In Conversation: On Adequate Yearly Progress

Adequate Yearly Progress, author and veteran educator Roxanna Elden’s first novel, draws us into life at Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one the biggest cities in Texas. […]


In Conversation: On Adequate Yearly Progress

Authors:Valerie Strauss, Roxanna Elden


Adequate Yearly Progress, author and veteran educator Roxanna Elden’s first novel, draws us into life at Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one the biggest cities in Texas. Hailed by the Washington Post as “a funny but insightful look at teachers in the workplace,” Adequate Yearly Progress is an exuberantly comic takedown of the systemic issues that impact both staff and student body. Speaking with Elden is journalist Valerie Strauss, who covers the education beat for The Washington Post.

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Valerie Strauss

Valerie Strauss is an education writer at The Washington Post, where she has worked for 30 years as an editor on the Foreign Desk and a reporter covering education. Born and raised in Miami, where she attended public schools, Strauss created The Post’s Answer Sheet blog, which focuses broadly on how America educates its children, publishing news stories, analyses, perspectives from outside writers, book excerpts and more. Before working at The Post, Strauss worked at the Reuters news service in Washington D.C., as national security editor and as a reporter covering foreign and military affairs on Capitol Hill. She was assistant foreign editor and a reporter at United Press International in Washington D.C. and Miami, and an editor at the Los Angeles Times. 

Roxanna Elden

Roxanna Elden, a veteran school teacher with a decade of speaking to audiences around the country about education issues, is the author of  See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers. She has been featured on NPR as well as, among others, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic. Adequate Yearly Progress (Atria Books), Roxanna Elden’s first novel, we get a look at life at Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one of the biggest cities in Texas. There’s an English teacher and spoken-word poet who can’t connect with her students. A confident biology teacher, tongue-tied around the woman he most wants to impress. A math teacher who focuses on the numbers as she struggles at parenting and an idealistic second-year history teacher and anonymous blogger. All presided by a new superintendent determined to leave his own mark on the school—even if that means shutting it down. The Washington Post called it a “funny but insightful look at teachers in the workplace…reminiscent of the TV show The Office but set in an urban high school.”

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