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.

California wants to fix its college remediation epidemic: Time to consider high schools as Ground Zero

It’s heartening to learn that hundreds of thousands of college students in California might be offered a welcome detour from the dead-end route of remedial courses, which serves only to waste tuition money and discourage them from persevering in classes. A piece of legislation cleared an important hurdle in the California legislature this week. It would require all two-year colleges… Read more →

PTA donations worsen school funding inequity–it’s time to redistribute the wealth

I’ve been thinking  a lot about a recent New York Times story, which detailed the parental donation divide in a suburban Los Angeles school district. The district includes two communities with very different fortunes–Malibu (overwhelmingly affluent) and Santa Monica (more mixed income, with nearly a third of students qualifying as low-income). Turns out Malibu was taking in a lot more money than… Read more →

A “new” accountability plan for Illinois high schools–with the same old status quo

Last week, I wrote broadly about Illinois’ new accountability plan, where the goals promised “a focus on equity and excellence for all students” but where the details appear to fall far, far short of that. Understanding this plan is not yet cast in stone, let’s look at one area where Illinois seeks to break new ground but only clears a… Read more →

Illinois’ school accountability plan fails on pillar promises of equity and transparency

Illinois released the latest draft of its public school accountability plan last week­– 164 pages of policy that is supposed to reassure the public and parents that our state will “ensure a focus on equity and excellence for all students.” I’m not reassured. Yes, there are things to like in this plan. It rightly shifts the accountability focus on student… Read more →

Time to focus on principals, the linchpin of school improvement

Back in the day, when I was an education reporter and trying to figure out where to find the school stories that would illuminate something revealing or surprising, I was given a great piece of advice by a veteran principal: “Study their budgets and look at how they spending their discretionary dollars. It will tell you a lot about what… Read more →

Time for suburban schools to shift to a new definition of ‘demanding families’

There’s a myth that persists in education for both parents and teachers: That heading to suburban schools somehow insulates you from hardship, instability and academic failure. So, not only are suburban schools now dealing with higher rates of poverty, cultural barriers and family disconnection, their staffs and school communities are not well equipped to handle this shift. According to a recent… Read more →

Analyzing high school performance state by state? Like comparing bananas to bowling balls

I know we’re all supposed to be on the “local control” bandwagon when it comes to setting school accountability standards, but a recent report made it crystal clear why this is going to be a hot mess. Achieve–an independent education nonprofit focused on high standards and raising graduation standards–set out to measure how well students are doing nationwide when it… Read more →

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