At the best school in the city, not everything is what it seems . . .
For a young Teach for America graduate, Joe Savino has landed the perfect job. In just its first year, The Latin School produced the highest test scores in all of Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, all but a few of the school’s teachers quit before the start of the second year, when Savino starts work. Latin’s founder is R.J. Peterson, a larger-than-life reformer – blue Jaguar, expensive suits, bold ideas – and controversial. Savino idolizes Peterson – until he and his colleagues find out their paychecks are bouncing. Soon Savino and the rest of the school’s young, passion teachers start to realize that at Latin, not everything is what it seems. And that those in power — like Peterson and his dictatorial aide Patricia Saunders — will do almost anything to perpetrate a lie.
As things come unraveled and with the school’s future on the line, Savino, soon faces a choice that will not only change his life, but the lives of the students and of the Washington, D.C. community he has grown to love.
Education is a national debate in America. Our scores are mediocre, our buildings overcrowded, and our teachers demoralized: forty-six percent quit within five years. We all agree that something has to be done, and everyone has an opinion. Often lost are the voices of the teachers themselves.
A Significant Contribution is first person account from the front lines — a cautionary tale about the dangers of visionaries and reformers at the intersection of business and education during the era of No Child Left Behind.