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.

Parents, here’s a ‘D’oh’ question to ask your schools: Are our new teachers swimming or sinking?

As school reforms go, it’s not sexy, it’s not new, and it’s not at all controversial. So it probably won’t get as much attention as Betsy DeVos being voted Donald Trumps’ worst cabinet member by readers of the New York Times, which is really saying something given that she’s in the same gaggle as Scott Pruitt of the Environmental Protection… Read more →

Here’s why this suburban supt supports HB1: Fixing IL school funding isn’t just a Chicago bailout

This is an interview with Kimako Patterson, the superintendent of Prairie-Hills Elementary District 144, a 2,600-student district in the south suburbs of Illinois where 95 percent of students are from low-income families. The average per-student instructional spending in Prairie-Hills is $5,700—$2,000 below the state average. She is a member of Funding Illinois’ Future, a coalition supporting HB1, a historic school funding reform law… Read more →

A political play or pushback against mediocrity? Why we need charter schools in the suburbs

Do we need a charter movement in the suburbs? Education activist Derrell Bradford recently argued that yes, we do–but mostly because it broadens the base of clout-heavy supporters and makes it more palatable for self-interested politicians to “do the right thing” on school choice. I would agree, but for a very different reason posited by Mr. Bradford: We need competition… Read more →

How to go the extra mile in preserving your school privilege

Sometimes I wonder what is worse–white parents who say they want to send their children to diverse school districts but do everything they can to make sure their child has separate classes and better opportunities than low-income children of color? Or white parents so baldly intent on preserving their privilege  that they will go so far as to secede from a diverse… Read more →

Help parents by making school climate surveys a part of every state’s accountability plan

Whenever parents would get into a discussion about “good schools” and “bad schools,” I would urge them to look beyond the simple rankings of test scores and try to actually get inside a school. Meet the principal. Watch the children interact. Observe a classroom. Get a feel for the place. If it sounds squishy and subjective, well that’s because it… Read more →

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 →

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