ANOTHER PLANET: A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
Another Planet: A Year in the Life of a Suburban High School
In a journalistic coup given today’s jittery education system, Burkett was granted full access to a year at Prior Lake, a Minnesota high school with demographics disturbingly similar to Columbine’s. Much of the book bears witness to oft-told adventures: drugs, sex, skipped classes. But Burkett also offers a needed window into the faculty lounge, where loaded issues — standards, curriculum, violence — pit teachers against one another. Heartbreakers litter the pages, like the English department that depends on the movie version of The Scarlet Letter, and the senior who graduates having read just one book, Dennis Rodman’s Bad as I Wanna Be. It’s a somber statement about America’s schools, but a much more reliable one than those gleaned from tabloid headlines.