Hint: Middle class white students…
By Jack Schneider
I have watched friends lock their doors as black men crossed between cars on the street. They have done it without breaking conversation and without acknowledgment. My wife and I have had acquaintances challenge our decision to enroll our daughter in the public school across the street from our house. What would we do, one asked, if she were invited to a sleepover in “the projects”? Continue reading
Michelle Rhee and company serve up heaping helpings of some familiar fare
By Sarah Lahm
Michelle Rhee and her cavalry of status quo blasters recently braved the frigid Minnesota winter to present a veritable buffet of warmed-over ideas for boosting our sad, slumping schools and closing our many cavern-sized gaps. From *grit* and *rigor* to healthy portions of data consumed throughout the day to helpful tips on avoiding the unpleasant taste of *corporate education reform,* it was familiar fare—and there was plenty of it. Here’s a taste.
At a growing number of urban schools, it’s all testing, all the time
Remember how just the other day you were despairing that public education has devolved into a sad synonym for testing of the standardized variety? Well I’ve got great news, reader—it turns out that you were wrong! According to a new study by an organization called Teach Plus (that I’m guessing you’re not a member of), American students don’t spend nearly as much time on testing as you do complaining about the amount of time they spend on testing. Continue reading
A former KIPP teacher in New Orleans finds her voice
I was never much of a champion, to be honest. KIPP defines a successful teacher as someone who keeps children quiet, teaches children how to answer each question on a test composed of arbitrary questions, and then produces high scores on this test. Mind you, I was teaching Pre-K and then kindergarten at a KIPP school in New Orleans—and these were still the metrics by which I was being evaluated. Since my definition of a successful early childhood classroom looked very different from silence and test prep, I had to figure out how to survive. I lasted three years. Continue reading
Did you miss the last application deadline for Teach for America? Fret not, young reader—you still have three more weeks before the next and final deadline to join the 2014 corps.
By Jay Saper, TFA reject
TFA reject Jay Saper with AFT president Randi Weingarten.
1. Teach for America saves taxpayers a fortune. Let’s face it: ending poverty in this country would cost a fortune. That’s why instead of focusing on what we don’t have—say, a place to sleep for all of our children—TFA aims its laser of excellence on what we have plenty of: lazy teachers who confess to only working half-time and should be displaced. Think about it. The federal government would have to spend untold billions to deal seriously with poverty and its ills. Instead, taxpayers are only on the hook for the hundreds of millions that TFA gets to remind us that poverty is merely an excuse. Continue reading