Latest posts from Houston

Apr 16 2014

Arne Debunkin’

A little over three years ago, I first encountered Arne Duncan when he spoke at the TFA 20 year alumni summit and described the miracle school Urban Prep.  He implied that this school had a 100% graduation rate and a 100% college acceptance rate, which inspired me to investigate this clam leading to my very…

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Mar 30 2014

on re-hitting my stride

Spring has come and, with it, all the promise of finishing this year out strong. In a strange way, it feels like some things have already come to an end. We had our last district-wide 8th grade English day and, after hours of reflection and planning and best practices for next year, I walked into…

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Tomorrow is our first day back to school after Spring Break. There are a host of memorial activities scheduled for this week & this weekend; I headed back to school today to make some copies and was struck by how just being there reminded me of the overwhelming sadness we faced just two weeks ago.…

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Impostor Syndrome that received lots of great comments and feedback (yes – I read every comment and really do think about what you all have to say). You asked solid questions and nudged me in just the right ways. Thank you all. I wanted to revisit this…

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Mar 17 2014

Keeping Important Pinky Promises?

On the subway yesterday, I saw this advertisement for KIPP: The claim is that “Our K-12 public schools promise to see each child to and through college.” One problem with this claim is that even in the most generous study possible, KIPP’s own, only a third of students who completed KIPPs middle schools eventually graduated…

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Mar 13 2014

death hits home.

A student at my school passed away last night. It was unexpected – a tragic accident, horrendous in that other children saw it and tried to save his life – and yet it happened, and the dawn broke, and the sun rose and we all went to school. The day itself was agonizing. My students…

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TFA has been recently taking a beating in social media.  Whether in response to this, or if it is just something that’s been planned for a while, the two co-CEOs Elisa Villanueva-Beard and Matt Kramer were part of a live webcast tonight called ‘What’s Next at Teach For America?” This was an hour long live…

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I haven’t written on here in a while. That’s been on purpose. To be honest, I’ve been struggling. Not instruction-wise or evaluation-wise; more on that later. I’ve been struggling with anxiety and self-esteem issues. I’ve been struggling to believe I am actually good at this. And despite the fact that I’m on track to skip…

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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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