February 2012 Archives

**This post was updated a few hours after publishing to reflect new information received via email from a missionary in Cameroon. They made all the bricks. The villagers squatted low and scooped up red earth in their hands, packed it into block molds, and left the muddy mix to harden in the hot African sun. There's a heap of 3,000 bricks, I'm told. "So why haven't they built the school yet?" I asked. Because of a land dispute between traditional leaders and herdsmen. The rainy season is only weeks away, and if the dispute is not solved soon all ...


If you ever thought about starting an education blog, this post is for you! Earlier this month I traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend a blogging seminar hosted by the Bellwether Education Partners. I re-learned so much about writing, and it's my pleasure to share a few of the many takeaways from the seminar with you. Blog on! 1. Headlines are Golden: As a blogger, your currency is in clicks, and your headline is your billboard advertisement. What good is a superbly written, intellectually stimulating post if no one reads it? Make your headlines clear, concise, in the active ...


I was at the height of my senior year. Elected vice president of my class and voted "Most Likely to Succeed" for the yearbook. Accepted into every college to which I had applied, and in a close race for the coveted title of Valedictorian. I was on top of the world—unstoppable. But LaMont Jackson, who was in my division, was not impressed. "You ain't that smart," he told me, out of the blue. "You're smart in this school full of blacks, but wait until you go to college with all those white kids. Their high schools are way better,...


A Capitol Hill aide reads my blog, and last Thursday we discussed education policy while sipping coffee in a Congressional office building. I spent the next day at the feet of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and other successful writers, learning how to better my blogging skills. I ended my trip to Washington D.C. having Saturday brunch and taking a tour of the city with my editor at Education Week Teacher. And I took a bath. I took a bath! I took a bath two nights in a row, actually. It was the highlight of my trip. No kids. No ...


Is it hot in here, or is it just me? It seems like the temperature of America—the world—has risen a few degrees. I'm not talking about global warming. I'm referring to that persistent, panicky-but-for-no-specific-reason type of energy that permeates the news media and blogosphere. You especially feel it when you hear or read stories about the economy, politics, and education. It seems that our stress barometer, our perception of peace and prosperity, our sense of stability is shaky, at best. Every glimmer of hope is shrouded by the threat of impending disaster: The troops are out of Iraq ...


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