Erika Sanzi

Erika Sanzi

Erika Sanzi spent a decade as a teacher and school dean before becoming a full-time education advocate. Her love for writing coupled with her willingness to take on people in power has led her to spend much of her time responding to status-quo protectors inclined to put adult interests ahead of kids. She is particularly focused on inequities in the system, persistent but surmountable achievement gaps, and what she sees as a culture of low expectations that disproportionately impacts low-income students of color. She is the mom of three young sons and you can often find her on the sidelines of their countless sports practices and games. She is committed to the belief that zip code isn’t destiny, that parents deserve choices when it comes to educating their children, and that too many “good” schools are falling down on the job in too many ways. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she now calls Rhode Island home with her boys, her husband, and her big fluffy dog, Griffey. She writes about her corner of New England at Good School Hunting.

Two sons, two grades apart, reading the same book: Should I be worried?

My fourth grader and sixth grader are reading the same book in school right now.  That’s right. The book is The Lightning Thief.  And what’s more,  my sixth grader already read (and loved!) this very same book when he was in fourth grade at his prior school. Both schools, one charter and one traditional district school, are similar in that… Read more →

Rhode Island: An island of mediocrity surrounded by strong student achievement

Rhode Island has never found national rankings to be its friend whether about education, family prosperity, or drug use and sadly, too many of our lawmakers and leaders prefer to criticize the lists or argue about the risk of making comparisons rather than stare our deficiencies in the face and strive to get better. Luckily, our Governor Gina Raimondo does pay attention… Read more →

Stop failing the kids helping you most with their rosy test scores

It’s no secret that principals are pretty stoked when students who transfer into their schools have a history of high scores on required annual tests. School leaders feel great pressure to perform in the public eye and having a few more kids to bump those numbers up is certainly a welcome surprise. It’s usually light hearted and all in good… Read more →

Rhode Island runs from the truth and eliminates high school testing

When ESSA, The Every Student Succeeds Act, passed and the president signed it, we knew it would happen: States would take the flexibility now afforded to them under federal statute to backslide on accountability. But—maybe naively—I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly, before the rule-making around ESSA’s accountability provisions have even been finalized. We’re seeing it across the country,… Read more →

First World Problems at Field Day: Protecting our students from popcorn and popsicles

Sometimes it feels as though schools have lost their proverbial minds and all it takes is a strict (or insane) adherence to a “health and wellness policy” to make the case that indeed they have. But first, let’s get one thing out of the way. We all can agree that health and wellness are both noble goals. Everyone wants to… Read more →

Why do suburban Mass teachers want to block school choice for the state’s poorest children?

It is hard to look at photos splashed all over social media with mostly white teachers who work in the suburbs, smiling, while they protest what would ensure that more disadvantaged children get the education that they deserve—the education that these teachers would most assuredly demand for their own children.   “But giving parents in underperforming districts more opportunity to… Read more →

Massachusetts: An education fairy tale tempered by hard truths

We all hold up Massachusetts as the gold standard in K-12 education and in many ways, it is. (I even wrote a blog entitled, “Be Like Mass.”) The state where public education got its start tops the rankings year after year and was a pioneer in reform long before most other states shook off the cobwebs and started making needed changes to… Read more →

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