Monthly Archives: January 2017

The ‘black hole’ of middle school: Why my daughter needs me now, more than ever

A few years ago, on a return flight from some random conference, I was settling in to read my Time magazine with Sheryl Sandberg, when the passenger next to me begged to read it when I was through.  This beautiful Indian woman and I spoke for three hours, breaking all my inflight rules. I learned her and her husband were… Read more →

To all those ‘My-kid-is-more-than-a-test-score’ parents, time to step up and improve schools

There’s no place like home, right? When Dorothy clicked her heels three times, she was immediately transported to familiar ground—her home in Kansas. For many of us, the same sentiment applies to how we make decisions about our schools. Decision-making at the state and local level—home—is important, and many parents and educators have advocated tirelessly for this. With the passage… Read more →

My letter to Trump about Betsy DeVos: She’s no puppy killer but she needs to go

To President Trump: I was one of the 470,000 women who marched on Washington Saturday, the day after your inauguration, holding a sign that was earnest but not angry, focused on the aspirations I have for my young adult daughters. In a million years I couldn’t have imagined I would ever be writing you a letter (let alone putting the… Read more →

Students should not be tracked into college OR career–they need both

Career and technical education (CTE) is undergoing a change across American schools. No longer does it resemble the vocational training programs of 10 or 15 years ago that, oftentimes, wordlessly tracked students viewed as low academic performers into meager-paying jobs. This change is important for a number of reasons, but perhaps none as essential as delivering on education’s promise to… Read more →

Hold DeVos accountable for her stumbles–because millions of students need her to do her homework

Listening to the hearing for Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s choice for Education Secretary, I thought of the 50 million preK-12 children she will affect in her role, as well as the millions of college students . Then, as we so often do as human beings, I went from the macro to the micro. I thought of loved ones and friends… Read more →

For Military Brats, the Common Core Is a No-Brainer

More than two decades after the fact, my family still refers to fifth grade as my “lost year.” My experience had been so lacking in academic rigor that when I found myself at a new school the following year, my sixth-grade teacher told my parents to give me extra work at home so I could catch up. He told them… Read more →

Algebra mastery shouldn’t be the college degree dealbreaker

Factoring polynomials is sometimes the one obstacle that stands between a community college student and the chance of earning a degree. And it looks like California is trying to do something to change that. It’s no secret that when students get tracked into college remedial courses–typically math, but also English and writing courses–they get discouraged by having to pay for material… Read more →

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