Latest posts from Early Childhood

Jul 21 2013

Honey, I’m home: Reflection on Detroit

Thursday marked the first time in months that I’ve been in my hometown of Detroit. Ironically enough, Thursday also marked the city’s historic filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Everyone knows that Detroit has been transformed over the past century from the industrial capital of America to a symbol of American decline. As experts have said…

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Jul 17 2013

Be the solution

WaPo’s Valerie Strauss, a frequent critic of “ed reform,” recently posted an interview with Rafe Esquith (a la Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire). In the interview he talks about his new book and his views on ed reform. When asked about TFA, he hits on what I believe to be our fatal flaw: Most…

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Jul 16 2013

Paging the unions

One key challenge of urban education is the high teacher turnover rate. As I’ve mentioned before, 46 percent of new teachers will leave the profession within five years. Arguably, that number is higher in urban districts where we teachers face larger socio-economic obstacles. Thus, one of the major criticisms of Teach For America’s mere two-year…

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Jul 14 2013

Travel

  I have so much to say and so little time. I just got back from Michigan, which was a truly tranformational experience and I’m about to head to Israel which I’m sure will be nothing less than amazing. Because I can’t really explain everything right now as I have graduate work due, and laundry…

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Jul 12 2013

Denouement

A few weeks ago, I got into a back and forth with a friend about charter schools. She accused me of being too general in my distaste for them, and blasted me for not taking a more nuanced approach to education policy. After responding to a barrage of comments on my open letter the past…

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Jul 10 2013

Books of Color

Two weeks ago, NPR reported on a UW-Madison study which tells us that despite the increasing diversity of most classrooms, the vast majority of childrens books on display are still overwhelmingly white. While some of those books are classic and certainly deserve a spot in the classroom library, there’s no doubt that kids want and…

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Jul 09 2013

Back to summer

For the past two weeks I worked as a bartender at Milwaukee’s summer music festival, Summerfest. It ended up being pretty fun and a great way for a lot of teachers to make some extra money — it’s hard to live, support a classroom, and go to grad school on under $30,000! But I am…

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Jul 08 2013

My open letter to 2013 corps members

Dear 2013 corps members, I recently read and commented on a blog post calling on you to quit Teach For America because, as alleged in the letter, the program exacerbates inequalities, operates under a broken model, isn’t wanted by communities, and practices disaster capitalism. While I agree with many of the author’s points, I want…

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Jul 02 2013

Talking TFA with WisconsinEYE

Last week Friday I sat down with TFA Milwaukee Executive Director Maurice Thomas and my fellow TFA alumnus Ryan Michaels to talk about TFA Milwaukee for WisconsinEYE. Here’s the link: http://goo.gl/o8d9Y During the interview we focused on our experiences in the classroom and shed some additional light on the program. I think there are a lot…

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Jul 01 2013

It’s the first day of school in Chicago

Happy Monday and happy first day of July! I’ve been busy working at a local music festival, but I wanted to stop and say good luck to all the 2013 corps members in Chicago who are teaching their very first lessons today. During an interview last week I reflected back upon my first day in…

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