Any efforts to improve and transform public education, like the Common CoreState Standards, will not succeed if we do not engage teachers as the experts and leaders in the process. We need an "Education Spring," in which teachers rise up and take control of the leadership of their profession. Thanks to emerging national teacher voice organizations, we may be on the verge of an exciting new chapter in education reform.


I gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Nov. 20, 2013, and a day later I watched a sick baby girl turn blue. 'Nurse Rita' did all she could to save the child's life, and in the process she forever educated me and the dozen parents who were in that hospital nursery. The incident taught me what it looks like to put your whole heart into your profession.


Educators need to think twice about the way we classify parents unto the "good" and "bad" categories. Every parent should be seen as a work in progress, just as we are, as well as our students. Schools have to put systems in place to provide quality supports to all the various constituents of the school community.


Why on earth would seven middle school teachers plan to get pregnant all on the same day? This story will warm your heart and make your belly ache with laughter.


This week marked the 50th anniversary of "Freedom Day," the vaguely remembered 1963 Chicago Public Schools boycott in which 250,000 black students stayed out of school to demand an equal, desegregated education. Today, Chicago and most major cities are still providing an unequal and very segregated public education to minority students. We will not solve this problem until educators and civic leaders begin an honest, solutions-oriented conversation about the root cause of the problem: institutionalized racism.


It's my birthday today, and I am grateful to be alive and to be carrying a life. At this time last year, my dad left a message on my cell phone in which he sang "Happy Birthday" and recited a little silly poem in my honor. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I didn't call him back right away because I was mad at him for not returning home to Chicago as he had promised. He was living in Washington D.C. at the time, and was not taking care of himself properly. Just three months after leaving me that ...


Regardless of what your political bent is—Democratic, Republican, Independent—there is one thing I think we can all agree on: leaders make more careful choices when their decisions directly impact them. Let's take the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) and the current government shutdown. Our Senators and House Representatives are debating a national health care law that none of them, nor their families, will ever use. They, of course, have a different medical plan, a much more exclusive one. Even with the current government shutdown, none of our elected officials are forced to miss a paycheck....


Last Saturday, I won the "2013 Education Blogger/Commentator of the Year" title at the Bammy Awards in Washington, D.C. The Bammys sent a limousine to take me and all the honorees from the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel to the Arena Stage Theater, where the ceremony took place. There was the red carpet, the photographers, the cocktails, the tuxedos and evening gowns—and me, all dolled up with the sexiest man alive by my side, my husband Kevin. Just 30 minutes earlier, however, Kevin and I were on the verge of a terrible fight. Before we left Chicago Friday morning,...


Every now and then I feel a violent shaking in my stomach. My baby turns over from one side to the other or stretches wide after an afternoon nap. When this happens I'm caught off guard; I catch my breath; I instinctively reach for my stomach and rub. Never mind that I'm in the middle of a read aloud or in a parent conference. For those few seconds, the world must wait. It's all about Baby Boy Rhames (B.B.R.). This is the best part about being pregnant—feeling that little alien moving inside my stomach and wanting so much...


This post originally appeared in Education Week's Bookmarks blog. By Marilyn Rhames I spent much of my downtime this summer thinking about issues of race. From various situations in the community where I live, at my school, and on the national media with the Trayvon Martin case, the struggles of black people seemed to bombard me everywhere I turned—especially when I looked in the mirror. So, in an effort to preserve my sanity, I began reflecting on how 'my people' came to be Americans—the pride and inner-strength it required for us to endure—and then I wondered if...


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