The First-Year Urban High School Teacher: Holding the Torch, Lighting the Fire tracks co-author Paul Weinberg during his first year of teaching as he is introduced to the daily tribulations of an urban Los Angeles high school. Paul's father, Carl Weinberg, who fifty years earlier himself began his career in education as an urban secondary school teacher, shares his experiences side-by-side with those of his son. Together they reveal parallels between Carl's former problems in the urban classroom and the problems his son faces. Though some things have changed, there have not been nearly as many changes as one would have hoped. Interwoven with the father-son anecdotes of personal experience in teaching is a careful scholarly examination of the areas of social and cultural disorganization that the new teacher confronts with students, teachers, administrators, policy makers, and parents as he or she navigates through the behemoth of urban schooling.