Tag Archive for suburban schools

How a stupid teen’s Blackface selfie revealed the racial fault lines in my integrated suburb

They marched this weekend in my hometown, a Chicago suburb we chose 18 years ago because it seemed the safest and most welcoming place for a Black dad and a White mom to raise two biracial children. On its face, the march was about the fate of a Black teacher, activist and political candidate who was punished by our high… Read more →

Illinois now an ‘imperfect’ model for fixing unequal school funding and teacher pensions

With the recent passage of SB 1947, Illinois, so often an example of what not to do in school finance, is now poised to be something of a model for the rest of the country. SB 1947 rewrites the state’s school finance laws, which were the most inequitable in the country. Under this new system, Illinois will now fund districts… Read more →

Why I’m celebrating Illinois’ school funding fix–and ignoring the voucher kerfuffle

I’m going to take a moment to celebrate my state’s historic school funding plan–and ignore the brewing debate over a private school tax credit that opponents want to call a backdoor voucher program but isn’t a voucher program at all. Today, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to sign legislation that will close spending inequities, reduce the reliance on property… Read more →

We need a new kind of public school in our suburbs–the one-size-fits-all choice isn’t working

Even though I went to elementary school a long time ago in a galaxy far away in California, I am repeatedly surprised by how much my children’s school right here in Illinois looks like my elementary school. I was the type of kid who did well in school. I was good at folding my hands and being quiet. I followed… Read more →

As I leave my suburban school, lessons I’ve learned on what makes or breaks a principal

So many say that the principalship is the hardest job in education…and I couldn’t agree more. Being the inspiration, visionary, coach, sounding board, disciplinarian, advocate, negotiator, face and voice of the school is a tall order. I have left out so many other technical aspects of the job like building management, finances, marketing, recruitment, Human Resources, and local politics. And… Read more →

The case for suburban school change is clear, but no one is making it

School reform advocate Derrell Bradford and policy writer Andy Rotherham hit on it. Illinois education writer Tracy Dell’Angela has a blog focused on it. Teacher/education writer Robert Pondiscio said it was a factor in the anti-charter vote in Massachusetts last fall. And former Education Secretary Arne Duncan famously broached the subject in 2013. “It” is the long overdue conversation about… 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 →

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