Archives › 2011 › June

After my first year of teaching, I developed some ideas to have a more successful second year.  They worked, and I began spreading the word, informally, for the next couple of years.  Then in 1995, I created a workshop about the importance of classroom management and about what it means to be a ‘real’ teacher. …

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Jun 22 2011

@2011s Can You Handle The Truth?

I believe that TFA does not think so, and I will use this post to explain what evidence I have for this claim and also speculate why that choose to underestimate you in this way. When I was growing up in the 1970s, I loved watching reruns of ‘The Brady Bunch’ a show about a…

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Jun 21 2011

Expulsions from New Orleans Charters

The most compelling argument for charter schools is that they serve as places where educational innovations can be tested.  After a small charter school, or even a charter network, proves that it is able to be successful on a small scale, they could share what they’ve learned with the regular public schools so everyone can…

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Jun 19 2011

Bring Your Vulnerabilities To Work Day

Last Monday I completed a 20 year Odyssey that began my first day of teaching in August of 1991.  Back then, I had a lot of theories about teaching, some of which was suggested by some oversimplified advice in my training.  One such piece of advice was ‘Be yourself.’  I tried that and it went…

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Another excellent question! TFA, according to its website, spends between $60,000 and $120,000 in a combination of taxpayer money and private donations to train, recruit, and support one new corps member. The government gives them taxpayer money, many people donate their own money, and tens of thousands bright young minds apply to TFA because the…

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Jun 16 2011

Same Kids, Same Building, Same Lies — Redux

A few months ago after attending the 20th anniversary summit, I wrote a post about my progress in investigating a school that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan singled out in his keynote speech. Urban Prep is a small charter school that is located in what was once Englewood High School in Chicago, which was closed…

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Jun 16 2011

Made it to Twitter!

I know that I’m behind the times on this one, but if you love my blog then you’ll really love following me on Twitter. In two weeks I’ve already gotten 62 followers (is that good?) mainly because of this welcome tweet from my personal hero. So feel free to follow me if you have an…

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Jun 09 2011

Why does TFA value quantity over quality?

Another good question. So the first question, again, is how do I know that TFA values quantity over quality?  First let me clarify that this means that TFA is more concerned with growing the corps than it is with making sure that the new teachers are effective. I know this is true because TFA has…

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(Note: As you will see in the comments to this post, the numbers are currently being challenged by TFA. There is a chance that my numbers are not accurate, though the numbers they are claiming do not agree with the ‘eyewitness accounts’ of some of the CMs who have written to me. Regardless, this post…

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Jun 03 2011

Turnaround every now and then I get …

I’ve recently written three posts about so-called ‘turnaround’ schools in Chicago, Memphis, and again in Chicago. Since none of these schools have achieved the test scores that are so emphasized by the rheeformers, I’ve been thinking about how these examples could help us to redefine what’s meant by a turnaround school.  In doing so, we…

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By a somewhat frustrated 1991 alum

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