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Putting Education to Work: How Cristo Rey High Schools Are Transforming Urban Education by Megan Sweas

It feels appropriate to have read this as my service year is winding down.

An open book.
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

New York: HarperOne, 2014.

Before I started my year of service at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore, I read More Than a Dream: The Cristo Rey Story by G. R. Kearney, which tells the story of the first Cristo Rey school in Chicago. I found the book to be detailed, interesting narrative nonfiction, and I appreciated the fodder for reflection on my upcoming year.

Putting Education to Work feels like a sequel to More Than a Dream, so it feels appropriate to have read it as the service year is winding down. Where More Than a Dream tells the story of the original Cristo Rey high school, Putting Education to Work is concerned with the Cristo Rey Network of schools and its national impact. Putting Education to Work reads less like narrative nonfiction and more like a policy paper, which makes the book somewhat dull. However, since it’s a short book (six chapters; less than 250 pages), I finished it before it really began to feel tiresome.

For a brief, readable, academic introduction to Cristo Rey schools, Putting Education to Work fits the bill. However, I would recommend the average reader first read More Than a Dream and then pick up Putting Education to Work as a detailed afterword.