“My first day in middle school was horrible. I didn’t want to go to that school, so I cried the whole day.… I didn’t want to go to that school, because it was dirty and the people were dirty and I hated it there.… That’s when I first started to hate school.”
— Naima, an African American student in Los Angeles
That is one of the many student voices my friend Celina Su collected (with co-authors) from American inner city schools.
If you can judge a book by its cover (and title), this one takes the cake.
I used to think these testimonials were a bit silly. Reading the World Bank’s Voices of the Poor changed that. It’s easily the most thought-provoking volume to come from a development agency, and it led me to run similar exercises alongside my quantitative surveys in virtually every project. Consider Celina’s book the American equivalent.
The book’s website is here.