacher or administrator. The idea that schools will never be equal as long as they are separate is an o!d idea, but a striking one when unapologetically pointed at the current dynamic with in our social setup. This is highly relevant for me as we send our kids to our local urban schools and consider middle school choices for the future. What is a personal, gospel-directed response to the state of segregation that exists within our schools and neighborhoods right now?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book offers a well-written, eye-opening look at the problems of concentrated poverty and racial segregation in America's cities and schools. The 4th grade children that the author follows in inner-city Hartford, CT are so expressive and curious, (and acutely aware of their surroundings and lack of opportunity), that it leaves you feeling so sad that most can't find a way into a better school environment, despite the attempts of their parents, teachers, and even the author. This book is hone This book offers a well-written, eye-opening look at the problems of concentrated poverty and racial segregation in America's cities and schools. The 4th grade children that the author follows in inner-city Hartford, CT are so expressive and curious, (and acutely aware of their surroundings and lack of opportunity), that it leaves you feeling so sad that most can't find a way into a better school environment, despite the attempts of their parents, teachers, and even the author. This book is honest about the complexities involved in trying to desegregate public schools in urban America, but the conclusion that something needs to be done is self-evident. Each year, the divide between white and minority; wealthy and poor, only grows wider, and children bear the burden of this gap.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gypsy Lady

    "Compelling and critically acclaimed by educators, policymakers, and the media, The Children in Room E4 tells 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 u "Compelling and critically acclaimed by educators, policymakers, and the media, The Children in Room E4 tells 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."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    An absolute must read for those interested in education reform and studies of racial inequality. I picked this book up from my favorite used bookstore in North Carolina (in the town where my favorite sister lives) and it sat on my shelf for about a year. I'm so glad I finally picked it up. Susan Eaton flawlessly weaves together two stories-- one story that details the many supreme court cases since Brown v. Board of Education, specifically in CT, and another of the students in Room E4. She effec An absolute must read for those interested in education reform and studies of racial inequality. I picked this book up from my favorite used bookstore in North Carolina (in the town where my favorite sister lives) and it sat on my shelf for about a year. I'm so glad I finally picked it up. Susan Eaton flawlessly weaves together two stories-- one story that details the many supreme court cases since Brown v. Board of Education, specifically in CT, and another of the students in Room E4. She effectively puts faces and names to the stories of injustice in CT. This book has inspired me to learn more about the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision and the countless supreme court cases since.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    I read this book for a graduate course on race and ethnicity in education, and I'm very glad I did. I feel like this book is a must read for anyone interested in education, combating poverty, social justice, etc. It's also a must-read for anyone who thinks our education system can be changed with an easy fix or reliance on standardized testing. Eaton does an excellent job of putting a human face on an under-publicized issue. The characters of Jeremy and Ms. Luddy really made the book for me. The I read this book for a graduate course on race and ethnicity in education, and I'm very glad I did. I feel like this book is a must read for anyone interested in education, combating poverty, social justice, etc. It's also a must-read for anyone who thinks our education system can be changed with an easy fix or reliance on standardized testing. Eaton does an excellent job of putting a human face on an under-publicized issue. The characters of Jeremy and Ms. Luddy really made the book for me. The book does go into detail about the Sheff case, but I promise you do not need a legal background to understand. Well-written and truly a great read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    brian

    Eaton follows the supreme court case of Sheff v. O'Neil from beginning to end. She gets close to people on all sides: teachers, students and parents working and living in urban poverty, the civil rights lawyers who give their a big part of their lives to the case, and a few folks representing the state of Connecticut. Along the way, she discusses fascinating research about the nature of "de facto" segregation in the U.S., and shows, perhaps unintentionally, how so much of it can be attributed to Eaton follows the supreme court case of Sheff v. O'Neil from beginning to end. She gets close to people on all sides: teachers, students and parents working and living in urban poverty, the civil rights lawyers who give their a big part of their lives to the case, and a few folks representing the state of Connecticut. Along the way, she discusses fascinating research about the nature of "de facto" segregation in the U.S., and shows, perhaps unintentionally, how so much of it can be attributed to housing policy--not education.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melyssa

    I chose to read this book because there was a blurb on the back by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc. I loved her book Random Family, so I decided to trust the marketing! This book is about social segregation in Hartford, Conn., and a civil rights case that lasted for many years. The case tried to show that social segregation of students in poor schools violated Brown vs. Board of Education. It is a similar book to Random Family in that I really became attached to some of the people covered in the book, espe I chose to read this book because there was a blurb on the back by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc. I loved her book Random Family, so I decided to trust the marketing! This book is about social segregation in Hartford, Conn., and a civil rights case that lasted for many years. The case tried to show that social segregation of students in poor schools violated Brown vs. Board of Education. It is a similar book to Random Family in that I really became attached to some of the people covered in the book, especially Jeremy. The author's description of him was so vivid!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Heidi (yabibliophile)

    This book really got to me. While reading it I felt disgusted, heartbroken and angry. I also felt inspired, hopeful, and reassured. I was heartbroken by the state of the Hartford schools. It's one think to "know" these things by hearing about it in general. It's another to look at the life a specific child. I was inspired by the fact that, even in horrible circumstances, children still have hope, can still try and find the bright side.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Fitch

    Eaton does a good job at illustrating many of the issues with the American education system by zooming in on one classroom and the lives of the children in it. Much of the book, however, is absorbed in the details of a court case which, though relevant, gets a bit tedious and, to me, distracts from the big picture. Overall, an informative book that makes a lot of good points, but I found the flow of the book to be fragmented and the arguments start to get repetitive.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Tandem stories of the decade-plus Scheff v. O’Neil lawsuit in Connecticut over school segregation, and a year in the 3rd/4th grade classroom of Ms. Luddy in Waverly-Simpson, an inner-city Hartford school. The lawsuit and policy sections tended to be pretty dry, but the Waverly-Simpson parts were really interesting. The author did a good job of drawing the reader in to the lives of the students. Sad and frustrating topic, as the lawsuit resulted in minimal change.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.