Latest posts from Math

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…

read more »
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…

read more »
Mar 13 2014

The Alumni Survey…

At a dinner a couple of weekends ago with other alums, we got on the topic of the alumni survey. This was perhaps not by chance, as one of my dinner companions was on the alumni team here in Philly. We shared our concerns with one question in particular, the “How likely are you to…

read more »
Mar 05 2014

Breaking the Silence around Sexual Harassment/Abuse

A male student calls another female student “fat” in the hallway between classes. A rumor is spread about incriminating pictures of a classmate sweeping through school through Instagram. A male student calls his teacher “sweetheart.” A staff member squeezes the shoulder of a colleague in the hallway. This weekend, I reconnected with my passion: advocating…

read more »

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…

read more »
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…

read more »

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…

read more »

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…

read more »
Feb 23 2014

Badges: Persistence

A conversation I had with one of my students (B) during math office hours on Thursday keeps replaying in my head.  He’s one of my A students who, for several months, was aiming for (and earning) 100% in my class.  He was struggling with an exercise on KhanAcademy, not because he didn’t know it, but…

read more »
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…

read more »