The book contains these powerful photos and many more. It is, however, more than pictures. There is an accompanying narrative that runs throughout its 38 pages, telling of the many problems and obstacles to success that the visiting task force found. The amount of decay, deterioration and disrepair found became so repetitive it "dull[ed] the senses." Some hazards were simply a nuisance, such as schools that lack music rooms or have leaky roofs. Other hazards wwere more dangerous, especially to young children. One school's play area ended at a precipitous cliff only 20 meters from the school building. Repeated requests for a fence have gone unheeded. One school had 600 students taught by 20 teachers but only 12 classrooms, allowing only three hours of classes a day.
The problem, however, runs deeper than physical decay. The task force discovered many examples of neglect and corruption in the administration of Puerto Rico's schools. One high school principal speaks of being refused repairs and replacements for educational materials due to her connections to the political party in opposition. Other teachers said political favoritism affected who gets promoted, or that teachers were asked to teach subjects outside of their experience. Rural schools received the least support.
The book offers more pictures and deeper and more disturbing details of the situation faced by teachers and schools. If you'd like to read more about it, come into Special Collections on the 7th floor of Gelman Library. You can read book in the Reading Room.