Nov 10 • 31M

#369: An interview with Eli Saslow, author of “An American Education”

Educators and parents, come join our conversation on Sunday, November 20

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Mark Isero
Why are there so many book clubs and so few article clubs? Let’s change that! Join The Highlighter Article Club, where we read, annotate, and discuss one outstanding article every month on race, education, or culture.
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Happy Thursday, loyal readers. This month at Article Club, we’ve been focusing on “An American Education,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eli Saslow.

If you haven’t read the article yet, I highly encourage you to do so. It’s outstanding. It’s about how the superintendent of a school district in Bullhead City, Arizona, tries to deal with its severe teacher shortage by attracting top-notch educators from the Philippines. It’s also about one of those top-notch educators – Rose Jean Obreque – whose skills and optimism and high expectations and growth mindset unfortunately are no match for American middle school students and their shenanigans.

It’s a depressing story, no doubt, but it nonetheless tells the truth of what teachers and students are currently experiencing in schools across the country. I hope you’ll join us to discuss the article on November 20, 2:00 - 3:30 pm PT on Zoom.

Sign up for the discussion!

I’m also very happy to share that I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Saslow yesterday about his brilliant article. We talked about a number of topics, including:

  • how writing the piece reaffirmed his deep respect and appreciation for teachers

  • how it felt to be in a chaotic classroom, especially as a parent

  • how of course it’s hard to recruit teachers when you’re paying them $38,000

  • how he approaches writing about what it’s like for people who are “in the swirl of our country’s biggest problems”

  • and yes, spoiler alert, that ending (wow)

I hope you take a listen and let me know what you think.


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