Monthly Archives: October 2017

How this mom learned how to embrace the next big thing: Personalized learning

A couple of days ago I had conversation with three students that went something like this: Me: How do you like your new class? Student 1: I don’t think the teacher likes me. Student 2: Yeah, he’s figured out how to skip the teaching part. All he does is direct us to a website where we work individually until class… Read more →

A tribute to my HS principal, who saw my potential before I could see it in myself

There is a truism about choosing one of two roads in life, but I don’t think this is true. I believe there are many roads we can take, and there are often people on the path who point us in one direction or another. My path to education was one that was not planned, but the experience has been life… Read more →

A principal who ‘wanted to be where the students were’

For #NationalPrincipalsMonth, this former suburban principal offers this tribute to her role model , a former Chicago principal who is now an administrator at a small-town district in Wisconsin.  It’s 7:15 a.m. and it’s raining. The weather doesn’t matter however, because he is standing outside every day…rain, sleet, or snow, like the postman…greeting students as they walked in the building.… Read more →

‘I don’t want to be the white kid who got away’ with a racist act

This is a letter written by a 17-year-old Oak Park student who set off a racial uproar after posting a selfie of himself in blackface. You can read details of the Incident in my earlier post here. I am reprinting it here in its entirety, with no edits. The student is underage, so his name is not being published. Hello,… Read more →

Parent report cards: Gutsy or pushy?

One of the secrets of Success Academy schools’ success is “holding parents to account for honoring the agreement they signed when enrolling their children,” writes Robert Pondiscio. The high-scoring charter network — with mostly low-income black and Hispanic students — requires parents to get kids to school on time and in uniform, avoid unexcused absences and monitor homework and reading logs. “We’ve… Read more →

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 →

Sorry schools, you don’t all get to call yourselves ‘exemplary’

If you want to know what happens when you give school districts a chance to grade themselves on their own accountability report cards, look no farther than Texas. As the Houston Chronicle recently reported: All but one out of 1,201 Texas school districts say they’re successfully engaging their students and community, according to results of mandatory self-evaluations released Monday by… Read more →

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