School of Dreams

School of Dreams : Making the Grade at a Top American High School

3.63 (180 ratings by Goodreads)
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What does a top public school look like? In the case of Whitney High, it's a ramshackle campus in an unfashionable part of L.A., where the budgets are tight and the student body resembles a mini United Nations. Despite its appearance, families move across town-and across the world-hoping to enroll their children. Whitney High delivers everything parents want from a public school: love of learning, a sense of mission, and SAT scores that pave the way to elite universities.
But attending a dream high school carries a toll: high-achieving, high-pressured kids survive on espresso and four hours' sleep and fall into despair if they get a B. Forget Generation X. This is Generation Stressed.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward Humes spent a year immersed in this remarkable world, where our best and brightest students struggle to harmonize ambitious parents' dreams with their own goals, and teachers search for an elusive balance
between creating great test-takers and fostering great learners.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 153.9 x 235.2 x 34mm | 680.4g
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
  • English
  • Tuttle ed.
  • 0151007039
  • 9780151007035

Review quote

"A masterly example of passionate yet even-handed reporting.... It deserves an A+, even without grade inflation." --Michael Dirda"The Washington Post" (09/07/2003)
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Back cover copy

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Edward Humes spent a year immersed in a remarkable public high school where students struggle to harmonize parents' dreams with their own goals and teachers search for an elusive balance between creating great test-takers and fostering great learners. Humes shares the daily joys, disasters, stress, and struggles of the memorable students of Whitney High, along with their teachers and their parents. The result is an honest and enlightening story of what life is really like for today's high-achieving high-school students -- and a revealing look at the state of education in America today. ""School of Dreams "gives hope about the future for American education, cause for alarm about how well-intended policies can undo that hope, and genuine excitement about the young people of this nation."
-- Gregory S. Prince, Jr., President, Hampshire College
"Beautifully written and compulsively readable, told compassionately but with a journalist's eye to getting the whole story, "School of Dreams" sheds light on the increasing pressures of giving and getting an American education."
-- Rachel Simmons, author of "Odd Girl Out"
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Flap copy

What is the price of an education at a top public high school?
Whitney High delivers everything we ask of a school: a love of learning, a sense of mission, and SAT scores to die for. But there are unintended consequences to attending the school of our dreams, as author Edward Humes found during his year inside this world of high achievement and high pressure.
Students work nearly around the clock, building futures to please parents as much as themselves. Their drug of choice? Caffeine. Their goal? Getting into a top college. Their biggest fear? Not living up to their families' stratospheric expectations. But what these kids have going for them is the extraordinary community within Whitney High-- a school with doors open seven days a week, where teachers love teaching and the students linger long after the school day ends.
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Rating details

180 ratings
3.63 out of 5 stars
5 20% (36)
4 39% (71)
3 26% (47)
2 13% (23)
1 2% (3)
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