*UPDATE: The Chicago Board of Education voted today to close 50 neighborhood schools of the 54 that was on the chopping block. Over the years, I have proudly self-identified as an "education reformer." Young, smart, and ready to change the world through self-sacrifice and hard work, I committed myself to the idea of revolutionizing how we do education in America. I believe that students' best interest must be protected over political, business, and union ties. Students are not just our clients. They are the future of America, and their success must be guaranteed. I still believe that charter schools can ...

Guest Blogger Pérsida Himmele I remember a conversation that I had with my dad. It was short, mostly one-sided, and incredibly memorable. With a thick Spanish accent, and a somewhat intimidating look, my dad asked, "Pérsida, to what college you go?" Even though he had only graduated from eighth grade, he had figured something out: You don't get very far in life without a college education. Because of that, he asked the same question to all seven of his children. Though we lived in the poorest neighborhood, surrounded by rampant drug use, teen pregnancy, and violence, we all followed through ...

Who has the tougher job: Teachers or Police Officers? Read this post and you decide.

School reform is rooted in the belief that when it comes to children, privilege or poverty should not determine the quality of their education. Oh, but it does.

The Kids in my family tell me incredible stories about what goes on in their schools. But their school horror stories are not as unique as one might think. Teachers play a vital role in helping children cope with the struggles they face in and outside of school.

Guest blogger Whitney Bubenzer credits her principal for nurturing her teaching career and showing her the enormous potential found in urban education.

The promise of lowering CPS'$1 billion deficit was the primary justification for proposing to close 54 neighborhood schools. Unfortunately, the math is not adding up.

Can Chicago Public Schools have the capacity to safely and efficiently close up to 80 schools at one time? I dare say NO.

Unfortunately in our current public school system, the quality of education a child receives is largely based on the income level and race of his parents. This is evident in the long-standing achievement gap that exists between white and Asian on the upper tier and blacks and Hispanics on the lower tier. There are multiple external contributors to this sad reality: Lack of parental engagement, joblessness, crime, and poverty. Educators who hold low expectations for their students, under-resourced schools, and the fact that low-income students are far more likely to have novice teachers are also to blame. Teachers in high-crime, ...

My dad died last month. I grieved hard for two weeks, too distraught to teach most days. The first day I returned, I told my six classes what had happened. I broke down each time I said it. After one of my writing classes, a student who had abruptly lost her beloved grandmother last year slipped me a note she had penned on lined paper. She wrote on both sides, but the part that really spoke to me was, "I know it's hard, but it will get easier in time. It'll seem like your father is on a trip far ...


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