Tag Archive for suburban schools

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 →

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 →

It shouldn’t take a graduate degree and a lawyer to get your child special education support

Back to school time is approaching, and with that comes all the “to-do’s” and “suggestions for parents” that make huge assumptions about parents, about kids, and most importantly, about the causes, symptoms, treatments, and solutions for children who are “misbehaving.” The biggest mistaken assumption is that if a child is misbehaving, especially if that child is black or brown, that… Read more →

Shining a spotlight on the urban problems that plague suburban schools

A recent story in the Daily Herald painted a grim picture of a Chicago suburban district struggling mightily with some big city problems: high poverty and low graduation rates, high absenteeism and  low teacher morale, high mobility and low test scores. The suburban newspaper is highlighting a problem that is getting little attention in the education debates: suburban districts that don’t… Read more →

Opt Outs driven by more than just union propaganda—blame suburban status quo too

In a recent piece in The 74 Bill Bennett suggests that the opt-out movement in New York is driven solely by  teacher union leaders and allies who have spent millions of dollars on robocalls, emails, forums, and other tactics. Their motivation to increase test refusals this year is engineered to undermine “tough, high-quality standardized exams” that “will hold their members accountable… Read more →

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