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Davonte's Inferno: Ten Years in the New York Public School Gulag

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  6 reviews
A TEACHER'S STORY OF FEAR AND LOATHING IN AMERICAN EDUCATION TODAY. Calling on policy, research, humor and a generous serving of snark, in this cutting edge story irreverent Laurel M. Sturt pulls no punches detailing her bizarre life in the trenches teaching in a high-needs elementary school in the Bronx. With the Alice in Wonderland backdrop of teaching in a school ...more
Paperback, 346 pages
Published November 21st 2013 by Written Warrior Press (first published September 10th 2013)
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Kara M.
Dec 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
Not sure if I'll be able to power through and finish this book (I'm on page 102)...if I do, it will be in search of the occasional nuggets of experience and wisdom that Ms. Sturt is able to share as a 10-year NYC public school veteran. If I don't, it will be because I can no longer stand the gossipy, negative, jaded tone of her writing which is all too representative of teachers who have been in the system too long and have fallen victim to pessimism. Or maybe it will be because she uses one ...more
Joel
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Laurel Sturt's unflinching description of her experience as a New York teacher during the Bloomberg era is a distillation of all that is wrong with the ideals of the education reform movement in our country. Few realize how the arbitrary decisions of those in political or economic power can negatively impact those who are the least empowered to fight back: our children. Sturt vividly describes the frustrations and joys of teaching high needs children, working around crumbling infrastructure, ...more
Ken Previti
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"In comparison to Davonte's Inferno by Laurel M. Sturt... Well, there is no comparison to this brilliantly descriptive memoir of the reality of public schools in New York. It stands by itself, and therefore needs to be read widely by teachers, parents and those who are interested and involved in public education today... This is not a book for the faint of heart; also the viewers of Mayberry or Welcome Back Kotter re-runs should avoid this book... It is a first person account by an intelligent ...more
Cara
Jun 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: politics
I looked forward to reading this (ordered it through ILL) on the recommendation of a friend who taught in a large city's school district. Unfortunately, I can't share her enthusiasm,and I find myself unable to finish this book (an unusual occurrence for me).

I appreciate the points that Sturt makes about public education being held hostage to the politics of the "free market" and the commercial interests of politically-connected people who see public education as just one more way of making
...more
Mindy Rubinstein-rosier
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a public school teacher in NYC, I can relate to much in this book. Teaching is so much more than just standing in front of children. Though some of the past reviews criticized her putting blame on others. Without a back story, how can one fully understand what we all go through? We face many challenges daily and without the proper support, guidance, or even materials, and curriculum, etc., it makes our job that much harder. Especially now, with the tenure issue coming into play, her ...more
Lisa
May 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Sturt tells a story that you want to be unbelievable, but know all to well that it is one that plays out all over the US every day. Makes you grateful if you, or your kids, have been lucky enough to have a good public school experience.

Ironic that a book on education has so many annoying typos, but her writing style is entertaining and she has an imaginative way with words.
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A long-time social activist, in 2002 Laurel M. Sturt left a career in fashion design to become an elementary school teacher in a high-poverty community of the Bronx. Laurel is a graduate of the Madeira School and received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Vassar College. Subsequently she received an Associate degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Design and Illustration, as ...more