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378: The Kid Across the Hall with Reid Saaris

Reid’s story begins at his own high school, where his life began to diverge from that of his best friend Jamie as soon as he enrolled in advanced classes across the hall. After graduation, the gap widened as Reid pursued an elite degree studying educational opportunity in America. 

In an attempt to close the opportunity gap between students like him and Jamie, Reid took a job as a teacher at Battery Creek High, a severely under-resourced school in South Carolina where students were flunking out of their classes not because they were incapable, but because the coursework was too easy. 

Reid and a team of teachers and students rallied to increase enrollment in the advanced track for those who didn’t fit the honor student mold. In one year, the program doubled to become the largest provider in the state, and performance on the college-level tests increased by 20%.

Wanting to effect change on a larger scale, Reid founded Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) to find and help students all over the country who have been overlooked, discouraged, or are otherwise missing from higher-level learning opportunities.

Backed by new research and original survey data of millions of teachers and students across the country, his forthcoming book THE KID ACROSS THE HALL: The Fight for Opportunity in Our Schools (Redwood Press/Stanford University Press; September 5) vividly chronicles Reid’s triumphs, setbacks, and insights as he learned firsthand that the hard task of educational reform will take much more than the Hollywood myth of the well-intentioned teacher who saves the day.


THE KID ACROSS THE HALL: The Fight for Opportunity in Our Schools

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