Latest posts from High School

Feb 28 2014

TFA answers my FOIA-like request

Though education ‘reformers’ always speak of the need for transparency, Teach For America is one of the least transparent organizations out there.  Though they get a lot of public money, I don’t think that there is a way to FOIA their internal records so we are often left with their interpretations of the data with…

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A little over a year ago, I wrote a series of open letters to ‘reformers’ I’ve known throughout the years.  I was not surprised that the majority of them did not respond.  On average, they each are making over $350K a year in the ed ‘reform’ game, and I would expect that it would be…

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Recently, several people have contacted me with interesting stories they wanted to share with the people who read this blog.  In the coming weeks there will be more guest posts like this one from Bryn Mawr College senior Emma Gulley. How Interning for Teach For America Convinced me of its Injustice Over the past several…

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Feb 21 2014

The Love Letter to a City…

I recently met someone here in Philadelphia who had, surprisingly, actually been to Memphis (trust me, it doesn’t happen often), and she said Memphis was one of two cities she had ever traveled to for a former job that had wildly surpassed her [admittedly low] expectations for it. (The other was Louisville.) It was a…

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After a first year where I felt like I only truly connected with a small handful of my students, I felt like I really developed strong relationships with my 8th graders last semester. While I didn’t reach every single student, I got very close to a significant number and I would say that almost all of…

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Feb 13 2014

Kane Unable

Harvard professor Thomas Kane recently testified on behalf of the ‘families’ in the Vergera vs. California case.  The plaintiffs in this case seek for the teacher tenure process and the LIFO layoff priorities to be changed in order to ensure that students in California have more of a chance to be taught by an ‘effective’…

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Feb 09 2014

On learning, not teaching

As I sat in church this morning, I had a remarkable realization. I thought I came to Appalachia to teach, to educate, and to enlighten. With only three months left in my TFA commitment, I finally realized that I have gotten it backwards. Yes, in a sense, I may be teaching, educating and enlightening, but…

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Feb 05 2014

Lying and Cheating

This year I have ranted and raved about how spectacular my kids are. They’ve been angels for me and as a result, my attitude towards teaching and students has completely shifted. I left last year thinking that there were some aspects simply outside of a teacher’s control, that some students just are simply not predisposed…

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Jan 30 2014

Teamwork

Fine, I’ll admit it: I love Lorde’s album Pure Heroine. I think it’s great and (just as importantly for me when I choose new music these days) I think it’s great for 7th graders to listen to as well. So it’s gotten a lot of airtime in P4 recently. I love a lot of the…

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Last year nearly 30 students earned failing grades in my class.  And they all failed Physical Science and will need to retake it in order to graduate.  Some of them are in my classes again this year.  Most of them are doing better.  I have watched closely and I don’t think they are doing better…

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