"Examines major myths informing American education and explores how educators can better serve students, increase college retention rates, and develop alternatives to college that don't disadvantage students on the basis of race or income As the founder and co-headmaster of the Boston Arts Academy (BAA), an urban high school that boasts a 94 percent college acceptance rate, Linda Nathan could have rested on her laurels. But after ushering in fourteen years of graduating classes, Nathan took stock of the graduates: of those who went to college, 63 percent graduated and 37 percent dropped out. Although these stats are good, given that the national drop-out and transfer rate from college after the first year is 40 percent, Nathan feels like she failed the students who didn't graduate. This led her to reflect on the assumptions she herself has perpetuated about education: that college is for all, that hard work and determination are enough to get you through, that America is a land of equality. Seeing a rift between these false promises and the lived experiences of her students, Nathan argues that it is time for educators to face these uncomfortable issues head-on and ask the tough questions: How can colleges better acknowledge and address institutional racism and increase retention rates? And for those who sought a career without college, how could high school have paved an alternate path to success? Nathan includes the voices of BAA alumni/ae whose lived experiences provide a window through which to view urban education today and help imagine greater purposes for schooling."-- Provided by publisher.