Monthly Archives: December 2016

Private school was my escape from racial tracking in my suburban district

School pushout of black students is endemic in public education. In California, where I now live, many of the black students forced out of the classroom in recent years weren’t suspended for fighting or bringing weapons to school, but for the subjective behaviors that fall under the umbrella of “willful defiance.” So many black students were disciplined for behaviors that… Read more →

Sorry, poverty and parenting does not absolve suburban schools from tackling racial bias

Race and class alike factored into how teachers treated me when I attended Evanston schools, and I’m sure they continue to factor into how teachers treat students today. While giving families the support they need to help their children succeed in Evanston schools is commendable, placing the onus mostly on black families to close the achievement gap misses the point.… Read more →

Will black parents shoulder the blame for race bias in my hometown’s schools?

This is the second part of a four-part series on the writer’s experience and research on the achievement gap in her hometown of Evanston, Illinois, a diverse suburb north of Chicago and home to Northwestern University. Read Part 1 here.  Evanston formally and voluntarily desegregated its schools in 1966, but a persistent achievement gap has divided black and white students… Read more →

‘You Can’t Read.’ How I overcame my suburb’s racial achievement gap

This is the first part of a four-part series on the writer’s experience and research on the achievement gap in her hometown of Evanston, Illinois, a diverse suburb north of Chicago and home to Northwestern University. One day when I was in second grade, my mother approached me with an envelope in hand. Wordless, she glared at me, and I… Read more →

PISA: Why this international test matters and why my school did so well

As a busy high school student with a demanding schedule, the last thing I wanted to add to my plate was yet another standardized test. But my school signed up two years ago to take an international exam based on the PISA test, which is supposed to tell us whether we knew how to apply our math, science and reading… Read more →

What gives? More kids are graduating, but fewer really mastered high school skills

Online credit recovery courses are raising graduation rates and failing students, writes Jeremy Noonan, a science teacher who runs Citizens for Excellence in Public Schools. In October, President Obama announced that the national high school graduation rate had reached an all-time high in 2015. Yet that same year, the percentage of high school seniors ready for college-level reading and math declined… Read more →

Can U.S. high schools afford to ignore mediocre PISA scores? These students say no way

I recently spoke to a handful of young women at a high school in North Carolina who had taken an international test that is getting a lot of attention today–the PISA, a test taken by half a million 15-year-olds in 69 countries. Tanatswa, Keshal, Anisha and Hope understand something that seems to elude a lot of adults, even the ones… Read more →

Teens are tech savvy, but too gullible about online ‘truthiness’

Teens may be “digital natives,” but most can’t judge the credibility of online information, concludes a Stanford study. Students can’t google their way to the truth, write researchers Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew. At every level, we were taken aback by students’ lack of preparation: middle school students unable to tell the difference between an advertisement and a news story;… Read more →

I was the smart black girl schooled in a white world, but zip code shouldn’t be our education destiny anymore

So much has already been said about the current election. People are disappointed. People are in shock. People are in fear. As a school leader, I am trying to have careful conversations with staff and students because you can feel the heavy as we sit with the thoughts of our country’s future. In the diverse suburb where I am a… Read more →

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