The Children in Room E4 by Susan Eaton
American Education on Trial

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Synopsis

With our nation's urban schools growing more segregated every year, Susan Eaton set out to see whether separate can ever really be equal. An award-winning journalist, Eaton spent four years at Simpson-Waverly Elementary School, an all-minority school in Hartford, Connecticut. Located in the poorest city in the wealthiest state in the nation, it is a glaring example of the great racial and economic divide found in almost every major urban center across the country.

The Children in Room E4 is the compelling story of one student, one classroom, and one indomitable teacher, Ms. Luddy. In the midst of Band-Aid reforms and hotshot superintendents with empty promises, drug dealers and street gangs, Ms. Luddy's star student, Jeremy, and his fellow classmates face tremendous challenges both inside and outside of a school cut off from mainstream America.

Meanwhile, across town, a team of civil rights lawyers fight an intrepid battle to end the de facto segregation that beleaguers Jeremy's school and hundreds of others across America.

From inside the classroom and the courtroom, Eaton reveals the unsettling truths about an education system that leaves millions of children behind and gives voice to those who strive against overwhelming odds for a better future.
 

About Susan Eaton

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Susan Eaton is a journalists specializing in education and children's issues and is a consulting researcher for the Civil Rights project at Harvard, where she received a doctorate in education policy. She's received awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and has written for numerous publications, including The Nation, Mother Jones, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Boston Globe. The author of two other books on education, Eaton lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two children.
 
Published January 27, 2009 by Algonquin Books. 400 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Children's Books. Non-fiction

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The author presents a charming group of kids from an inner-city school in Hartford, Conn., who struggle to learn in a typically demoralized and under-funded urban public school.

Oct 15 2006 | Read Full Review of The Children in Room E4: Amer...

Entertainment Weekly

B Originally posted Jan 26, 2007 Published in issue #916 Jan 19, 2007 Order article reprints

Jan 12 2007 | Read Full Review of The Children in Room E4: Amer...

Bookmarks Magazine

Lawrence Goldstone Seattle Times 4 of 5 Stars "She built the book around this question: ‘Is what politicians call school reform—the contemporary, bipartisan goal of quantifiable standards and better test scores—a just, effective replacement for integrated, equal opportunity classrooms?’ The ...

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of The Children in Room E4: Amer...

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Oprah.com

The Freedom Rides of 1961 weren't the only civil rights revolution taking place during this time.

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Oprah.com

Susan Eaton's The Children in Room E4 (Algonquin) zeroes in on the barely acknowledged reality of modern-day school segregation: an all-minority inner-city classroom in Hartford, Connecticut, where Lois Luddy, a die-hard third-grade teacher, tries to salvage her students' futures.

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