On the flip side of The Blackboard Jungle story of several years ago is Mountridge High School - the showcase of American public high schools. Mountridge citizens are affluent, civic-minded, cultured, and dedicated to getting the best possible education for their children. Their offspring do not have to be sent to private schools, because M.H.S. outshines them all. Mountridge High has easily available funds, modern amenities, state of the art technology, excellent teachers, and professional staff members.
Mountridge High School, however, hides a cancer which devours it - drug abuse. School administrators, trustees, police, and parents, all deny the problem which the humble classroom teacher knows only too well. Money buys not only drugs, but also immunity and protection from criminal prosecution. Although big money translates to forgiveness of sins, it does not prevent the destruction of promising young lives.
The Guilty Teacher's vast tapestry of characters clearly depicts the intricacy of the American public school system. School administrators, some corrupted by power and influence and the need to curry favor with influential citizens, often separate themselves from their teaching comrades. A few try to do what's right but are often defeated by the system. Dr. Susan Baker, at least, understands the problems and fights from within the system for improvement.
While some teachers just put their time in and do no more, teachers like Pete Clairwood strive valiantly to balance their calling to educate young people with the daily abuse from students and corrupted administrators and the pressure from their families to do anything besides teach. They are often pawns in administrative political maneuvers and too frequently become convenient scapegoats for many of the school's and society's problems.
The reader also comes to know the students - those already caught up in the greed, degeneration, and evil of the drug culture and those who struggle to escape from this culture without ostracizing themselves from their peers. Kenneth Waymart is the corrupted "golden boy" athlete who has gotten himself into a deeper hole with local drug dealers than he ever intended. Jeff Taskend III, Mountridge High's valedictorian, represents the terrible choices that good, conscientious teenagers feel they must make: choices between popularity or conformity, compromise or despair, parental approval or peer approval. Their shared love interest, Charlotte Van Tabor, hides a secret from her prominent parents and her adoring new boyfriend until she can no longer bear the strain. Immersion in the emotional roller coaster of these complicated lives is immediate and powerful. Tender family ties and adolescent love are offset by dark secrets of generation-old mistakes, terror-laden threats from dangerous drug dealers and desperate human passions.
Although Susan Baker and other committed educators realize that the gap between the children and the adults has widened to such an extent in recent decades that it is practically impossible to cross, they are convinced that their profession might be the only one which can have a positive impact on shaping the future of America's children.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Paulette has written a masterpiece that takes the reader through the frightening reality in America's schools. The story both exposes the problems and captivates the reader. Educators, administrators, parents and students will all gain from this outstanding novel.About the Author:
For forty years, Dr. Paulette B. Maggiolo worked in the public schools. During that time she was a classroom teacher, a supervisor, an administrator, a member of a Teacher's Association and a member of the Administrator's Association. As such, she knows the ins and outs of the American public school system. Dr. Maggiolo is gravely concerned about the students, but is more concerned about the dedicated teachers who could continue to do as great a job as they had done years ago - if they were left to do the job which they were hired to do - teach!
Right after World War II, Dr. Maggiolo came to the USA as a French war bride married to an American officer. Now a Virginia resident, she has taught thirty years in American public schools as well as several more years in private schools. Recently retired from the high school classroom, she is now an adjunct faculty member at a nearby state community college. She holds degrees from the University of Caen, in France; The Sorbonne, Paris; and from Columbia University in New York where she earned a Phi Beta Kappa key. Dr. Maggiolo received her Doctorate in Modern Languages from the University of Middlebury, VT. The University published her thesis, Modern Women Writers of France. She has been teacher, administrator and mother of high school children.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Greenleaf Book Group, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110966531922
Book Description Greenleaf Book Group, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0966531922