Pulling a School Back From the Brink
The Austin school district serves 80,000 local children. Two-thirds of them are economically disadvantaged. And the school board spends a lot of its time talking about how to fix the schools stamped by the state as “academically unacceptable.” Specifically Pierce and Garcia middle schools. Both are in Northeast Austin and would be transformed into single-sex campuses under the district’s latest vision for repair.
But just down the street from Pierce is Reagan High School, and it used to carry that pall of being academically unacceptable, but some hard-working educators have turned it around. Former New York Times reporter Michael Brick has written a book, Saving the School, about it. He talked with KUT’s Nathan Bernier.
Anabel [Garza, the principal] and the other teachers at Reagan are trying to give as much as they have of themselves, show them some love and, this is really important, give kids a reason to want to come to school; try and remake Reagan as the sort of high school those of us who are a little ways out of school now remember, with plays and dances and a football team.
Brick will read from Saving the School Tuesday at BookPeople in Austin.