If I were not a program director with Teach For America, I would be teaching. If I wasn't teaching, I would want to work here: Harlem Children's Zone. Their mission to close the social gap by mobilizing EVERYTHING is gutsy, energizing and makes so much sense. National Public Radio quotes New York Times reporter Paul Tough as describing HCZ as "'the first and so far the only organization in the country that pulls together ... integrated social and educational services for thousands of children' — all under one umbrella, all in one place, all at one time." "The agency, with an annual ...


I met a teacher in her classroom after school yesterday for a meeting, and the students banging and clashing across the hall practicing for drum line try-outs was so loud, we had to take our meeting to the other side of the school. It was so awesome. Because, as the teacher explained to me, at this public high school in DC, there was no marching band last year. There were no after school activities. After the last school bell, you could rarely find a teacher staying after to prep or work with kids. And there was no football field. Kids ...


Anyone who says teachers who believe in closing the achievement gap are unrealistic idealists can only possibly be talking about teachers who have never spent a day teaching in a high-needs school in some of our country's most under-resourced communities. Because no one walks out of our schools without a beating by reality. Within their first days of teaching in DC's public schools, my 17 first-year special education teachers have swallowed their share of reality. Most had no schedules or caseloads, and for many, IEP files are nowhere to be found. Others have met colleagues who do not believe in ...


Summer.is.over. It's the start of a new school year, new teachers, new trainings to lead and working 16-hour days, 5 1/2 times a week. It also means I haven't blogged for an appalling two weeks, I haven't cooked dinner in three, and there will be no vacuuming until September. But one thing I can do during this busy time is stay somewhat abreast of recent news, including news in the education world. (Cue infomercial jingle) I subscribe to SmartBrief, a free, email-based newsletter service that pulls out key news stories that relate to a particular trade. By ...


Education is indeed the great equalizer. Unfortunately, the quality of education given to children in America is not equal. David Brooks, The New York Times' Op-Ed columnist makes the point that most of us eduholics have been fretting over for a long while: Our lack of educational progress-- in particular, the achievement gap between the rich and the poor-- is dragging down our economic and sociological growth. And it should be these issues of education that should be dominating headlines and water cooler gripes-- not the rising price of gas. ... the skills slowdown is the biggest issue facing the country. ...


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