Latest posts from Los Angeles

Blogger Owen Davis recently wrote a piece on Teach for America alumni resistance, and in his piece included the voice of a New Orleans public school student reacting to the influx of Teach for America teachers to her district. After pointing out that nearly half of New Orleans’ teachers were in their first three years…

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Jul 30 2013

Common Core: Perpetuating the Opportunity Gap

Only a little over a week ago, I was sitting at Markham Middle School at 8 o clock in the morning learning about the Common Core Standards and Assessment Data. As I sat with my friend and colleague Dominic, taking the seventh grade practice math assessment for the Common Core State Requirements, I realized that…

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Jul 25 2013

End of Days. Or Just the Beginning.

Dear Friends and Fellow Advocates, Today is our first day of Professional Development post- Los Angeles Institute and gosh, it has been a whirlwind. Since accepting my offer to Teach for America that fateful day in November, I have been all TFA all the time. When I first began preparing for this fall, I was…

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Jul 25 2013

Where TFA Succeeds and Where it Fails

Recently, on Twitter, TFA’s new co-CEO Matt Kramer posted an article called “Why Are We Burning Teach For America at the Stake?” written by alum Lauren Boyle. Lauren is rare among TFA alums for having participated both in a traditional credentialing program and in TFA’s training, so she has perspectives into both. The article caught…

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Jun 22 2013

Stay More Than Two Years

For my last couple of posts, I’ve been posting about my recent hiring at a private school.  I found it instructive to look at some of the ways it sold itself to parents, namely by the fact that it kept class sizes small and did not overtest, and to contrast those things with what the…

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Jun 18 2013

What Parents Choose When They Pay: A Quick Reflection

For the past several years, two of the more common claims from the ed reform community are that class size is unimportant to student achievement and that test scores provide an effective way of evaluating teachers and schools.   Interviewing for my new job at a French/English bilingual school, I was struck by how much…

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Jun 17 2013

A New Direction

On June 1st I was hired to a new job at a bilingual French/English private school as a third grade teacher.  Although I was happy at the charter school where I was working and proud of the work that I did this past school year, the fact that I was only a long term sub…

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May 29 2013

Fail First, Then Get It Correct

I finished up my role as a collaboration teacher at my school today, and gave my final Japanese and French lessons to two different classes.  As a final presentation to the students, I showed them some of the calligraphy that I made while I was studying it in Japan.  I have a few works I…

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May 10 2013

Some Unintended Conclusions from Value Added Data

There has been a lot of debate for the past several years over whether or not to use “value added” data as a metric for evaluating teachers.  Washington D.C. is already making 50% of a teacher’s evaluation dependent on their value added rating.  I thought I’d weigh in on the debate, as I happen to…

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May 05 2013

Class Size in Japan, Korea, and America

I freely admit that I don’t understand how to run a multi billion dollar software company.  I’m still intrigued, therefore, that Bill Gates continues to believe that he is qualified to make education policy. In today’s New York Times, Sara Mosle discusses a plan from Gates, along with Michael Bloomberg and Arne Duncan, that would…

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