Monthly Archives: August 2016

Education polling: Are Americans complacent, or just confused?

Opt-Out. Testing. Charters. Common Core. Closings. Accountability. Standards. Teacher Tenure. Teacher Pay. School Spending. If you’re in the education bubble, like we are, you spend the whole year thinking about these issues. But if you’re not, this is the time when a handful of organizations tell the rest of America what parents, teachers and other members of the general public… Read more →

Head Start preschool improves parenting, grad rates, says long-term study

Head Start has long-term benefits, according to an analysis by Brookings’ Hamilton Project. Head Start participants are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college, and receive a post-secondary degree or certification, the study found. And as adults, they’re more likely to use “positive parenting” practices with their children. Especially for black children, “Head Start also causes social, emotional, and… Read more →

Because parents want to be the learning heroes for their kids

It’s back-to-school time, which means parents’ inboxes are stuffed with advice and to-do lists about how to make this a successful year for your kid. This to-do list can look dramatically different depending on the age and grade of your student, but one thing remains universal: The need to keep the lines of communication open and honest. That’s why I… Read more →

College Remediation: ‘You don’t know what you don’t know, until you have to pay for it’

Sam Radford’s daughter got straight As in school. That should be the gold standard for being in good shape to go to college, right?  Wrong. We travelled to Buffalo, New York to talk to Sam and get his story. Watch Sam’s clip below (the full video is here). Sam’s story shows how hard it is for families to pony up money… Read more →

Sexism stings, in politics and in the classroom

When Hillary Clinton became the first female nominee for President of the United States, I’ll admit I cried. I looked at my daughter and my tears came. Nothing in my childhood prepared me for that moment.   While witnessing a historic triumph for women, I thought about all the instances of sexism I endured throughout my life, dating from when… Read more →

Study: Project-based learning heavy on doing, weak on learning

Would-be paradigm shifters are excited about project-based learning (PBL), but it’s often heavy on doing and light on learning, argues Gisèle Huff, executive director of the Jaquelin Hume Foundation. “Whatever knowledge students may actually acquire seems incidental and not clearly assessed. In addition, PBL “is not nearly as personalized as its adherents would have us believe,” writes Huff. When students work in groups, often with… Read more →

Opt-out is whiter, more privileged and more clueless than we even suspected

Opt-outers tend to consider themselves “progressives” so they don’t like to see themselves as the privileged few who put their kids’ comfort ahead of the needs of other school children. But it turns out that’s exactly who they are. According to this recently released national survey about opt-out conducted by the Teachers College at Columbia University: The typical opt out activist is a… Read more →

We can teach empathy through classroom critical thinking

The barely suppressed rage and dysfunction that seems to pulse like a distended vein right beneath the surfaces of our cities and communities seems more and more to express itself through the barrel of a gun or horrid verbal and physical attacks.  Given what is going on around us daily, I have no idea how I would seek to reassure… Read more →

How I learned to be a better teacher from my immigrant students

I was born in Colombia, so I thought was uniquely positioned to understand what my 8th grade students were going through, given that many of them were not born in the United States. I could not have been more wrong. With immigration as a hot button issue in the upcoming election, we need to address the challenges immigrant students face… 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 →

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