‘Hillbilly Elegy’ and the Blight of Rural Schools

“I was one of those kids with a grim future,” author J.D. Vance begins in his book Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. “I almost failed out of high school. I nearly gave in to the deep anger and resentment harbored by everyone around me. Today people look at me, [...]

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 [...]

Being a Teacher (but first, just being “Dad”)

About four years ago my wife called me at school and told me that our oldest daughter had gotten off the school bus crying. Walking up our 100 feet of driveway between the road and our door, she had her report card in one hand and was clearly trying to gather herself before getting to [...]

Chicken Little: The World of Education

Do you remember the childhood story, Henny Penny? Or more commonly known as “Chicken Little?” As the story goes, Henny Penny meets up with several different animals and warns them the sky is falling after being hit on the head by an acorn. Oh! The terror! The fear! The worry…the SKY is falling?! Whatever will [...]

TEDTalk: Help for Kids the Education System Forgets

One of the best TED Talks I've seen in a while was by Victor Rios, a sociology professor at the University of California. The segment, titled "Help for kids the education system ignores" was poignant, direct, and necessary. His speech highlighted how some of our neediest students are falling through the cracks, and what our mandate - as [...]