Here in DC, we don't play. Sure, there's snow falling and they're calling for sleet and ice in a couple hours. But bring it on, we have school. When all the other districts around us either closed or ended school early yesterday, we in the district kept on going. Today, we only have a 2-hour delay. And you know what? It's been OK. No accidents, no problems, nothing. I was on the roads all day going to schools and it was fine. Now, that's not to say our teachers (and maybe a few students) weren't doing snow dances and up ...

Like so many of us from Teach For America and all over education, my manager didn't start of dreaming of teaching children, arranging centers or discussing student assessments. He wanted to be a poet, he earned a Masters in African Studies from Cornell, and he tried for a Fulbright to Africa. Then he joined Teach For America. And over the past decade, as classroom teacher, school principal and trainer of new TFA teachers, he hasn't left education or the fight to close the achievement gap. That doesn't mean he hasn't left social justice work or poetry. This is a piece ...

Happy New Year! First off, there's a great discussion going on about Michelle Rhee's philosophy and tactics for ed reform. I'm currently on vacation in Taiwan for lots of family time and limited Web time. I can't wait to jump back in to the conversation when I return on January 13th, but in the meantime, keep the passionate debate going! Secondly, this article on the enormous impact of mentoring caught my attention on Christmas: "Mentor Helps Hispanic Teens Stay in School." It profiles the work of amazing people out there who are neither certified teachers nor child development specialists nor ...

I'm just going to put it out there if it wasn't apparent already-- I'm a Rhee fan. I believe in focusing our time, resources and brains on teacher competency as our primary way of closing the dire achievement gap, and I believe in plucking the many incompetent teachers from schools and sweeping them far, far away from teaching our children. Anyone's who's worked in an under-performing school knows at least a handful of these teachers. I gladly forgo my own seniority and tenure as a teacher to know that those teachers-- the ones who ultimately make my and my children's ...

We are closing the achievement gap before it ever begins. You heard me. The gap won't have a chance. It was late summer and I was at a coffee shop desperately pumping up my hesitant first-year teacher for her kindergarten interview. She had taught secondary math all summer and now she had a chance in early childhood. Understandably, she was scared. As someone with only secondary experience, I was mildly terrified too. But if it's where she was needed to be, then let's do it. She just needed a little urging. Pounding the table with my fist, I explained: Preschool ...


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