Observations of an American Urban High School
By Robert C. Cox
Curious Proviso is a book about a common American experience of attending high school. As you read the combined vignettes in this book, think of a generalist's and journalistic approach. Digging deeper became the modus operandi for the author. Asking hard questions and describing the good, the bad, and the ugly are necessary in understanding the complex journey and condition of Proviso. Observations made, lead to changing perspectives on public education, public education policy, and lifelong learning. Other reflections in politics, economics, race and gender relations, popular culture, personal identity, and community development also come into play. In totality it's a people story.
Told in a story form, author Robert Cox informs readers about his experiences at Proviso East High School and the over arching negative perception that haunted its reputation. The three-part narrative covers Proviso change over four decades, 1968 to today, and bridging the 20th and 21st centuries. Part One, is part memoir and a part cultural history lesson that includes through interviews, two additional perspectives from a classmate and a teacher who were both there in 1968-1972. Part Two discusses the ramifications of public education under attack, public apathy, hostile media, punitive politics, elections and political machines interference to student focused policies and practices. Cox as a candidate and an elected Board of Education Member describes with candor his 2007-2011 experience with take-aways.
Part Three informs about the present condition of Proviso East including the chronicles of a 21st Century 2008 graduate Proviso student and the school's planned reinvention and transformation from a failed system to a valued progressive education institution. Curious Proviso is the closest thing to a Proviso Primer, the informed general public could then use it to breakdown the barriers, find common ground, get supportive, become an advocate for all students, and then navigate the new Proviso East High School. A sustainable model of hope for other American High Schools to learn from and ask questions about.
Kindle: 110 pages
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Beacon Publishing Group
Category: Nonfiction | Social Studies | Biography