An open letter to my students at a “no excuses” charter school in Boston
By Barrett Smith
Last month I resigned from my position as a tutor and teaching assistant at a “No-Excuses” Charter School in Boston. What follows is an open letter to my students.
First, I need to get something off my chest. I came to your middle school for some selfish reasons. I wanted to tutor you not only to help you but also to help myself. I came to Boston temporarily and as an outsider, looking for a year of training in skills that I could take with me to my future home, and to benefit my future students. Continue reading
Tutors at a no-excuses charter school learn some hard lessons
By Barrett Smith
Last December, I drove down to Boston from Middlebury College in Vermont where I was finishing my senior year. On a crisp Monday morning, I parallel parked, straightened my tie and walked into an interview to become a tutor at a “no excuses” charter school. A week later I had an offer sitting in my inbox, inviting me to become a member of the “Corps,” so called because the program used to be part of AmeriCorps. I was the first of my roommates to receive a job offer and joining the Corps sounded pretty damn good. Continue reading
What’s behind those sky high charter salaries?
Harlem Village Academies chief Deborah Kenny earns $500,000 to run her burgeoning empire of excellence.
The eye-popping salaries commanded by some New York City charter execs are raising eyebrows, not to mention the hackles of haters. As a state-of-the-art technology known as Google quickly reveals, though, it’s not just in the Big Apple where charter chiefs are pulling down mad cheddar. But talking about money is so gauche, reader, which is why so many of these excellent execs insist on keeping compensation information to themselves. Continue reading
Salsa secreta comes to San Antonio, Texas
Amigos: I am crestfallen to report that a scourge of bad schools has befallen my fair burg of San Antonio, Texas. You’d think that without those pesky unions to hold them back Texas schools would be free to excel. Alas, we Tejanos seem to be missing some salsa secreta. Fortunately a team of local visionaries has been working round the clock to solve this problema. The solution? Replace San Antonio’s existing public schools with charters that are más excelente.
This fall, Boston’s largest public elementary school, with an all-minority student body, will reopen as a no-excuses charter.
Dear [insert name here]:
Another school year is about to start and I’ve got some exciting changes to share with you. Your old school, John J. Marshall, with its low expectations and old teachers is no more. Instead, you will be attending UP Academy, an exciting new school with fresh new teachers, fresh new administrators and none of the excuses that were the rule at your old school. So what can you expect? Let’s take a look… Continue reading