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January 16, 2016

What Lies Beneath: The Morality Behind Both Sides of Friedrichs

It is easy to get stuck in our existing "moral matrix" when thinking about an issue as emotional and personal as students in a school and how we treat the folks who work with them. The third foundation of Haidt's "in group/loyalty pillar of morality" helps us to move through the stale debates and name-calling about teachers unions

December 11, 2015

What It Means to Be Public and Why It Matters

I want to work towards a public school system that is genuinely and democratically responsive. One in which every young person in that community truly belongs within our system, one that would be outraged at "got to go lists" and attempts to coerce or mislead members of their community.Charter schools are not to be blamed for the fact that we do not currently have such a system, but those of us who are "partisans for democracy" ought to be concerned by them.

October 23, 2015

Our Union-Based Reform Movement

These innovations are possible thanks to our school's membership in the Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence (PROSE) program created in the UFT agreement with the city and the Department of Education. PROSE allows us to revise aspects of the Chancellor's Regulations and the UFT contract, enabling us to apply creative thinking and approach our students' problems in more effective ways.

September 30, 2015

Dangerous Ideas in Teacher Leadership

Two ideas that I find pervasive and problematic in the conversation about teacher leadership: 1. The goal of teacher leadership is NOT to make principals' jobs easier. 2. Valuing teacher leadership means valuing teachers.

September 25, 2015

Two Things Policymakers Should Know About Teacher Leadership

Teacher leadership is the new hot topic in ed policy circles. It's in the blogosphere, it's supported by groups across the edu-political landscape, and Arne Duncan frequently talks about it. I have gotten at least 30 emails since August with the phrase "teacher leadership" in either the subject or body. But what are all these people talking about? What will all this talk mean for my career and the careers of my colleagues?

September 01, 2015

Can We Stop Saying That Teachers Work 'In the Trenches'?

I refuse to speak about the place I teach and learn as "the trenches." To do so would frame this situation as a hardship to endure rather than a problem to be solved.

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