Tracy Dell'Angela

Tracy Dell'Angela

Tracy loves to ask questions and write stories. She roots for the underdog, wants our nation to reimagine schools and the teaching profession, and seethes about how much school inequity she sees. She spent most of her career as a journalist covering schools and crime. She and her husband raised two daughters in a diverse suburb of Chicago. She currently runs an education foundation in her community and formerly served as managing editor of Education Post. After leaving journalism she explored her wonkier side communicating school research at the University of Chicago and the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. She is Californian by birth and a Chicagoan in spirit. She loves the outdoors and all animals, especially her spoiled “dingo” dog.

Is the ‘master teacher’ credential headed for extinction?

Teaching is a profession that gets a lot of lip-service respect, but is generally dismissed as a career for academic lightweights–mediocre students who get easy As in lackluster education colleges and then struggle to pass basic skills tests. That’s why a credential that rewards excellence and intellectual rigor is an important recognition for accomplished teachers who deserve to be respected… Read more →

Add new college grads to the list of groups getting screwed by the GOP tax plan

We’ve been telling students for years that a college education is the best path to the American Dream, but that path may soon get even rockier if Republicans controlling the U.S. House, Senate and Oval Office secure passage of a devastating tax bill that will not only saddle them with extraordinary national debt for the coming generation but also make… Read more →

How do we find middle ground on the school discipline debate? Ask the students

“Are you fighting, or are you playing?” “Are you fighting, or are you playing?” “Are you fighting, or are you playing?” I had to ask the 7th grader this question three times before he stopped pushing his classmate, looked at me, and answered me with a smirk: “I’m playing.” Whatever was happening, or about to happen, was over, and the… Read more →

Stop giving out easy As, Fordham, and start holding states accountable for ESSA

I found Illinois’ accountability plan woefully inadequate and full of holes–especially when it comes to protecting vulnerable groups of students–so imagine my surprise when my state was awarded a “perfect score” by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Fordham analyzed the plans submitted by all fifty states and the District of Columbia under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). and scored them… Read more →

A 7th grade ‘discipline problem’ becomes a winner when 3 black men become his teacher

Chris is a young man who struggles mightily with his academic work and has a reputation among teachers and students as a “discipline problem.” Needless to say, his suburban middle school is not his happy place. But Chris was relaxed and confident standing in front of his 7th grade English class, performing a spoken word piece he had written about… 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 →

‘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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