Each year brings familiar educational challenges to Brae Hill Valley, a struggling urban high school in Texas. But the teachers inside face plenty of challenges of their own. English teacher Lena Wright, a spoken-word poet with a deep love for her roots, can never seem to satisfy her students that she’s for real. Hernan D. Hernandez is confident in front of his biology classes, yet tongue-tied around the woman he most wants to impress: namely, Lena. Down the hall, math teacher Maybelline Galang focuses on the numbers as she blocks out problems whose solutions aren’t so clear, while Coach Ray hustles his football team toward another winning season, at least on the field. Recording it all is idealistic history teacher Kaytee Mahoney, whose blog gains new readers by the day but drifts ever further from her in-class reality.
Now, a new celebrity superintendent is determined to leave his own mark on the school even if that means shutting the whole place down. The fallout will shake up the teacher’s lives both inside and outside the classroom.
“Roxanna Elden is not only a smart and funny storyteller, but she’s the kind of writer who takes us inside her characters and makes us feel the struggles that animate the teaching mission. . . This is a comic novel, but Elden, like all great writers, uses humor to make us see the humanity of her people. A gem.”
“Adequate Yearly Progress is a brilliant portrayal of our public education institutions and the systemic issues that affect students and teachers alike. Roxanna Elden’s spot-on observations, penetrating humor, and deeply felt characters make for an immersive story that is as fun to read as it is enlightening.”
“. . . compelling characters and irresistible plot threads. . . To read Adequate Yearly Progress is to bathe in a world of humanity that won’t soon be forgotten.”
“Roxanna Elden is one of the most practical, engaging and entertaining writers on education issues around.”