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Aug 07 2013

Teacher evaluation tools

Today I hit SEND on the final versions of our new report cards. This means our three-, four-, and five-year-old programs are streamlined for the first time during my tenure. One thing I tried to keep in mind while developing our new syllabi, assessments, and report cards is that they need to make sense to…

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Aug 05 2013

Steps and Lanes

Today I signed my agreement to officially return for a third year at my school. As a small center, we’ve had a pretty tight budget every year, but we were fortunate enough to see a slight pay increase going into next year. But my agreement also led me to some questions. Now that I’m in…

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Last September, Michigan had 1,529,887 students enrolled in 883 public schools. The state manages 549 “Local Educational Authorities” (LEAs) that are loosely governed by 56 “Intermediate School Districts,” (ISDs) (1). After this week, the number of LEAs will be smaller by 2, as the State of Michigan moved forward with the dissolution of the Buena Vista School…

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Jul 25 2013

Tenure reform continues in MI

When Michigan passed its teacher tenure reform bill in 2011, the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness was formed to propose a new teacher evaluation system. Yesterday the MCEE released its recommendations calling on the Legislature to pass one of four model teacher and administrator evaluations that would rank individuals as “professional,” “provisional,” or “ineffective” based on classroom…

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Jul 16 2013

Paging the unions

One key challenge of urban education is the high teacher turnover rate. As I’ve mentioned before, 46 percent of new teachers will leave the profession within five years. Arguably, that number is higher in urban districts where we teachers face larger socio-economic obstacles. Thus, one of the major criticisms of Teach For America’s mere two-year…

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Jul 12 2013

Denouement

A few weeks ago, I got into a back and forth with a friend about charter schools. She accused me of being too general in my distaste for them, and blasted me for not taking a more nuanced approach to education policy. After responding to a barrage of comments on my open letter the past…

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Jul 08 2013

My open letter to 2013 corps members

Dear 2013 corps members, I recently read and commented on a blog post calling on you to quit Teach For America because, as alleged in the letter, the program exacerbates inequalities, operates under a broken model, isn’t wanted by communities, and practices disaster capitalism. While I agree with many of the author’s points, I want…

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Jun 25 2013

Should the state fund a teacher corps?

I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on state budgets over the past few weeks on this blog. That’s because despite questions about student test scores, teacher evaluations, poverty, or the litany of other issues that land on the education spectrum, we will always return to the almighty dollar. In Michigan and Pennsylvania, tax cuts…

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Jun 24 2013

An Open Letter to Gov. Walker

On Thursday the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on a provision in the proposed state budget that would limit the release of private school data. As an educator at a private school in Milwaukee, I was outraged by this provision and drafted the following letter to Governor Walker encouraging him to veto the provision. Dear Governor Walker:…

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About this Blog

I'm an educator, Kalamazoo College alumnus, Democrat, and proud Detroiter! Views here are my own.

Region
Milwaukee
Grade
Early Childhood

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