We need school accountability that doesn’t leave our babies behind

Ask any public school parent—including me—about what happens when your child is in the earliest elementary grades, and you may get an earful about what is missing from their classroom experiences. Our current school accountability policies encourage school leaders to invest in grades that are tested, leaving the leftovers for the early, untested grades. In some schools, it’s an open… Read more →


Our schools need social justice warriors, not status-quo embracers

As we dive head first into this school year, I urge teachers, parents and leaders to think deeply about the mission of schooling and the mission of teaching. In today’s racial and political climate, we can no longer afford to be conforming, passive, unimaginative and silent. We need innovative social justice warriors. If teachers and leaders don’t decide to engage… Read more →


Why it’s tough to recruit American Indian teachers for the schools where they’re needed the most

Throughout my 11 years of teaching, and three semesters of teaching future and current teachers at the college level, I can count on one hand the number of American Indian teachers either already in the field or training to be a teacher. As a Chippewa-Cree woman teaching on a reservation in Montana, I find this disparity frustrating and disheartening. Growing… Read more →


Five reasons why we need to embrace new teacher preparation reforms

If we value great schools, we need strong teachers. But far too many teacher preparation programs are not producing them. The bar for entry is way too low. The courses are disconnected from the reality of classrooms. The on-the-job clinical training is too short. Rookies are not ready to teach when they land in the most challenging schools, and they… Read more →


What my little ‘rocket man’ will need to succeed in a STEM career

Tomás and I spent about 15 minutes clicking through various motion graphics that explained what gravitational waves were. It was time to go to school, but Tomás begged for one more video that was lurking in the corner of the screen. Turns out, it was this video on NASA’s recruitment for the next generation of astronauts. Tomás watched, spellbound, his mouth agape… Read more →


Parents, we can handle the truth about Common Core and test scores

I know from experience that parents generally don’t tune into news about state test results until they get that personalized report about their own child’s performance on the state exams. And unfortunately, those reports tend to arrive in the backpack or by snail mail many months after the exam–so it can feel a little beside-the-point when your kid has already… Read more →


How a ‘national contagion of low-level racism’ plays out in our classrooms

Low-level racism is a national contagion, no matter how politely expressed these attitudes and behaviors may be. However, even the mildly afflicted are capable of causing catastrophes when they are police, school teachers, and public officials. Although it is likely true that only a very small faction of Americans are virulent racists, when those in power act on bland impulses… Read more →

%d bloggers like this: