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Stray Dogs, Saints, and Saviors: Fighting for the Soul of America's Toughest High School
The inside story of the most-watched attempt to transform a troubled high school Stray Dogs, Saints, and Saviors tells the real-life story of Locke High School. Locke High- originally known for its excellence-became one of the toughest, most dysfunctional schools in the nation. Then in 2007 teachers voted to bring in an upstart charter school organization called Green Dot ...more
Hardcover, 239 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Jossey-Bass
(first published January 1st 2011)
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Although the title may be a poor choice, Russo's writing style was easy to read and held my attention. It was a nice change of pace to read a journalist's account of school reform as opposed to an academic's account. His description seemed far more personal and emotional. I was disappointed that he did not focus more on the student experience during the reform efforts at the school. Additionally, the two-year focus seems short-sighted because it's still unclear how these reform efforts will play ...more
This book covers a lot of the same territory (literally) as Donna Foote's Relentless Pursuit, so it would make a very good companion to that book, I think. Russo's writing style is quite breezy and conversational, which is fine in this context (sometimes nonfiction about contemporary education issues gets kind of heavy-handed, and this book is pleasantly accessible). He seems pretty objective about Green Dot and Locke and public education in high-poverty areas etc. etc. etc., which is a pretty b ...more
Taking advantage of new options for failing public schools, community members and teachers at Locke High School in south central LA petition the school district to allow a charter program, Green Dot, to take over the administration of their school. The previous principal, who had rallied teachers to support the change, is forced out after Green Dot is awarded the contract. A new principal is appointed and must interview and hire her new staff while school is still in session under the former ...more
Read this in a day - quick look into what it takes to turn around a school. The best parts described what life was really like for teachers taking on a Herculean task, but Russo's cynicism about the politics overshadowed the stories of the work of the school a bit. A quick, well-organized dip into LA school policy.
This was a quick read, in a very conversational style. I really appreciated that Russo showed the difficulties of turning around a school-- definitely NOT a one year project, nor an easy one, as the media often wants us to believe. Over all, a book well written!!
A pretty engaging look at the turnaround at Locke High School (where I taught for a summer once!). It left me with a lot of questions, but Russo did us a favor by looking beyond the hype (and staying for a long time) to explore what really happened with the turnaround...