In a Los Angeles neighborhood plagued by guns, gangs, and drugs, there is a classroom known as Room 56. The fifth graders inside are first-generation immigrants who live in poverty and speak English as a second language. They also play Vivaldi, perform Shakespeare, score in the top 1% on standardized tests, and go on to attend Ivy League universities. Rafe Esquith is the teacher responsible for these accomplishments. Here, he reveals his techniques. The classroom's mottoes are "Be nice, work hard," and "There are no shortcuts." His students voluntarily come to school at 6:30 in the morning and work until 5:00 in the afternoon. They pair Hamlet with rock and roll, learn to handle money responsibly, tackle algebra, and travel the country to study history. This is an inspiring road map for parents, teachers, and anyone who cares about the future success of our nation's children.—From publisher description.