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Adequate Yearly Progress

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  3,474 ratings  ·  620 reviews
Each new school year brings familiar challenges to Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one the biggest cities in Texas. But the teachers also face plenty of personal challenges and this year, they may finally spill over into the classroom.

English teacher Lena Wright, a spoken-word poet, can never seem to truly connect with her students. Hernan D. Hernandez is con
Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Atria Books
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Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Theresa Alan
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Though the tone of this book is light, what these Texas high school teachers are put through is decidedly bleak. I have empathy for teachers in real life and had a lot of empathy for these fictional characters. They’re being put through the ringer by a business man/minor celebrity Nick Wallabee who is trying to turn teaching into a business through charter schools (who don’t have to follow the standards of public schools and can essentially function as a way for con artists to make money). Also, ...more
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
If you are a teacher, you will love this book. Or it will make you cry. I'm not sure, because it was so on target about where we are with education and what teachers go through it was so scary, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Brae Hill Valley High School is a struggling inner city school in Texas. This story is told from the perspective of the teachers, at the front lines of education, as they attempt to navigate through every new initiative, every new mandate, every new test that is throw
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
Lindsay Bolender
Oct 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
The Lit Bitch
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I worked in public education for twelve years and during that time I had a close friend who was a counselor in our Guidance Office. We would have lunch together every day and talk about how we needed to write a book about public education because people would never believe the things we have to go through on a daily basis.

In fact we stated keeping a list of things that would happen in our office each year and at the end of the school year we would go back and reflect on the year of weird things
Lisa Leone-campbell
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Adequate Yearly Progress is an extraordinary look into a year in the lives of teachers and administrators at a high school in Texas. It shows the pressures which are put on teachers having their students score high enough on the yearly standardized test and the complications this pressure puts on them, administrators whose livelihood depends on high scores and the students.

Although filled with humor, the book explores the teacher's perspectives, both good and bad, in their classes, their relatio
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it

Wow, all I can say is, this story blew me away! I wasn’t a fan of high school, couldn’t wait until it was over and after reading ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS by Roxanna Elden, I guess high school life is still very stressful. Roxanna will have your emotions all over the place. Once I started reading, it was very hard to stop! What an awesome story. All of Roxanna’s characters feel genuine and relatable and put your emotions on one heck of a roller coaster ride. As you are reading, you will
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
Diane Yannick
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was like an 8th grade grammar lesson that went off the rails.
Some of the initiatives started by the new superintendent are funny—until they aren’t. Satire would have worked but layers were added until it became weighted and absurd. A few acronyms are funny but a boatload are boring. The teachers were all stereotypes. We had Hernan, the socially awkward science teacher and Maybelline, the suck up who is loved by the administrators. We have the football coach who has a child with another
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
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Janet | purrfectpages
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
This book might not be as well received amongst non educators. However, as a teacher in a district very similar to the one depicted in this book, I have to say I totally related. I found myself laughing at its sad, yet realistic absurdity. It meanders a bit towards the end, but never lost me. I’ve always said there should be more fiction novels written about the world of education. I’d recommend all educators give this one a chance.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden

This book is fun read about a group of Texas High School teachers and their daily struggles to survive yet another school year. To get the inside look, I knew that this book had to be written by none other than an educator as well. Though this is a fiction read, the message is clear, timely and relevant. There is a current battle between the public education system and the charter school system and what is the best education format for our children. This
Cassie | Cassie’s Next Chapter
Full Book Review

What a smart, witty, and fun book! A tongue-in-cheek look at the shortcomings of school systems - especially when they're managed from the outside.

Although I'm not a teacher, I have plenty of family and friends who have had some strong words about the school system. Too many hoops to jump through, the hurdles to actually teaching the material when they're bogged down with test-prep, the likelihood of burnout, the range of attitudes and capabilities of the teaching staff, and the
Gary Anderson
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
In Roxanna Elden’s Adequate Yearly Progress, the teachers, students, and administrators of Brae Hill Valley High School flail their way through another school year beleaguered by a new superintendent famous for his headline-grabbing books and his consultant minion who shows up at all the worst times in classrooms, locker rooms, and the teacher’s lounge. The heroes of this book are the educators who rebel against this year’s new instructional paradigms and the students trying to gain an education ...more
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
If you have ever wanted a glimpse into the daily life of a teacher, then Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden is the book for you! For the teachers at Brae Hill Valley, a struggling Texas high school, this year promises to be their most challenging yet. With a new superintendent intent on implementing big changes and new expectations in the district, the pressure builds to not only outperform other schools, but to outshine each other.

Oh my goodness, this book was beyond relatable to me. Is
ElizaBeth Comencant
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. ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 politics...it’s all in there!

While Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden is a piece of fictional writing, educators across this nation will immediately
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!
John Lamb
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is probably the most accurate account of teaching I have ever read. Nothing too particulary dramatic happens but just an account of the daily humilations and tiny victories that go into being a high school teacher.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of a public school in Texas and their extremely hard year. Hard, not just for the students but for the teachers and the administrative board. There is a new publicity loving superintendent on board, someone with ties to money involved elsewhere in the education 'industry'. I do not have any direct involvement with teaching other than having been a student myself but hardly anyone would deny that a good teacher with the zeal to inspire their students are rare and need to be commen ...more
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
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
Well, this hit close to home! If you have ever worked as a teacher, you will completely relate to the ridiculous initiatives, the inexperienced "experts," and every single thing that Elden skews about school culture. It's a satirical novel about education but I actually recommend it for people who aren't teachers. In some ways it is too real for teachers to be able to laugh about. Read it and hug a teacher. ...more
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this comedy about high school teaching. Everyone gets skewered -- teachers, students, parents, administrators, the reform climate, all of it. With that, the reader has to be comfortable with satire around race, class, and gender -- and be warned that this book is written by a white author and the characters have diverse backgrounds. But if you have worked in a school, you will probably delight in the dark humor here.
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. ...more
GS Arnold
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book that I’d recommend anyone interested in public education should read. Folks will think it is hyper exaggerated satire, but it is mild at best. Pretty accurately reflects the reality of a lot of high schools with shifting agendas and hopping on every new bandwagon.

Best part is no martyr teacher narrative (actually, pretty constant mockery of that idea)!
Mar 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just couldn't make it through. I was hoping it would be funnier, but instead it was just eerily realistic. Some chapters just made me angry because they mirrored real situations I have been in. Teaching is hard enough, so I prefer to read books that help me escape all of it at the end of the day. ...more
nicolina cavatappi
Hilarious and all too familiar. This novel is so well paced that 100 pages went by every time I sat down to read. Teachers and non-teachers alike would love this book!
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Play Book Tag: Adequate Yearly Progress / Roxanna Elden - 3*** 1 7 Dec 29, 2020 07:04AM  

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Roxanna Elden combines eleven years of experience as a public-school teacher with nearly two decades of writing and speaking about education issues. She is known for cutting through clichés about teaching to offer honesty, humor, nuance, and practical advice. She also coaches teachers worldwide in one-on-one virtual Office Hours sessions and writes a weekly newsletter at www.roxannaelden.com. Her ...more

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“Watching one of her favorite activities become an instrument of torture made Lena’s soul feel . . . threadbare.” 1 likes
“Adequate Yearly Progress. He turned the phrase over in his mind, shuffling it like a deck of cards. That first word was where they got you, he decided. Yearly and progress were concrete terms. But adequate? That was the moving target. Adequate was the part that got decided in an office somewhere, at the last minute, based on what would look good in the newspaper, or get someone reelected, or highlight some new defect that called for TransformationalChange” 0 likes
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