Life as a first-gen college student: ‘The challenges never stopped coming’

I was reared and schooled in Detroit, where poverty and oppression eloquently danced while violence and crime serenaded the communities. The crime and oppression in my neighborhood drove me to submit a college application that would change my life’s trajectory. I wasn’t going to college to become an adult; I already faced mature challenges and struggles long before I filled… Read more →

Four Things Parents Should Expect From Their Kids’ School

Our most recent publication, Walking Together, explores what’s possible when schools, families, and communities become true partners. Here we’re featuring A Parent’s Bill of Rights, outlining what parents are entitled to expect from schools and districts, as well as a downloadable list of questions to ask of your child’s educators.  As parents, we want what’s best for our children, both inside and outside of school. We… Read more →

Student-led conferences: Is this a fad that will fade, or the next great ed trend?

I have a friend who was looking forward to her first and only parent-teacher conference of the school year. She had some concerns about her son’s academic focus and wanted to talk honestly with her son’s teacher about strategies. But it was not to be. Instead it was a parent PLUS student teacher conference. And while she appreciated watching her… Read more →

How this mom learned how to embrace the next big thing: Personalized learning

A couple of days ago I had conversation with three students that went something like this: Me: How do you like your new class? Student 1: I don’t think the teacher likes me. Student 2: Yeah, he’s figured out how to skip the teaching part. All he does is direct us to a website where we work individually until class… Read more →

A tribute to my HS principal, who saw my potential before I could see it in myself

There is a truism about choosing one of two roads in life, but I don’t think this is true. I believe there are many roads we can take, and there are often people on the path who point us in one direction or another. My path to education was one that was not planned, but the experience has been life… Read more →

A principal who ‘wanted to be where the students were’

For #NationalPrincipalsMonth, this former suburban principal offers this tribute to her role model , a former Chicago principal who is now an administrator at a small-town district in Wisconsin.  It’s 7:15 a.m. and it’s raining. The weather doesn’t matter however, because he is standing outside every day…rain, sleet, or snow, like the postman…greeting students as they walked in the building.… Read more →

‘I don’t want to be the white kid who got away’ with a racist act

This is a letter written by a 17-year-old Oak Park student who set off a racial uproar after posting a selfie of himself in blackface. You can read details of the Incident in my earlier post here. I am reprinting it here in its entirety, with no edits. The student is underage, so his name is not being published. Hello,… Read more →

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