Article: A New Study Reveals Much About How Parents Really Choose Schools

[We’re wrapping up high school application season and entering notification season — no tears so far but we anticipate disappoint and euphoria and, related to this article, tough decisions for families. How will parents select what schools their student attends? Intriguing thoughts below. (Also thanks Thomas for passing this along to me!)] A New Study…

“But it was boring, Ms!”

Day 3 post-snow-cation: “So what did you learn about today?” I queried the trio of students who were walking to the bus with me. They shared their answers but the 7th grade boy whose name I don’t know made me do a double-take. “I learned about Ebola!” he said excitedly. “Oh yeah? That’s cool!” “But…

Article: True Or False? Free And Reduced-Price Lunch = Poor

[An interesting examination of the use of a very essential metric for understanding poverty in schools. Great issues are raised — the heterogeneity within this metric, the new policy of getting free lunches for an entire school and what that means for understanding school demographics, etc. But the reference to families who earn 185 percent…

First Day Back

Today was the first day back after what felt like months of snow days. But also somehow felt like not enough time off. You probably know the feeling? I was out of practice. My students were out of practice. We were a mess. I couldn’t quite remember when to take them to snack. They couldn’t…

Ice-Skating With My Students

Quick departure from the usual theme; this story is too much not to tell you about. Unbeknownst to me until about five weeks ago, I live sorta near an ice skating rink. I mentioned this casually to a couple of people I know, and one of them suggested that we go ice-skating together. We’ve known each…

Article: To Save Money on Building Rail, Spend Money on Marketing Buses

[Very related to what I gleaned from Happy City. Thanks, Melia, for drawing my attention to this article! I should note that I find the Silver Line infuriating because it is not a bus-rapid transit line at al (the special paved lane doesn’t seem to do much and the display boards are often inaccurate. Other bus…

A Basketball Field Trip: The Good, the Great, and the Ugly

“Here’s my permission slip Ms!” D called as he jogged up to me and the group of nine 8th grade boys standing next to me. Just in time! We were all headed to the Harvard men’s basketball game against Cornell and we were about to miss the bus. “Alright let’s go, folks! We have a bus…

Article: Social Programs That Work

[My two cents: I want to know more about the particular programs this article mentions and think that it makes an important point about evidence despite having a very different political affiliation than me. However, it doesn’t tackle the issues surrounding data — what data is used, how it is collected, who runs the studies,…

“Ok I’m gonna walk with you.”

Y raised her hand in homework block, so I went over to her, assuming I’d be answering another question about the Power of Powers rule (you multiply the powers: (X²)³ = X^6). Instead, I was handed this: I have only a vague idea of what she was talking about. She has certainly been chatty in…

Article: The Activity Gap

[Part of what my org is trying to address and the long term (beyond middle school) consequences.] The Activity Gap By Alia Wong Imagine two young adults who, despite living in the same city, come from very different worlds. One is named Ethan—a freshman at an elite college near Austin, Texas, pursuing a degree in…

Happy Commuting

“Almost all of us will choose a seat in a restaurant with a view of others…We like to look at each other. We enjoy hovering in the zone somewhere between strangers and intimates. We want the opportunity to watch and be watched, even if we have no intention of ever actually making contact with one another.”…

Article: Helping the Poor in Education: The Power of a Simple Nudge

[I found this really interesting! Now that I’m using texts for my snow-day-notification-machine, I’m wondering what else they could be used for.] Helping the Poor in Education: The Power of a Simple Nudge JAN. 17, 2015 By SUSAN DYNARSKI There are enormous inequalities in education in the United States. A child born into a poor…