Kiara Damon first started thinking about college when she entered fifth grade at Williamsburg Collegiate Middle School, a Brooklyn charter school run by the Uncommon Schools network. “It was always college, college, college,” Kiara said. “We were always the class of 2021, not the class of 2017.” Kira was one of 87 graduating seniors from… Continue reading From Dream to Reality: The Entire Class at this Brooklyn Charter School Is Going to College!
A consortium of 100 private schools, including New York City elites Dalton and Spence, have banded together to create a new kind of transcript for applying to college. Their proposed format would eschew grades and standardized test scores in favor of “different levels of mastery. Instead of a grade in algebra or geometry, the mastery… Continue reading Would a No-Grades Transcript Hurt or Help NYC College-Bound Students?
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?
My students and I just finished up our unit on project-based learning and I’m one happy teacher! Students who had previously “just gotten by” in terms of the quality of work they created were more invested in their projects. When I asked them why, they agreed that getting to choose the topic and the driving… Continue reading My Students Experience Project-Based Learning
This is a guest post by Felecia Brown Butler. Felecia was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She is a dedicated mother of three beautiful sons and a fierce advocate for her community and great schools for all children. When my son was in Kindergarten, he didn’t seem to be learning like the other children.… Continue reading Dear NAACP: This Charter School Embraced My Son After a Traditional School Tried To Push Him Out
Last week I wrote that a major reason why there is a lack of Black and Brown male teachers in the classroom is because Black and Brown men have a higher rate of felony convictions. This precludes them from garnering the certifications required to become teachers in New York State and/or New York City. While… Continue reading The-School-To-Prison-Back-To-School-Pipeline
For months you’ve read about my husband John’s former experiences with the public school systems in New York City and on Long Island during elementary, junior, and high school, as well as his current experiences being educated in a maximum security prison in New York State. Quite the dichotomy, some might say. Others, like myself,… Continue reading If at First You Don’t Succeed: A Man Rescues Himself From the School-To-Prison Pipeline
Writing is helping me make deeper connections among various topics. Follow me right now, if you will. I’m beginning to see how the school-to-prison pipeline continues to flourish because of a lack of culturally relevant pedagogy. Culturally-relevant pedagogy is lacking because of a void of Black teachers, especially Black, male teachers. One reason there… Continue reading Educational Bias and Bigotry Are Flourishing Under the Leadership of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Restorative justice. Restorative circles. Equity in education. College and career ready. These are all buzz phrases about initiatives high on education’s lexicon list. They sound good but, without any action taken towards their actual fruition, they are words that mean absolutely nothing. Just saying them or writing them surely isn’t doing much to change the… Continue reading Our Schools Need Support Staff, Not Police!