Last week, New York City schools received two pieces of contradictory news, which made for an interesting contrast in how teachers are viewed. In the first, the Department of Education will now require principals to staff vacancies with teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve, also known as “the rubber room,” where pedagogues who have been… Continue reading Do Kids Care If Their Teachers Are Certified? Should Parents?
New York City public high school students recently dodged a policy bullet that just struck Chicago’s public schools. According to the Washington Post, To graduate from a public high school in Chicago, students will soon have to meet a new and unusual requirement: They must show that they’ve secured a job or received a letter of… Continue reading Changes in Chicago’s Educational Policy Set Off Alarms For This New York City Public School Teacher!
I’ve been blogging now for about 10 months and during that time, I’ve had the opportunity to converse with several people via their written comments about whatever it is I wrote that week. Often the comments are supportive and aligned with my position. There are times, however, when readers of my posts are adamantly opposed… Continue reading Being The Change I Wish To See In Education
How do I begin my quest to express just how amazing Lakisha Odlum truly is? Without a doubt, she is the most dedicated, knowledgeable, highly motivated and highly effective English teacher I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. For four consecutive years I had the privilege of working alongside Lakisha Odlum as a member… Continue reading Shout Out to Pedagogical Powerhouse Lakisha Odlum!
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
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
I have written before about two major problems NYC parents pinpoint regarding public schools: The majority of children who qualify for gifted programs don’t get a seat due to a lack of space NYC’s birthday cut-off, December 31, means a quarter of children are forced to start Kindergarten before they turn 5 These two problems… Continue reading Grouping Kids By Ability – Not Age – Would Solve Two Major NYC School Problems
Applications for Round 1 of New York City’s Universal Pre-K (UPK) program are due on Friday, February 24, 2017. That’s President’s Day Week, by the way, which means that schools will be closed during the final five days parents are technically allowed to be touring and and making their ranking decisions. Colorful posters are hanging… Continue reading Bill de Blasio’s Universal Pre-K Program: Neither Free, Nor Full-Day, Nor High-Quality
I worked with one of the top scoring charter schools in New York City. It was also one of the worst schools in the City. This school is a cautionary tale for the unceasing push towards simplistic accountability formulas and how schools can manipulate the numbers while not really delivering the goods. The school had… Continue reading The Second Best Charter School in NYC and the Perils of “Accountability”