Most of the eighth-grade students in Jeff Walton’s band class at Uncommon Schools Ocean Hill Collegiate hadn’t picked up an instrument before seventh grade. But you’d never know it from the sounds emanating from Walton’s band room one morning as students were rehearsing for their Spring Concert, a program of songs from New Orleans. Standing… Continue reading “I Am Always Amazed How Fast They Can Learn”: Uncommon Schools’ Music Immersion Program
When I work with families looking to find the best school for their child, one of the first things I offer them is, “tell me what you believe, and I’ll send you a study that confirms it.” I’m not joking. The education space is full of experts and studies, all proclaiming to know what’s best… Continue reading Relax, The Experts Know What’s Best For Your Child. They Just Don’t Agree On What It Is. Or How To Get It.
This week I interviewed Dr. Abena Ampofoa Asare, Assistant Professor of Modern African Affairs at Stony Brook University. Her research and writing spans questions of human rights, citizenship and transformative justice in Africa and the African diaspora. Her work can be found in The Radical Teacher, The International Journal of Crime, Justice and Social Democracy,… Continue reading Our Passion for Equitable Education Should Match The Passion We Feel For a Starving Child, says SUNY Professor
Shirley Jackson’s 1948 short story, The Lottery, is considered a classic of slow-building horror. A small town holds a lottery every year to decide which citizen will be ritually stoned in order to insure a good harvest. Everyone goes uncomplainingly along in the name of tradition, and, despite a few scattered grumbles, nobody outright says… Continue reading The Lottery: A NYC Schools Horror Story (With Apologies to Shirley Jackson)
Being vulnerable: It’s not something we think about when we prepare to teach our students. There are even some schools of thought that suggest being a stone wall in front of our students and not, under any circumstances, letting them know that we, as their teachers, are tired, stressed, sad, or experiencing any other negative… Continue reading The Power of Vulnerability in the Classroom
I have a confession to make. I spend a lot of time on Twitter (@NYSchoolSecrets.com). As a result, I am often caught in multi-day, multi-participant conversations between various people, most of whom I only know as tiny avatar pictures. (Mine features my kids.) Here’s what I have learned from spending a lot of time on… Continue reading Doing the Math = School Choice
I’m detecting a trend. Recently, The Atlantic ran a piece that catalogues the Trump administration’s disregard of civil rights protections for Americans (and aspiring Americans) during the tenure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Across every issue, from criminal-justice reform to voting rights to LGBTQ rights,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil… Continue reading DeVos Is Stripping Away Civil Rights Protections for Students With Special Needs
No one seemed more surprised at the obliteration of ten-term, fourth-ranking U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley than victor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-identified Democratic Socialist. Last week, in a gobsmacking upset, she won the primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Politico described her today as “not just a full-blown political sensation but an international news phenomenon.”… Continue reading What Are Ocasio-Cortez’s Views on Public School Choice?
On June 19th, author Nora Raleigh-Baskin paid a visit to my students and me at our school to discuss her life and her book, Ruby on the Outside. If you read my blog posts regularly, you know that I am very transparent with my students and many of them know that my husband is incarcerated. Through… Continue reading The Power of School Author Visits for Our Students
In response to my post, What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New SHSAT Plan (Part #2): Who Will Win and Who Will Lose When It Passes, a reader commented: (W)ould be useful to also point out the specific types of students who would win under the new plan. Because, no way around it, some… Continue reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New SHSAT Plan (Part #4): Desperately Seeking a Silver Lining