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We can’t reimagine American high schools without rethinking our neglect of American Indian education

Note: This post was adapted from a letter written to Laurene Powell Jobs, the founder of XQ. I was thrilled to read about XQ: The Super School Project–the kind of movement it will create, the opportunities it will provide to students in our high schools, and the impact such schools will have on our future leaders. I am a big fan… Read more →

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Students aren’t really ready, but parents don’t know it

Ninety percent of parents believe their children are performing at “grade level” or higher in their schoolwork, according to a Learning Heroes survey this spring. Yet only about a third of high school graduates are ready for college-level courses, writes Fordham’s Mike Petrilli in Education Next. Ignorance isn’t bliss, he argues. If students and their parents knew they weren’t on track… Read more →

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This is what it looks like when teachers affirm their students’ heritage

It’s a weekday in mid-September, and most of the students on my reservation are out of school for the day. This free time for students is business as usual for teachers and administrators, who honor a gentleman’s agreement to attend the teacher training day provided by the Tribal Education Department of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. These tribes reside… Read more →

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I just couldn’t trust a diverse suburb with my Black daughter’s education

People loosely use the term “good schools and diversity” without looking into it or researching what that means. When you get below the surface, it means achievement for the white kids, but not for everybody else. That’s not good enough for me. Currently, my husband and I live in Broadview, a western suburb of Chicago, with our two daughters. Our… Read more →

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We need the sound of silence in our classrooms

I recently watched—for perhaps the hundredth time—the mother of all classic horror movies, the original 1931 Dracula starring the incomparable Bela Lugosi. The movie is always a pleasure, but something in particular about it struck me this time around. It was the silence. A generation of movie viewers raised on thumping movie scores, frequent explosions, and never-ending car chases would perhaps… Read more →

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We need more high school reinvention—the quiet experiments and big-money bodacious, too

A decade ago, I reported on the first graduation ceremony at Chicago’s Spry Community Links High School, which I described at the time as a “quiet experiment to reinvent the high school experience for some of Chicago’s most vulnerable students.” Spry was, and still is, the only traditional Chicago public school that spans from preschool to high school. The high… Read more →

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High, shared standards: That’s how we keep our students in military families from losing ground

At schools near military bases, experienced teachers will be able to pick out the truly new faces in classrooms and at parent-teacher conferences. These will be children and parents of military families who have transferred into the community at the request of Uncle Sam.  Military families present a special challenge for teachers and the education system in general. As a… Read more →

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