River Deep, Mountain High

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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There’s a well-known saying that goes like this: “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.” I noticed last night that citizens  in Chicago voted to have an elected school board instead of one appointed by the mayor. While this referendum didn’t actually change city law, the 86% of votes in…

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Aug 08 2012

Money Trail: How Poverty Limits Opportunity

Certain segments of the population are fond of citing irresponsibility and poor choices as the primary driver behind the lack of opportunity for poor households. A few months ago, one article began claiming that people didn’t need welfare because they had microwaves and TVs! Often, the general public takes such claims at face value because…

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Jun 14 2012

SIGns of Change in the Mississippi Delta

I’ve had the opportunity to work at the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) for the past two weeks as part of LEE’s Summer Fellowship program. I sought out this summer position for a few reasons. I’ve always been a big picture thinker, and I was very interested in learning about the entire leadership structure affecting…

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May 22 2012

Paid My Dues

It’s official! I’ve paid my dues! No, this is not my obligatory end-of-the-year post… that comes later. I’m just excited that I finally paid off my Teach For America loan. Right on time too with two days of school left! In my opinion, the TFA criticism that irritates me most is the assumption that corps…

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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 12 2012

Overcoming Inertia (“Teachality”)

Inertia: (n.) the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion. Today was one of those days in which I feel so very fortunate to be teaching in my placement school. Those of us who have taught know that you have some rough days, but you also have that day where everything…

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It’s officially that time of year when flowers are starting to bloom and state test review is kicking into high gear. Coming off of Spring Break, I learned a lot about the players in the education reform debate as I travelled to New Orleans, Houston and San Antonio. I would love to expand upon the…

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Sep 18 2011

No Such Thing As a Free Lunch?

In schools with nearly 100% of its students (typically high-minority) participating in the free lunch program, it would make sense to simply have all students receive free lunch rather than having a handful who pay. Under the current system, a weird paradox is created where kids may feel penalized for having a parent with a steady source of income.

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Remove Barriers, Raise the Bar

Mississippi Delta
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