School Talk

Huge Disconnect Between Parents and Teachers on Value (and Danger!) of Digital Devices

I was folding laundry (what else is new?) and had the TV on in the background when a segment on the show Full Measure with Sharyl Attkison came on that caught my attention. The segment was called “Digital Impact” and its focus was on the huge disconnect between how parents and teachers view digital devices.  … Continue reading Huge Disconnect Between Parents and Teachers on Value (and Danger!) of Digital Devices

Rhode Island

We Have a Problem With Fractions

When Dan Yorke (of Dan Yorke State of Mind) asked Ken Wagner, Rhode Island’s Education Commissioner, about our math scores being “in the dumper,” Wagner replied with one simple explanation: “We have a problem with fractions.” And it was clear from the conversation that the problem isn’t limited to our students but extends to the… Continue reading We Have a Problem With Fractions

Rhode Island · School Talk

Governor Raimondo Must Take the Lead in Acknowledging that Way Too Many RI Students are Graduating Unprepared for College

In September, CCRI reported a 47 percent jump in its enrollment of full-time students who have just graduated high school, a boost that the college attributed to the promise of two years of free tuition. But the college later acknowledged that only a fraction of those students were on track to graduate in two years.… Continue reading Governor Raimondo Must Take the Lead in Acknowledging that Way Too Many RI Students are Graduating Unprepared for College

School Talk

Former Camden Supe Adds Nuance and Wisdom to School Discipline, Restorative Justice Debate

As everyone who closely follows education policy knows, discipline is a hot issue and has been for a while. As the data consistently shows, there are concerning disparities in suspensions and overall consequences for black and brown students when compared with white students.  But the conversation, in typical 2018 style, has devolved into an assuming… Continue reading Former Camden Supe Adds Nuance and Wisdom to School Discipline, Restorative Justice Debate

School Talk

Meet the High School Dean Who is Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ Students (Many of Whom See Themselves in Her)

We often talk about the importance and value of students being able to see themselves in their teachers and the other adults they see every day at school—and that includes LGBTQ students. What a gift to have this Dean who has already lived through what the LGBTQ students in her building are likely experiencing themselves.… Continue reading Meet the High School Dean Who is Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ Students (Many of Whom See Themselves in Her)

School Talk

As a Former Member of Two Teachers’ Unions, I Celebrate the Janus Decision

While people scream from the rooftops about how wrong and unfair the Janus ruling is, let’s pause for a moment and at least acknowledge that, in the context of the teachers’ unions, almost no one is even talking about what’s best for kids in any of their passion filled proclamations about the destruction of the… Continue reading As a Former Member of Two Teachers’ Unions, I Celebrate the Janus Decision

Rhode Island · School Talk

Mexico Brought This School Its First Valedictorian

There is something really special about any school’s first graduating class and the recent college signing day and subsequent graduation at Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP) was no exception. Located in tiny little Rhode Island, this school bears the scars of political battles that were ultimately won because of courageous and relentless people who believe that… Continue reading Mexico Brought This School Its First Valedictorian

School Talk

No, They Aren’t Amazing Because They Finished 5th Grade

These kids are so amazing. I’m so proud of them. I’m sorry, what? Is a 5th grade graduation really all that amazing? Are we really high-fiving and showering our kids with gifts because they finished 8th grade? There was a time when graduations were only for twelfth graders. I think I liked that better, truth… Continue reading No, They Aren’t Amazing Because They Finished 5th Grade

School Talk

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom That My Teachers Never Talked About

Today is Juneteenth and somehow, I never even heard about the significance of this day until I was over forty years old. My guess is that many Americans still have zero idea about the significance of June 19th—Juneteenth—but there will be celebrations around the country to honor this hugely important day in our nation’s history.… Continue reading Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom That My Teachers Never Talked About

School Talk

Janus: Countdown to Big Supreme Court Decision on Unions

The union voice is not my voice. The union’s fight is not my fight. -Mark Janus   Public sector unions are no stranger to constitutional challenges but the imminent Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME just may change the game when it comes to free speech and agency fees or shared fees. Since 1977, union… Continue reading Janus: Countdown to Big Supreme Court Decision on Unions