Benjamin Marcovitz




Benjamin Marcovitz is the founder of Sci Academy and the CEO of Collegiate Academies. Since its opening, Sci Academy has been one of the top-performing schools in New Orleans, prompting the creation of the Collegiate Academies network to replicate the model. Marcovitz grew up in Washington, D.C., and has taught there as well as in New Orleans and Boston. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


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Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America's Children

Geraldlynn is a lively, astute 14 year old. Her family, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, returns home to find a radically altered public education system. Geraldlynn’s parents hope their daughter’s new school will prepare her for college—but the teenager has ideals and ambitions of her own.

Aidan is a fresh-faced Harvard grad drawn to New Orleans by the possibility of bringing change to a flood-ravaged city. He teaches at an ambitious charter school with a group of newcomers determined to show the world they can use science, data and hard work to build a model school.

Mary Laurie is a veteran educator who becomes principal of one of the first public high schools to reopen after Katrina. Laurie and her staff find they must fight each day not only to educate the city's teenagers, but to keep the Walker community safe and whole.

In this powerful narrative nonfiction debut, the lives of these three characters provide readers with a vivid and sobering portrait of education in 21st century America. Hope Against Hope works in the same tradition as Random Family and There Are No Children Here to capture the challenges of growing up and learning in a troubled world.


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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