I went back to work on Wednesday this week. August 1 is incredibly early for teachers and students to go back to school, but I work in a building that has been deemed Persisently Low Achieving by our government because of test scores. The extra days they have added to our contract is supposed to help student achievement.
I have read Jonathan Kozol's books before, and enjoyed all of them, but now that I teach in a culturally diverse school with a free and reduced lunch rate in the 95% range, the students that Kozol writes about are ones that I could know in my present situation.
Fire in the Ashes is Kozol's latest book. It is easily a stand-alone title, although Kozol's book is a follow-up to other titles he has written and children he wrote about earlier in their lives. While I don't recognize the children from reading of them previously, there is enough of their back story given that it will not matter whether you have read other books by Kozol.