Is It Too Late To Save America’s High Schools?–Book Review

A book review posted on says the following:

Consider these sobering national statistics about today’s high school students:

  • 7 out of 10 don’t complete courses needed to succeed in college.
  • Nearly 50% of African American population, 40% of Latino population and 11% of white population attend schools in which graduation is NOT the norm.
  • 1 in 20 students do not finish high school.
  • 40% of those entering college need remediation
  • 26% of high school graduates who enter four-year schools and 45% who enter two-year schools do not return to school after their first year.
  • Nearly 80% of the nation’s high schools identified by a recent Johns Hopkins study as having ‘weak promoting power’ are found in just 15 states
  • Five southern states (FL, GA, NC, SC, and TX) lead the nation in total number of schools that serve as the nation’s ‘drop out factories.’

According to author and veteran school reformer Grace Sammon, the American high school is the toughest institution to change.”Reform has become a big buzz word,” says Sammon.”It’s been the focus of many foundations, the federal government and the National Governor’s Association, yet with years of focus, dedication and hard work we simply aren’t seeing the gains we anticipated on a grand scale.So if we’re not properly educating our kids—should high schools exist as they are now?”

Today’s public school teachers and administrators face unprecedented challenges from students and parents as well as from local, state and federal mandates.Sammon outlines the cycle of frustration many educators feel in her new book, “Battling the Hamster Wheel TM:Strategies for Making High School Reform Work.”

By aptly comparing the education system’s cycle of reforms to a hamster wheel, she depicts the relentless grind that educators face; always running, running, running but not making the gains they anticipate for their students and schools.


E.C. 🙂


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