About Dan McConnell

Husband, father, and teacher. Hoping to earn full redemption through the written word and shaping the dangerous young minds of tomorrow.

Failing our Poor Students: A Crisis of Morality and Character

Our schools aren't failing, we all are. When outcomes for our poorest students are the concern, education reform advocates like to point to"failing schools", but it's not just about schools. It isn't out-of-touch middle class parents, teachers and their unions, or civil rights organizations willing to challenge the “school choice” narrative. Those are only convenient scapegoats [...]

More Rural Schools Journal: The Sick Day

On a recent Thursday afternoon, I decide to take a sick day. I just called for a sub to cover my duties tomorrow. I'm taking a "sick day." My youngest, (of the three girls I have written so much about in the past) didn’t really want to go to school this morning, was clearly feeling [...]

Close Reading and Deep Thinking = “Textploration”

My focus in this piece will be on inspiring truly close reading and deeper thinking as a facet of ELA instruction. When a reader can go beyond recall; go beyond simple inference and analysis, and go spelunking deep into reflection on and evaluation of story characters and elements (while using the text to support their [...]

Poverty, Parents, Homework and Kitchen Tables

Poverty is more than just an excuse Policymakers and mainstream education reformers have been chronically unwilling to acknowledge education research and evidence indicating the impact of poverty on school children and the need for social and economic reforms. Yet at the same time they demand attention to and respect for the test data they believe [...]