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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
The School District of Philadelphia needs a major overhaul. Written to enlighten and to make sense of it all, Clayvon C. Harris writes about how policies are falling short of delivering expected outcomes and how school environments are becoming chaotic rather than conducive to learning. Sub: Inside the Notorious School District of Philadelphia is Harris’s take on the complicated and convoluted issues besetting the Philadelphia School District. In a combination of experience and meticulous research, Harris reveals the pernicious conditions of overworked yet underpaid teachers, out-of-control students, and indifferent school administrators. In her subbing experience, she has seen education superintendents, local government officials, policy changes, and a state-sponsored takeover come and go. Yet the School District of Philadelphia does not seem to emerge any better.
There is a pressing need for anyone concerned with education to read this book. Failing inner-city schools is everyone’s concern. When students graduate from underfunded and neglected educational systems, they bring with them insufficient skills that do not equip them to face the challenges of the real world. Moreover, Harris effectively illustrates the correlation between America’s economy and civil unrest. Having the heart of a true teacher, this topic is a deeply personal journey for Harris, as she reapplies to be a substitute teacher after quitting in order to see any developments in the School District. By reading Sub, we join her in keeping our fingers crossed that the current initiatives will truly provide the much-needed service to underserved students through better and safer schools. Harris’s commitment to bringing forth this timely issue makes this book invaluable and highly recommended.