Fallen Warrior

Fallen Warrior by Michael Sharpe

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For 17 years he ran one of the most successful inner-city charter schools in America. His students were African American, disadvantaged, and residing in substandard conditions. Yet, with his help, they defied the educational odds stacked against them. In a state with the nation’s largest achievement gap between white and black students, the Warrior’s students consistently out-performed students in some of Connecticut’s most affluent towns.

Under his leadership, his schools grew by 800 percent, operated with a balanced budget, received excellent audits, and acquired property in some of the most exclusive neighborhoods of the city. His students were being accepted into some of the nation’s top private academies with full scholarships, and his school had an annual waiting list of 450 would-be students.

Organizations and officials across the country sought his advice and leadership. National and local educational leaders took notice of his successful programs, and the stars seemed ready to align to replicate this program on a national level, helping countless urban youths get the education they deserved.

On June 16, 2014, at midnight, he turned off his bedside lamp. On June 17, this warrior of 17 years resigned from his job under duress, facing allegations of scandal. Over the next month, sensationalist headlines and panicked school leaders undid his years of success. The FBI raided his offices, and rumors circulated like wildfire. By July 1, there was nothing recognizable left of one of the most successful academic programs in the country.

The FBI investigation did not turn up any wrongdoing at the school. The question still asked by many is “What did he do?” The answer has never moved past “He lied about a credential.”

Fallen Warrior tells the story of a man who, for 17 years, gave his heart and soul to the charter school movement. A bittersweet memoir, this book is adult reading material that will appeal to educators, advocates of inner-city education, the charter school movement, and anyone interested in fascinating real-life stories.

For adult readers interested in education and memoir stories.

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Hardcover, Paperback

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