A School in Trouble: A Personal Story of Central Falls High School

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Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2010 - Education - 117 pages
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"This book addresses the challenge of turning around persistently low-performing high schools in communities with concentrated poverty. In documenting the schooling experience of four graduates from Central Falls High School in Rhode Island, the author offers contextually rich insights on what works. These stories will enable school reformers and practitioners to sharpen their focus on the key elements in their restructuring efforts." ---Kenneth K. Wong, chair, Education Department, and director, Urban Education Policy Program, Brown University

"I received validation, direction, and emotional support from my teachers in Central Falls. I credit them constantly in playing a huge role in my path as an actor. In his book, William R. Holland has illuminated a fact that has been ever present since I moved to Central Falls as a child at the age of two."---Viola Davis, Academy Award-nominated actress for her supporting role in Doubt, in a lead role with Denzel Washington in the 2010 critically acclaimed Broadway production of Fences, and a 1983 graduate of Central Falls High School

"William R. Holland's book is required reading for finding solutions to the challenges facing urban schools. Central Falls is a microcosm of America, and in his book, Holland debunks the superficial assessment of the high school as a `dropout factory.' The author examines four students whose challenges were great and whose successes came as a result of the determination of parents and teachers who refused such a label for their school. His book gives us an in-depth look into a school full of pride, fear, and hope and at the complexities facing education in this century. It is a sobering portrayal of a school whose problems are complex and for which solutions don't fit a bumper sticker of a three-minute report in the six o'clock news. If you want the real story, read this book."---Pablo Rodriguez, president of Latino Public Radio and former chair of the Rhode Island Foundation

"A School in Trouble is a must-read for teachers, school administrators, parents, students, professors, and state and federal officials who are striving to find answers to complex problems that plague urban school districts. As a veteran educator with experience at all levels of education, William R. Holland doesn't mince words when he provides insightful and specific details about the challenge to provide poor, inner-city students with a better educational opportunity to realize the American Dream. At the same time, he provides cases of four successful inner-city graduates as examples of what can be. This is indeed a narrative of hope."---Richard Bradley, former executive director, New England Association of Schools and Colleges

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About the author (2010)

William R. Holland is a former Rhode Island commissioner of education and professor emeritus of educational leadership at Rhode Island College. He was a school superintendent for twenty years in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with his last assignment being interim superintendent of the Central Falls School District during the 2006-2007 school year.

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