September 28, 2011 § 3 Comments
Did you know that Marvel Comics’ new Spiderman attends a charter school? He was one of the lucky ones who wins the lottery in the pages below.
September 27, 2011 § Leave a Comment
On the 27th of each month, my 4.0 Leader School colleagues and I are continuing project 27, an experience that started during 4.0 Essentials. The rules of project 27 are straightforward: Go. Learn. Share. Go somewhere, learn something from someone, and share it with others.
You can read my contribution below, and visit the blogs of my leader school colleagues on their blogs (see the blogroll in right sidebar), or check in with the whole project when we cross-publish our entries on the 27th of each month on our project 27 blog: http://essentialsproject27.blogspot.com/
This evening in my neighborhood of West Riverside in Uptown New Orleans, I met Anastasia.
When I asked Anastasia her opinion of public schools in New Orleans, she got a solemn look on her face and slowly shook her head no, saying, “I’m not a fan of charters, that’s for sure. I tell everyone I can that charters are not the way to go.” « Read the rest of this entry »
September 26, 2011 § 1 Comment
On Wednesday, National Affairs published a new article by Rick Hess, entitled “Our Achievement Gap Mania.” It is a provocative piece that should make anyone who considers themselves an ‘ed reformer’ stop and take a good hard look at the movement and their contribution to it. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 23, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The education world is abuzz about Paul Tough’s cover article in the most recent issue of the New York Times Magazine: What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?
It is a wonderful article that explores the importance of educating for character at two schools in the Bronx: Riverdale, an independent school with tuition starting at $38,500 (for PreK) and KIPP Academy, which is the flagship of KIPP:NYC, part of the cluster of schools I worked with while at KIPP:STAR. I don’t think I need to analyze the article, when so many others – from a second grade teacher in Seattle to commenters on nola.com – have already done so. I will say I worked closely with Dave Levin while I was at STAR, and I think his ability to reflect and stay humble amid all the accolades he receives is truly admirable. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 22, 2011 § Leave a Comment
On Monday, I started knocking on doors in my neighborhood – West Riverside. I learned a lot on my first day out there. Big lessons learned are:
1) This is going to take a lot longer than I thought.
2) Education affects everyone, so everyone has some opinion on it.
3) This is tough to do because as a father of young children, I need to be home during prime ‘door knocking’ hours (5 – 7 PM). « Read the rest of this entry »
September 18, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Today is the Saints’ first home game of the season, and a loud and proud “Who Dat!” rings out across the city and region. I’m excited about the game, and also looking forward to starting to talk with community members in my own neighborhood, West Riverside in Uptown, beginning tomorrow.
I’m starting close to home – I’m a board member on the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association (ARNA) - so I should be familiar with many of my neighbors. The West Riverside neighborhood actually extends downriver well beyond the ARNA boundaries, so I’ll ease into this process while getting into less familiar geographic territory. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 16, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I’m going to start knocking on doors on Monday. In the spirit of “going big or going home,” I’m going to try to devote 6 ‘days’ (really 2 – 3 hours in the early evening or on weekends) to 5 neighborhoods across the city. If you are a New Orleanian, or if you know New Orleans well, please vote on where I should go by clicking on the ‘neighborhood polls’ link above. Here’s where the polls stand now:
September 15, 2011 § 4 Comments
On the second day of our Texas regional school tour, my 4.0Schools team and I visited St. John’s School in Houston, TX. As you might expect, achievement was high at St. Johns – I sat in on a BC Calculus Lab class that was filled with Juniors and Sophomores. Even attending public school in a wealthy Northern New Jersey suburb in the mid-nineties, I did not take Calculus until the 12th grade.
September 14, 2011 § 2 Comments
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas, with four of my 4.0Schools colleagues. Hockaday is an all-girls independent school and, it was one of the most wonderful schools I have seen in a long time, and possibly ever.
I saw remarkable levels of autonomy among Hockaday students – girls took ownership for their own learning in every classroom we observed. Upper school (5th grade and up) students had multiple opportunities for unstructured time, which the regularly used to complete homework, to study or for further academic practice. I did not see a single student goofing off or not taking their academics seriously.
September 13, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Every child deserves an excellent teacher in every classroom. It is great to hire locally for a variety of reasons, but our primary responsibility is to the students, who deserve nothing less than a great teacher every year. In my school, I hope to have a diverse group of excellent teachers. I’m sure some will be born and raised New Orleanians teaching in the same neighborhood where they grew up, just as I’m sure others will relocate to New Orleans for the new job. We will be a diverse group of teachers to be sure, but we will be homogeneous in one respect: everyone will be committed to constant improvement and toward becoming the best teacher possible. « Read the rest of this entry »