Chapter 1Preparing to Meet the Future
East Austin, Texas. Zavala Elementary School is a two-story yellow-brick structure built in 1936 and now connected by walkways to 18 portable classrooms. The school sits on tree-lined Robert Martinez Jr. Street between Santa Rita Courts and Chalmers Courts, two Hispanic public housing projects.
T. A. Vasquez lives around the corner from Zavala Elementary. All four of her children went to school there. Her third child, Cynthia, had a solid B average in first-grade math, and T. A. assumed Cynthia was doing well. Nobody at Zavala Elementary told T. A. that Cynthia and most of her...