River Deep, Mountain High

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Due in part to the maddening flurry of education reform related articles in the past two month, I had essentially sworn off blogging. While in the groove of seeing real change happening on the ground every day in my work with City Year, I felt increasingly removed from the debate between older folk being played…

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Sep 23 2012

American Dream O.N.

Last week, I attended the second Opportunity Nation Summit in our nation’s capital, where many prominent movers and shakers gathered to reassess the challenges plaguing the legacy of social mobility evoked by the “American Dream.” We recognize that the challenges are immense, but I left the conference with a renewed sense of purpose and the…

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As I’ve settled into my new job, I’ve encountered only one major downside: I’ve realized that my former students in Mississippi won’t get all the services they need (and deserve) primarily because their school lacks capacity for various reasons. However, it’s not a matter as simple as plopping down a City Year team. In order…

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Sep 09 2012

Vote to Promote Literacy!

Click on the link here: https://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charity/view/ein/51-0518142?ref=e38906d989 to support Bess the Book Bus, a mobile literacy organization dedicated to providing books to under-resourced children across America! “Bess the Book Bus is a mobile literacy outreach dedicated to building home libraries for children and families that otherwise may not have the opportunity to own books.” Last school…

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May 28 2012

Red Badge of Service

“He suddenly lost concern for himself, and forgot to look at a menacing fate. He became not a man but a member. He felt that something of which he was a part—a regiment, an army, a cause, or a country—was in a crisis. He was welded into a common personality which was dominated by a…

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May 20 2012

My Biggest Lessons from TFA

In the process of completing my end-of-the-year survey for Teach for America, I came across the following question and wanted to share my answer: “What are the two or three biggest lessons you’re taking away from your corps experience? These could be lessons about your students, yourself, the community where you work, the achievement gap…

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May 06 2012

The Katch-22 of KIPP

Recently, a report came out claiming the KIPP charter network spends significantly more per pupil than comparable traditional district schools. The report is fairly straightforward but it’s conclusions highlight a disturbing paradox about the policy position a high-performing charter network such as  KIPP and Achievement First find themselves in: “These findings, coupled with evidence from…

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Apr 18 2012

“We Need To Get It Together”

Today involved some disturbing developments I can’t really write about; summary: a persistent trouble-maker who is a threat to the school community had to be handled by the authorities and, on the other hand, one of my mentees landed in trouble- again. It’s really sad when a kid is trying to do well and either…

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Sep 11 2011

Still Standing (Why I Didn’t Quit, Pt. 1)

For first years who are struggling and on the verge of leaving their position as I was this time last year, find someone with whom you can relate to and share your hopes and dreams…the sooner you stop asking: “why me? What did I do to deserve this?” and, instead, start asking: “why them? What did my students do to deserve this?” the sooner you’ll regain the pragmatic, if not optimistic mindset you need to affect real change in your community.

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About this Blog

Remove Barriers, Raise the Bar

Region
Mississippi Delta
Grade
Middle School
Subject
Science

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