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Adequate Yearly Progress

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  474 ratings  ·  114 reviews
A workplace novel that captures teaching with humor, insight, and heart. This perspective-hopping debut follows teachers at an urban high school as their professional lives impact their personal lives and vice versa.

Each year brings familiar educational challenges to Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one of Texas's bigger cities. But the school’s teachers face
Paperback, 319 pages
Published August 1st 2018 by Rivet Street Books
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Ryan (miyu or Prada)
I am a teacher in a public school and have been for the past sixteen years. It is like someone sat in my school, every day, for all these years, and then wrote a documentary.

And this is fiction.

I can’t rave about this book enough. I loved it. I hated it. I laughed out loud and quoted passages to other teacher friends and teared up at passages detailing the struggles of students.

Every teacher should read this. Everyone curious about the struggles of teaching in public school should read this.

Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Adequate Yearly Progress, teachers at Brae Hill High School deal with the changes that come with a new superintendent and a new school year.

As a teacher, I don’t think I’ve ever read a more realistic portrayal of teaching. The teachers created by Roxanna Elden are teachers represented in every public school.
I was hooked from the start but was hoping for a little more in the ending. Overall a great read before heading back to the classroom.

Thank you NetGalley and Rivet Street Books for th
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really didn’t want this book to end. The characters were relatable enough that when I got to the last page I felt I would miss them. This is a must-read for any public school teacher, or for anyone who would like a glimpse into the life of an urban public school teacher.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adequate Yearly Progress

There were times when I taught when I was certain no one else knew what I was going through. It is strange that in a profession where you are surrounded by other humans all day long, that I could feel so lonely and isolated. Roxanna Elden gets it. Maybe because she taught for eleven years. That perspective I only get when talking to other teachers, I got here in this book as well.

The essential loneliness of the job came through to me. So many characters going through indi
Dora Okeyo
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book served me a variety of characters that were quite similar to the kind of teachers I had in school. It's quite hilarious as it is thought provoking and I got to read a copy of it through NetGalley in exchange for this honest take of mine. I reckon teachers or any administrator who is familiar with AYP would enjoy this read, and so would anyone who's ever been in a classroom.
Ms. Dewsbury
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! The author does a great job with multiple perspectives of an interesting and believable cast of teacher characters. As someone who has taught for 12 years at three different schools, I think she nailed it!
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

I have watched all the major career dramas of today that one can name, but never have I read one before...and overall, I have to say that I really loved the experience.

The novel is written from the perspectives of several different teachers (including the principal) of a public inner-city high school in Texas and explores their struggles with changing board-mandated expectations, weak academic culture among students, and balancing their personal lives.

In immersing its readers into the
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an exceptional read which included complex characters struggling with the daily demands of teaching and a home life.
The author created a smorgasbord of daily realistic occurrences in a school environment including the ever annoying and disruptive PA announcements to testing scores related to teachers’ evaluations.
This was truly an engaging story that will make many readers’ day a bit more entertaining.
Nicole Means
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Candid insight into the trials and tribulations of public education...
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Hard to believe this book is fiction, because I’ve lived through MANY of these chapters, including the starfish presentation. 😂

If you have endured any of the following situations, you should read this book:

*You are an educator who has felt the intense pressure that standardized tests bring.

*You are an educator who has had to take directives from “professionals” who actually don’t have a clue what they are doing.

*You are questioning whether or not you should stay in education.

*You find yourself o
ElizaBeth Comencant
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Holy CRAP was this ever written by a teacher! I was alternately laughing out loud and banging my head against a metaphorical desk. The teacher's experience is SO frustrating, and rewarding, and this book NAILS it. Only a true veteran could have written such a story - I hope more do so, I was really entertained by the book.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
It's really hard to give this book only three stars. I read it on the heels of finding out that, as a librarian who TEACHES CLASSES, I'm not eligible for performance bonuses by our school district. It's a tough blow and a lot of money I won't see. No matter how long I'm in the library, I was a classroom teacher long enough to never NOT feel like one. I was a highly effective teacher every single year, but suddenly, as a librarian, I'm nothing to my district administration. And even though that's ...more
Kim Pet
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There’s no surprise that this author was also a teacher, because it is clear that she ‘gets it’!

From the daily of getting kids on a roll, ‘A-Ha!’ moments, then bureaucratic BS gets in the way.. announcements, writing BS on the board instead of focusing on what the kids need and addressing that,
administration that is more concerned with their status than actual students & learning, or those who have become ‘experts’ and consultants after only teaching for 2 years!

Elden has it all covered fro
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you’re an educator now or were within the last 15 years or so, you’re most definitely familiar with these letters...AYP... Adequate Yearly Progress, and if you’re familiar with that terminology, I have NO doubt you’ll be equally familiar with every aspect of this book by the same name...the people….the plot line… the personalities....the’s all in there!

While Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden is a piece of fictional writing, educators across this nation will immediately
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, fiction
Thanks to NetGalley for a free advance copy in exchange for my review.

Some are calling "Adequate Yearly Progress" The Office of public education. However, In AYP, the sad thing is, anyone in public education will recognize almost every character and event. The focus on test scores tied to teacher performance, strategies for raising test scores that don't equate to skills needed for the real world, competing charter schools that take money away from schools that need it the most, thinly disguised
Lindsay Bolender
Oct 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
I went into this book expecting, per the description, a juicy, immersive book about the dynamics of a team of teachers working against limitations to change the world. I was even prepared for it to be a fairly light read focused more on the entertainment value of students vs. students, students vs. teachers, teachers vs. principals, etc. Instead, this book tries for dynamics but reads like someone conducted one singular interview with one teacher (who possibly misunderstood a lot of things about ...more
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, netgalleyarc
I taught middle school and high school English for two years after college. I happened to become a statistic by leaving teaching early, although the reason I did was primarily because of a move out of state that would have meant I would have a *third* first year of teaching. I feared I would burn out with all the prep work required, particularly given the atmosphere of the public school environment was so much different from what I had trained for and taught in previously. I worked in a relative ...more
Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)
Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a copy of the book. As always, an honest review.

Adequate Yearly Progress accurately captures what I would imagine it's like to work in an inner city high school. The story starts out a few days before the beginning of the school year. There's a new superintendent who is ready to make some changes. Maybe with the students' best interests at heart, but definitely with an enormous lack of experience in the school setting. It sets up what's bound
Alex Davenport
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Roxanna Elden creates a realistic story in Adequate Yearly Progress. I read this book in one day and was entertained and yet, saddened by how accurate this book is in regards to the state of education.

I am a teacher. I know that all of these facets exist but I am so busy doing my job that it is easy to gloss over these facts. Adequate Yearly Progress is what I imagine a teacher survey of concerns would entail. My colleagues and I often lament about the fact that people with no background in educ
Fowlerville High
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be very compelling. It actually did a nice job of bringing to light some of the many, many frustrations and joys that come with teaching, especially teaching in a public school. I've been a teacher for 19 years and the author really does "get it". The hopes and dreams we all enter into the teaching field with and what happens to them when they meet reality. There were times as I was reading that I felt every frustration, overwhelmed feeling, and disappointment along with the ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is entertaining and a fun read. If you have ever been to school, you will relate to the absurdity of the situations occurring in Brae Hill Valley High School. If you have a job with a less-than-perfect boss, you will understand the plight of the teachers in this setting. If you are a sports fan, you will appreciate Coach Ray's difficulties cultivating "scholar athletes." If you are a parent, you will identify with, and smile at, the author's humorous descriptions of families' handling ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you NetGalley for the copy of Adequate Yearly Progress. What a great first novel to review! As an educator I was drawn to the title because of course AYP is an acronym that we spend a lot of time with. The author talked the talk of someone who has walked the walk. Her characters were so right on that I laughed out loud! The accurate depictions of teachers in staff meetings, in the copy room, and at happy hour were just perfect! The staff development specialist, 'a heavily accessorized, wel ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a classroom teacher? This funny and lighthearted novel offers a glimpse into the world of teaching, from the neverending barrage of new acronyms to the daily struggles that even the most seasoned veterans still have to face. Whether you’re a classroom educator or not, these characters are relatable and real. There is something for everyone in this book - you will find yourself identifying with the bubbly history teacher who learns that no matter how much you bl ...more
Luke Shepard
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read. I got to read an advanced copy through Netgalley.
As a teacher, I found this book super relatable. Each of the characters reminds me of someone (or several someones!) I’ve worked with. There are a plethora of little details that filled my teacher’s heart. For example, there is a great juxtaposition between the two potential love interests of the protagonist. It is a small detail, that I loved, and the type of thing I would point out in an English class. I loved the way the
Emi Bevacqua
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, education
I've read a few books this year based on the subject of education in America, and this one by Roxanna Elden is head and shoulders above the rest. Her multi-culti characters and plot-lines are relatable, the dialog engaging, and each of the multiple points of view equally fun to follow. The setting is Brae Hill Valley High School in Texas, staffed by Dr. Barrios the beleaguered principal, Kaytee the TeachCorps newbie who gains blogging celebrity as TheMysteryHistoryTeacher, Lena the slam poet rem ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Adequate Yearly Progress is a wildly funny novel about teaching in a large district. The book is complete with three sets of standards required to be written on the board each period, a new superintendent savior with no real classroom experience or expertise, and the whole range of teachers that you have seen in any building. I laughed so hard I cried in parts. If you have ever been involved in a large district with myriad initiatives, you will love this book. If you have ever thought about teac ...more
Sarah Hafner
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book off a recommendation from someone who simply heard it was good. Truly, it did not disappoint. Like so many reviewers before me, I, too, am a teacher, and this book buried itself deep in my soul. I left a charter school last year because of things like only being “positive and in the present” or treated as only a composite test score, and the leaders of The Hill reminded me so fiercely of leaders I’ve encountered in the past. It was as though Roxanna Elden was following me! I hig ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are a teacher, you should read this. It's spot-on, laugh out loud funny at some times, and others, a frustrating reflection of what our education system is really like. Some things that are satirized don't have to be changed that much because the demands and changes made on teachers each year really are that ridiculous. If you're not a teacher, you won't really "get" it the same way. I could pick out teachers I'd worked with who were like the characters in the book.

I laughed and showed s
Paula Pugh
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have ever worked in any business that always has some new program or idea that will improve, grow, better the situation/business, you will surely relate to this book. Even if you have not, you will engage with the story and the characters.
The trials of four teachers and a principal at Brae Hill Valley High School are told as the new and improved year progresses and impacts each of them. I liked that Ms. Elden included the characters’ lives outside the high school which gives them depth an
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Roxanna Elden combines eleven years of experience as a public school teacher with a decade of speaking to audiences around the country about education issues. Her first book, See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers, is a staple in school districts and educator training programs, and her work has been featured on NPR as well as in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, E ...more
“The chance to escape from Brae Hill Valley had afforded her a new lightness that extended to every part of her life.” 0 likes
“Everyone knew the real reason discipline numbers looked good: Mrs. Rawlins was the assistant principal in charge of discipline, and she rarely enforced any actual consequences. This not only kept suspension numbers low, it also meant few teachers bothered to fill out referral forms in the first place—and these were the two ways the district calculated discipline numbers. It was, of course, these same two tendencies that caused actual student behavior at the school to skid downhill, but this was no time to make changes to the one set of numbers that felt assured.” 0 likes
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