Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

  • An Organizational Structure That Works in Urban Schools

    on Sep 26, 14 • in Featured, Policy • with Comments


    Many people will tell you that urban schools can’t succeed without involved parents, motivated students, adequate supplies, and a safe neighborhood. While all of these factors would make the success of urban schools more consistent I can tell you that certain organizational structures can benefit students even without all of these factors in place. The school to which I was assigned when I first started teaching in Philadelphia had only been open for a year. The school was physically divided into four “houses” or learning communities. Each house was overseen by a director who taught

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  • Urban Education, Stereotyping and Michael Brown

    on Sep 18, 14 • in Current Events in Education, Policy • with Comments


    When Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson Missouri, I was struck by the fact that he could have been any one of the young men I taught in my 30 years in an urban middle school. This got me to thinking about how low performing schools and stereotypes of poor children and children of color causes our society to lose so many young people who should be going on to lead productive lives. Urban education has been under attack for more than a decade. Schools in general and urban schools in particular are being asked

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  • Teacher Professionalism (With a Twist of Occasional Humor)

    on Sep 15, 14 • in Featured, From the Front Lines, Policy • with Comments


    I once read a quote that said, “People think I’m crazy, but I like to think of myself as normal with a twist of awesome!” Because I have an outgoing, flowery personality, I honestly feel that some people DO think I’m crazy, but the way I look at it is that someday I’ll be six feet under and I’d like to think that before I die, I’ve had some grins and giggles along the way. So, yes, I do have a fun outlook on life, but when it comes to teaching I had to ask myself, “Where does my job

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  • Are you a leader or a follower?…On Twitter.

    on Sep 12, 14 • in Ask a Teacher, Confessions of a Teacher, Opinion, Policy, Technology • with Comments


    Are you a leader or a follower?  Me?  I’m a follower, and my students and I are very happy about that.  When I say I am a follower, I mean on Twitter.  I love Twitter.  I would not have said this a few years ago, because I thought Twitter was just a constant Facebook status.  Who needs to see a Facebook status updated in real-time?  I never really cared about people telling me they were buying a latte, working out at the gym, checking in to a sporting event, or even taking pictures of themselves

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  • CA Bill Addresses Suspensions and Expulsions

    on Sep 11, 14 • in Current Events in Education, Policy • with Comments


    Millions of students get suspended from school every year – and it is mostly students of color. According to the US Dept. of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, 16% of black students are suspended every year, compared to 5% of white students. When a student is suspended, he or she falls further behind in school, which continues to build frustration in and alienation from the system. It is little surprise, then, that these same students will continue to “act out,” resulting in further suspensions – or eventually expulsion. A piece of legislation in California seeks

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