Our schools suck

“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.

2 thoughts on “Our schools suck

  1. As a parent of 10 year old about to start in urban public middle school, I absolutely refuse to read the book, and resent you Chris for now making me always aware that maybe the schools I thought were so great actually suck.
    Michael

  2. hey man, im in high school in Canada and i love it, i really do feel sorry for American students and hope that there is some improvement in the American education system