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"The Street Stops Here"

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.

Half infamous layouts myspaceFirst

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.

There's

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

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