There are some really amazing parts to "The StreetStopsHere,"
a newish book about the effort to help grow a New York City Catholic
boys school, which I finally got the chance to read a few weeks ago.
and foremost is the complexity and humanity in the portrait of the
principal, including his home and health problems and what he does at
home after work. Education attracts a lot of passionate, somewhat
damaged individuals, and this book does a great job showing how heroic
the adults' efforts can be -- even when the individuals are themselves
flawed. There are also some great details and observations -- about
the dances at the school, and how the boys treat other boys who
sometimes suck their thumbs despite being teenagers.
nothing sentimental about the description of the school, or the kids.
You don't have to care much about Catholic education to see the
implications here for urban schools in general -- though the author
makes a strong case for parochial schools, which have educated the
underclass in America going back to the days when the underclass was
Irish. [Cross-posted from TWIE.]
Have you read it? What's your favorite book about schools
Filed under: Media Watch