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.

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 →

States and districts now get to decide if low-income students get a break on AP and IB exams: Will they make the right call?

In my home state of Illinois, more than 112,000 high school students took at least one Advanced Placement course last school year, and more than a fourth of those students are from low-income families. An even greater proportion of low-income students were able to to access International Baccalaureate last year–of the 4,500 students taking IB classes, more than two-thirds are low-income.… Read more →

Redirect your misplaced fury over DeVos to the truly dangerous cabinet picks

So Betsy DeVos is our new Education Secretary, a job she secured by the skin of her teeth thanks to a historic tie-breaking vote by Vice President Pence. Her shaky approval weakened her in a department already weakened by a major change in K-12 education law that relegated nearly every meaningful accountability decision to states and local districts. Yet it  was… 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 →

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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