“VoteforDonaldTrump?”

On my way home from work yesterday I participated in a poll conducted by one of the youngest pollsters in America. I was on my bike, trying to push through the thick August heat. My route home passes several playgrounds and basketball courts and I usually look over to see kids and teens and even…

Article: Why It’s Never Too Late To Rescue Failing Students

[Still obsessed with this organization, though “rescue” can be a tricky verb. The savior complex is alive and well and the mentors get a lot out of this too, which this article doesn’t recognize as much as the other one I posted. Still, gets me back to wondering what it would look like to do…

Article: The 400,000 Latino Children Missing From the Census

[This very brief article calls to mind dissapearing — when people are missing, are not counted, not seen by the state, what is lost? In this case, Head Start (pre-k), WIC, and other social benefits funding. But also something more intangible is lost; the lives of these children are discounted when they go uncounted, dissapearing like…

Grief

Barbara Kingsolver has been one of my favorite authors for many years now. I first read her work in high school, Animal Dreams and The Poisonwood Bible shaping my sense of her as an author. Then there was a recent summer where I read three of her books in a row. She comes from the…

Article: The Families That Can’t Afford Summer

[I recently took on the task of finding something for the boy who brings books on the bus something to do for the summer. I have a reasonable grasp of the options for 8th graders here but wasn’t sure about the 3rd grader-sized summer opportunities. So I started sleuthing. The first several stops on the…

Article: Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares

[This article got a lot of attention when it was published (at least among the folks I’m friends with on facebook and in real life). The subtitle says it best, “Sixth graders in the richest school districts are four grade levels ahead of children in the poorest districts.” The charts are beautiful, as my friend…

“I brought a book!”

“I brought a book!” he said proudly, small smile beaming. “That’s great! Do you want to read it now or when we get on the bus?” “Now…” he responded a little sheepishly. So my new favorite kid plopped down on the bench next to me, pulled a book out of his backpack and I began…

Article: Why America’s Schools Have A Money Problem

[Check out where you live. Where I grew up is an island of grey in a sea of orange. Where I teach is a little too small on the map to really discern the details. But the phenomenon certainly applies, with school districts in close proximity that have vastly different per pupil expenditure. This article…

Article: Summer Jobs for All City High School Students

[I couldn’t agree more. One of my priorities is matching students with summer opportunities, which in 8th grade often doesn’t mean paid work (much to my students frustration). My summer experiences in high school (mostly babysitting, but also other opportunities) gave me confidence, experience, responsibility, independence, and, of course, money. These positions mostly appeared through…

Article: For Vulnerable Teenagers, a Web of Support

[One of the things circling in my head lately is the organization profiled here. What would it look like to commit to a kid like this? I’ve heard an adult at my school commit to a student for the long-haul, unconditional support, but it kind of was conditional. The student is headed to private school and,…

Honorary Dominican?

Walking to the bus stop with three kids last Thursday, the topic turned to who is more American and who is more Dominican. The three students were all born in the D.R. and have lived in the U.S. for about four years combined. “He’s not cold at all,” one girl pointed out about the boy,…