Reviews

Adequate Yearly Progress, by Roxanna Elden

kelseylovesbooks's review against another edition

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3.0

A satirical novel rooted in reality, this book looks at what happens when teachers are held to ridiculous standards that are supposed to put children's learning first, but really just create confusion and paperwork. If you are a teacher, this book is 100% for you. I'm not a teacher, but from what I know about our education system, this is an exaggerated but not entirely unrealistic view of what teaching is like.

I did find some parts to be just a bit too over the top, which I think in many cases was the point, but for me as a reader it was sometimes distracting. Adequate Yearly Progress is an easy and quick read to dive into and will definitely entertain those working in education. I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

connorpennell's review against another edition

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3.0

Quick and light read, but didn't care about some of the characters/storylines.

whatjenreads's review against another edition

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4.0

Oh my goodness, the SNARK!

msschaake's review against another edition

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4.0

Impossible not to enjoy as a high school English teacher! This story follows several different teachers as they navigate new ambiguous standards, corporate consulting, job insecurity, personal growth, and out of class relationships while teaching “troubled” teens at the “rough” school. Definitely echos the bureaucratic red tape most teachers combat while they’re trying to actually make a difference.

dylansdream's review against another edition

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3.0

If I had to sum up this book, I'd say it's like that one season of The Wire, the one that focuses on the school system, but told as a satirical workplace comedy much like The Office or Parks & Recreation.

I really enjoyed this, I was invested in every character, even the ones I kinda hated. Not much else to say, it was enjoyable and unlike any book I've read before. It was an interesting look into the US school system. Coming from the country mentioned in the book as one with a great school system (Finland, that is) the system and its faults drove me crazy at times. Still, it was a fun read.

bangerlm's review against another edition

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4.0

This was a book club book for me, and it was great for discussion. Unfortunately, it was hard to get because the book switched publishers and is not available in any digital format or for purchase till February 2020, so we had to rely on library hard copies.

The book did have some laugh out loud funny parts, but it was also really disheartening. The beauracratic failures in our school systems, that are by design and advertised as improvements, are harmful to our children and teachers, and are often the result of for-profit lobbying rather than misguided ideas from educators or parents.

kirkylh_16's review against another edition

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3.0

Honestly... struggled A LOT with what to rate this one. I loved the characters and was rooting for them the whole way, which is always important to me in a book. As a teacher, I could relate to many of the feelings of these tired teachers. However, there were MANY problematic things in this book. I don’t think the author had malicious intent when writing, I think she was just trying to bring attention to real issues schools face today, but in some parts the delivery was horrible. CRINGY, even. Glad I finished it, but wouldn’t recommend.

mathstalio's review against another edition

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4.0

I think because I am a teacher I found this book less funny than others seem to have, but I cannot appreciate enough how real it is. For once, teaching is depicted in a pretty accurate way. The teachers are real people and not saviors. And it is funny, because students are funny, and teachers are funny. And I liked that the ending wasn’t wrapped up in a neat bow for everyone because that’s not how schools work.

sweetlybsquared's review against another edition

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4.0

Working in a school, I see some of the teaching guidelines and buzzwords in behind-the-scenes emails. I’m also privy to some of the unexpected student behaviors (good and bad). I’m not a teacher though, and hearing the full brunt of some expectations and experiences in this book may have made me a bit glad of that.

While the teachers in this book mostly chose to work at a school with mostly disadvantaged children to make a difference, the year they get a famous educational consultant as their superintendent is the year their "making a difference" backfires for many of them. There had always been a degree of teaching-to-the-test and working with unmotivated students; now their "Believer Score" is paramount to their career success, because "Believers make Achievers."

All the inspirational stories, crazy acronyms, and metrics for diluting all of the teachers’ work into success scores and measurable results are laughable. My kids came running down the hall to see what I was laughing about when I came across the mention of the "starfish story." I’ve heard the story at multiple motivational seminars and sales trainings, which just goes to show how much their school district is turning into a number-generating, success-driven clearinghouse for their customers, I mean, students.

Overall, this book (the first novel by an author with other non-fiction educational texts) is an amusing satire, with a few too many relatable anecdotes to be funny all the time. I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. I was pulling for most of the teachers (we didn’t know individual students as much), but most of their stereotypes were pretty clear. I’d recommend his book to most who work in the educational field, but remember to go into it as I believe it was intended – a funny satire.

dundermifflin's review against another edition

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2.0

Interesting, funny take on public school, but writing was flat.