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Thirteen Reasons Why

At the bidding of my 17 year-old daughter. I’m watching the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”  WOW!! What an amazing series! It’s based on the Young Adult novel of the same name by author Jay Asher about a girl named Hannah Baker who commits suicide and leaves thirteen cassette tapes explaining why she did so.… Continue reading Thirteen Reasons Why

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Black Teachers “Get” Black Students

Black teachers “get” Black students. We “get” students, in general. We “get” a lot of things because of our nuanced and varied experiences being Black in America. Having a Black teacher is especially beneficial to students of color because that deeper level of understanding that we have affords our Black students a greater opportunity to… Continue reading Black Teachers “Get” Black Students

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Spring Break, Teacher Wellness, and Self-Care

Spring Break is here!!! Finally! It’s a long-awaited and much-needed reprieve from  standardized testing, parent-teacher conferences, student drama, after-school programs, professional development sessions, and overall  hectic schedules that are just part of this teacher life that we love — and hate — at the same time! We teachers give so much of ourselves to so… Continue reading Spring Break, Teacher Wellness, and Self-Care

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The School-To-Prison-Pipeline Prevention Begins At Home

I posted a blog last week on my personal website about the school-to-prison-pipeline (STPP) from the perspective of one who is presently incarcerated. As I shared the blog with others dedicated to prison activism, prisoner advocacy, and reform of a broken system that perpetuates the mass incarceration of Black and Brown people, I received a… Continue reading The School-To-Prison-Pipeline Prevention Begins At Home

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Students: You Take the Test; Don’t Let the Test Take You!

Today is day two of  of the three-day New York State English Language Arts Exam and in my ten-plus years of proctoring and scoring these exams, it never ceases to amaze me when, just a few minutes into the tests, students’ eyes start to glaze over and their bladders and throats go into overdrive, causing… Continue reading Students: You Take the Test; Don’t Let the Test Take You!

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Schools Look More Like Correctional Facilities Than Learning Institutions

I’ve noticed that the insides of the schools many of our kids attend look like the inside of  prisons. It was a startling observation. I was walking in the stairwell of a school recently and there was an uncanny resemblance to the prison where I visit my husband on a weekly basis. It was not… Continue reading Schools Look More Like Correctional Facilities Than Learning Institutions

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The Sad State of Our Schools

A teacher’s expectations and the standards to which he or she holds students accountable may very well be the largest factor in academic success, or lack thereof. I write these words to you with such a frustrated spirit and a heavy heart because the crass reality is that some students, particularly poor Black and Brown… Continue reading The Sad State of Our Schools

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It’s Past Time That We Hold District and School Leaders Accountable for Student Success

With the ongoing conversation about students’ academic success and the continued push to hold teachers almost single-handedly accountable for their students’ academic achievements, I have heard little in the way of the personal responsibility of school and district leaders. But nothing could be more important because the tone and vision of our school leaders dictates… Continue reading It’s Past Time That We Hold District and School Leaders Accountable for Student Success

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Ed Trust Needs To Take Several Seats in the Back of My Classroom!

In response to New York State’s decision to eliminate the Academic Skills Literacy Test for teacher certification,  Education Trust Executive Director Ian Rosenblum stated on Tuesday, “it is deeply disappointing that the Regents and State Education Department are lowering the bar for teacher literacy skills…We should be focusing on ensuring that prospective teachers receive the support… Continue reading Ed Trust Needs To Take Several Seats in the Back of My Classroom!