The hunt for a magic bullet to fix American education continues. At one point the big buzzword was Finland (while ignoring all the differences in Finland’s teacher training that, as of now, would never fly in the US). Then it was PreK For All (while ignoring that, as currently implemented in NYC, it’s actually hurting… Continue reading A Parent’s Perspective on the Benefits of Teachers of Color
On Friday I had a fire in my apartment. Everyone is fine, thank God, and I’ve been taking care of the clean-up, paperwork, and phone calls that come along with having a fire in one’s home. I paused from these duties to check my emails and, much to my surprise, I saw the picture above… Continue reading Against All Odds, He Graduated: The Kedrick Screen, Jr. Story
Education activist Derrell Bradford recently argued that yes, we do–but mostly because it broadens the base of clout-heavy supporters and makes it more palatable for self-interested politicians to “do the right thing” on school choice. I would agree, but for a very different reason posited by Mr. Bradford: We need competition to rouse suburban schools… Continue reading A Political Play or Pushback Against Mediocrity? Why We Need Charter Schools in the Suburbs
As I scroll through my social media news feed, I am so excited to see all the graduates. From Pre-K to eighth-grade, from high-school to college and beyond, each graduation is momentous and marks an educational milestone for not only the graduates and their loved ones, but for their teachers as well. Graduation season, for… Continue reading Graduation Season Is Upon Us
I was walking into work today and a colleague of mine began exchanging small talk. She knows that my husband John is incarcerated and was kind enough to ask me how he was doing. I told her that, all things considered, he’s doing really well and that I was excited to see and spend time… Continue reading Why Do Our Schools Look Like Prisons? What Is This Doing To Our Students?
How a teacher who arrived a week before school began started making genuine connections with her kids. The office supply store Staples was my virtual shopping buddy during my first year of teaching. I had arrived in New York City in 2004, a week before the school year began, to teach 8th grade English Language… Continue reading My Students Told Me That My Classroom “Lacked Soul.” Here’s What I Did
New York City’s mayoral primary is on September 12th, six months from now, and it’s looking excessively likely that incumbent Bill de Blasio will win the primary and then win a second term in November. Given the odds, here’s a few suggestions from an admittedly edu-centric bystander on what the Mayor can do to improve… Continue reading A Few Suggestions for Mayor de Blasio’s Second Term Education Agenda
Across schools throughout the City, bulletin boards proudly display colleges and universities that high school seniors will be attending in the fall. It is commonplace for teachers, students, and visitors to view these boards and comment on the fine schools into which students have been accepted. Recently, I was viewing one such board with a… Continue reading Why Do Community Colleges Have Such a Bad Rep?
Elizabeth A. Harris and Ford Fessenden’s May 5th New York Times piece, “The Broken Promises of Choice in New York City Schools,” comes to the conclusion that the inequities in the City’s admissions system can be attributed to choice itself. In reality, however, it’s not having multiple high school choices that leads to over half of… Continue reading Lack of School Choice Isn’t the Problem In NYC: It’s The Lack of Good Choices
Sean Davenport has a provocative piece in Chalkbeat about his journey from disaffected student to teacher at (now closed) Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx. On his first day there in his 10th grade English and Speech class, he told the students to take turns reading aloud from a text. He recounts this exchange… Continue reading “He Couldn’t Read”: A Teacher Confronts Illiteracy