Accountability · Blog

Can Parents Really “Change” a School? Should They?

In response to my November 6 post, a reader wrote: If we want to see all schools get better, why keep steering people to “The Best” ones, thereby depriving them, and their locally zoned schools, the opportunity to truly flourish? Case in point, PS 191. With the amount of investment that will go into that… Continue reading Can Parents Really “Change” a School? Should They?

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Black Boys and Academic Excellence: An Unlikely Match In The Minds of Too Many Teachers

He didn’t want to participate in the spelling bee to begin with. The shock everyone blatantly displayed about the fact that he was a runner-up in his class spelling bee had rubbed him the wrong way and added to an already unfortunate situation. He wasn’t accustomed to the academic spotlight. He’d never been acknowledged for… Continue reading Black Boys and Academic Excellence: An Unlikely Match In The Minds of Too Many Teachers

Accountability · Blog

Ed Trust and Educators for Excellence File For Info on Where NYC DOE Placed Teachers from the Rubber Room

Educators for Excellence-New York and The Education Trust–New York today filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the New York City Department of Education seeking the public release of data on placement of teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve . (For New York School Talk coverage of ATR, go here.) The full FOIL… Continue reading Ed Trust and Educators for Excellence File For Info on Where NYC DOE Placed Teachers from the Rubber Room

Blog · School Choice

Middle School Mayhem: Prospective Admissions Changes… And Their Consequences

When parents ask me why I’ve written a book called “Getting Into NYC Kindergarten,” and one called “Getting Into NYC High School,” but NOT one called “Getting Into NYC Middle School,” I explain it’s because the NYC middle school process is so convoluted and varies so much from district to district, I couldn’t write one… Continue reading Middle School Mayhem: Prospective Admissions Changes… And Their Consequences

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Teachers As Social Activists: Building a Better Existence — Beyond The Classroom

Recently, the state of Missouri showed me a lot of love by publishing an article I wrote about my personal and professional experiences with the school-to-prison-pipeline in the historically African-American-based paper, the St. Louis American. My interaction with Missouri was minimal prior to that, but in the last few weeks the Show-Me-State has increasingly appeared… Continue reading Teachers As Social Activists: Building a Better Existence — Beyond The Classroom

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Before You Shoot the Messenger, Imagine Being a Parent of a Child at This School

(This is a guest post from my pal and colleague Erika Sanzi. It was originally posted on Erika’s blog, Good School Hunting.) I write from a place of privilege today.  I have never once worried about the safety of my three children at school. The victim of the fatal school stabbing was named Matthew. I have… Continue reading Before You Shoot the Messenger, Imagine Being a Parent of a Child at This School

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The Glass Ceiling I See Exists For Most White Teachers

Some of my students call me “Auntie Dukes” of “Ma Dukes”. It’s a term of endearment and I must admit, I love when they call me by either nickname. It’s usually in the halls or outside after-school when I hear a student refer to me as such and it’s in those moments that I know… Continue reading The Glass Ceiling I See Exists For Most White Teachers

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What’s On Your Book Shelf?: The Importance of Diversity in Classroom Libraries

I was allotted some funds for the purpose of further developing my classroom library. Books are my happy place so I was overjoyed! I set out on the task with the express purpose of not only getting books that met the varying reading levels of my students, but also books that represented the cultures of… Continue reading What’s On Your Book Shelf?: The Importance of Diversity in Classroom Libraries

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Black Teachers Are A Must In The Classroom – Especially Those Classrooms Filled With Black Students.

Most of my blogs focus on the experiences of Black students and teachers. I’m a Black woman. I️ write about what I️ know. Recently I️ wrote about the differences in expectations that White and Black teachers tend to have for their students. Almost immediately after posting that particular blog, the “What about White Teachers?” and… Continue reading Black Teachers Are A Must In The Classroom – Especially Those Classrooms Filled With Black Students.

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White Teachers Are Often Too Shocked At Black Students’ Academic Successes

It’s one thing to theoretically write about how academic expectations for Black and Brown children are noticeably lower than they are for their White counterparts, but to witness it in real life is heartbreaking. My heart broke today. As an English teacher, it’s one of my favorite times of year: National Spelling Bee time! Even… Continue reading White Teachers Are Often Too Shocked At Black Students’ Academic Successes