Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

2013 TFA teachers: you are finished with Institute or are about to finish. You’ve spent hours poring over lesson plans, listening intently to feedback from your advisors(1), attending session after session, and reflecting more than a funhouse mirror. You’ve been staying up late and getting up early for a month-plus. You are probably exhausted. This…

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This is part five of an ongoing dialogue regarding the importance of standardized testing. This post is in response to EMinNM’s “Test scores aren’t all that matter!” EM, before I go any further, let me apologize for my slow response. My go-to excuse for tardiness is here. Thank you for your quite thoughtful response. I…

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I’m responding to EMinMN’s most recent post titled “Test scores do matter. Unfortunately.”  This was originally to be a comment but it got long-winded(1) and I think merits a discussion of the importance of testing in our work. Her post is itself a response to Gary Rubinstein’s post regarding a 2012 CM’s quote: “My vision…

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Jun 12 2013

#68: End-of-year reflections

Summer is officially here as evidenced by an adorable sleeping baby strapped to my chest and the Spurs rolling in the NBA Finals(1). My first year as a general ed teacher is done. My first year of teaching with the STAAR Geometry test is done. My third year is in the books with the fourth…

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I came across a TFA corps member’s old letter of intent, and in addition to showcasing some grade A positivity pablum, it featured this utterly disgraceful passage: I’ve been following Teach for America for several years.  Alum (sic) like Michelle Rhee(1) at DC Public Schools or KIPP founders Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin have used…

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If you will forgive the drought between posts, I did actually begin this one last month and it’s been sitting in the drafts folder ever since. But I think today is as good a time as any to revive it due to the latest legislative news. Among other things, House Bill 5 eliminates the requirement to…

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The Texas House of Representatives just voted to reduce the number of end-of-credit exams required for graduation from a record 15 (five each year from freshman to junior year) to just five. The push to scale back our testing regime came from all corners of the state and enjoyed near-unanimous support from both parties. The…

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I got an e-mail from TFA linking to a blog post on Teacherpop(1) entitled “Feel Unprepared To Teach? You’re Not Alone.”  Based on the headline, I thought that this pertained to my interests. The author, citing the Gates and Walton-funded National Council on Teacher Quality’s State Teacher Policy Yearbook report for 2012, begins by showing…

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It’s now been four weeks since I came back from a truncated paternity leave(1). It is killing me to go to work these days. Each morning I change his diaper and he’s started to get infectiously smiley right when we wake up. I try to get my wife some breakfast and take our dogs out…

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Jan 17 2013

#62: Ben

On Friday, January 11 at 12:59 PM, my life was irreversibly changed. My son Ben — all 10 pounds, 4 ounces, and 22 inches of him — joined our family. I cannot describe the feeling of seeing him for the first time. And I cannot express enough the gratitude for my wife who carried him…

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