In comparison to Davonte’s Inferno by Laurel M. Sturt… Well, there is no comparison to this brilliantly descriptive memoir of the reality of public schools in New York. It stands by itself, and therefore needs to be read widely by teachers, parents and those who are interested and involved in public education today.
The subtitle, Ten Years in the New York Public School Gulag, tells in advance that this is no defense of the status quo. Further into the book, Sturt reveals the abuses inflicted by the insane levels of so-called education reform and the high stakes testing spawned by corporate investors in the Education Industrial Complex and the political toadies whose campaign funds are fed by the same corporate investors. It is important to note that the story is told from a unique perspective and in memoir form; this is what makes it both brilliant and unique.
Politicians and investment profiteers come in for the same close inspection and blame sharing as the administrative mercenaries, the jaded teachers, the dysfunctional parents, the societal ills, and the students who ill serve their own interests.
This is not a book for the faint of heart; also the viewers of Mayberry or Welcome Back Kotter re-runs should avoid this book. Neither is the book a reality TV program in print. It is a first person account by an intelligent and perceptive writer of the reality she experienced in the schools that give public education its bad name.
Sturt pulls no punches, nor does she create a one-size-fits-all utopian solution. Davonte’s Inferno deserves to be on America’s required reading list.
WARNING: Davonte’s Inferno is very difficult to put down. Read it at your own risk.
The book can be found in libraries or purchased at Amazon HERE.
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