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January 10, 2018
Our readers had a lot to say in 2017. Make your voice heard in 2018.
Chalkbeat invites readers to tell your stories in a series we call First Person. Here are a few examples that stood out in 2017.
December 19, 2017
A former superintendent wonders: What’s missing from the discussion about the portfolio model?
I know from experience that we need to focus on the substance of what goes on in schools, not just the formal structures in which those schools operate.
September 13, 2017
When my student was assaulted and traumatized, my school didn’t know what to do. Let’s change that.
An aura of gloom became a student’s new trademark, and he began acting out. A teacher wonders how her school could have done a better job responding.
June 20, 2017
I dropped out of school in Denver at 13. Here’s how I ended up back in the classroom helping kids learn.
My daughter's teacher told me I should come work there because I was a natural teacher. I think my answer to her was, “Yeah, seriously.”
May 4, 2017
What this teacher learned when her discipline system went awry — for all the right reasons
The author, a teacher at P.S. 11 in Chelsea, shared this story at Teachable Moments, a live storytelling event.
April 25, 2017
How I learned not to be ‘that mom’ — while keeping up the good fight for my son with a learning disability
Amy Valentine explains how she cut through "the fog of inaction" at her son's school, using the experience to teach (and learn) about perseverance.
January 19, 2017
I’m an education reformer, and Betsy DeVos is going to kill our coalition. Here’s a game plan.
Our country’s Republican leadership is about to leave behind a technocratic agenda in favor of an ideological one. That really matters.
November 4, 2016
Why the new changes to the color ratings for Denver schools have me red in the face
The district's newfound concern for schools that will see their ratings fall underscore the real consequences of that system — one that has hurt schools I've worked at.
November 2, 2016
I was frustrated with my toughest high school students. Then we went to a farm to scrub pumpkins.
I didn't think a cold, rainy field trip to a farm with 20 fifteen-year-olds was going to be a transformative experience. I was wrong.
September 22, 2016
First Person: What my Bronx students think about passing through scanners at school
Key voices have been absent from these conversations about school safety: those of students and teachers. So I asked my students what they thought.
First Person - STEM edition
September 7, 2016
Why is a STEM education important? Because it’s going to help me build a better water system for Ethiopia.
I can achieve this goal only if I learn as much as possible in my science, math, engineering and technology classes.
August 16, 2016
First Person: How Olympic athletes saved my teaching career
Each year, Olympic mentors have changed the feel and the character of my class for the better.
August 9, 2016
First Person: Black boys in ‘book deserts’ don’t get inspiring literary experiences. Let’s do better.
I’m suggesting we take the pressure off of individual teachers and parents and focus on advocating for more literate communities.
August 8, 2016
We want to know: What does the first week of school look like for you?
Thousands of students in Tennessee’s largest school district will grab their backpacks and newly minted pencils Monday as they head into their first classes of the…
August 1, 2016
First Person: Our stopgap strategies for helping long-term English learners aren’t good enough
Too often, we simply have more adults work with our neediest students, instead of the right adults, writes Rob Gulya, a special-education teacher in the Bronx.
July 18, 2016
Hunger is a learning issue: Why it’s important for teachers to care about the minimum wage debate
First Person: I am proud to work at a school that is proactive in addressing food insecurity as an academic issue.
how we got here
July 14, 2016
First Person: My local school didn’t teach my son the way I hoped it would. To tackle segregation, we need to talk about that, too
A New York City teacher explains how differences in teaching styles help drive school segregation — and tells her own story of choosing a school for her son.
July 13, 2016
50 years ago, one report introduced Americans to the black-white achievement gap. Here’s what we’ve learned since.
A Harvard education professor explains how far we've come in answering some of the most important questions in education in the wake of the famous Coleman report.
July 12, 2016
A letter to fellow teachers: As we denounce racist police, we must not hold our tongues about racist schools
A Minnesota Teacher of the Year: We better not say “not all teachers.” Get mad at the murder and incarceration, but acknowledge that we are fueling the system.
July 12, 2016
My students deal with poverty, deportation and military moves. Here’s how I make each newcomer feel welcome.
The Denver teacher whose "I Wish My Teacher Knew" lesson went viral: We can’t control when students transition into or out of our schools. But we can be ready.
June 29, 2016
Years after co-location controversy, two principals say sharing space has made both schools better
Although some objected to Success Academy's co-location, as school leaders, we felt it was our responsibility to make the best of sharing our space.
June 23, 2016
First Person: Why I decided to come out to my second-grade students
Truly preparing our kids for success in college and beyond means preparing them to develop and maintain relationships with people who are different.
June 9, 2016
It’s not about quotas: The real story behind how two Brooklyn schools have begun to diversify
If we care about making sure New York City’s students attend schools that reflect the city’s diversity, it is important to understand how new programs are working.
December 8, 2015
Why I transformed my sixth grade science class into a coding class, and how you can too
A science teacher at Excellence Girls Charter School explains why she decided that her school needed more than a coding club.
June 2, 2015
Colorado on the right path to close "honesty gap"
We need to keep in mind the benefits of honest data from a test that will help teachers improve instruction to get students ready for their lives after high school.
May 21, 2015
Healthy relationship between governments, citizens is a must for our students to learn
Community health and safety are inexorably linked to education, especially in a time when communities are questioning the social equity of our society.
May 12, 2015
This teacher gave his students confidence to fail at math and that makes all the difference
Joe teaches second grade at Cowell Elementary in Denver, a school struggling with poverty and all the academic problems that go with it.
April 30, 2015
No one will miss ninth grade standardized testing
Let’s think what an incredible opportunity Colorado has to create a new, more equitable model, one that would regain broad public support, argues a Colorado mother.
April 28, 2015
A few common sense reasons not to opt out of tests
There are plenty of common sense reasons why parents shouldn't opt out their students from tests, argues a Greeley teacher.
April 20, 2015
It takes a village to raise a charter school
A charter school leader explains how her school came to be, largely based on partnerships.
April 6, 2015
Why should we keep our state exams? Because they shine a light on the path toward education equity
The CEO of the Colorado Children's Campaign and a former Denver mayor explain why they want to keep testing Colorado kids.
March 18, 2015
Here's how we can measure student growth outside of standardized testing
Tests that only measure the information students retain are too limited, four Colorado Teachers of the Year argue.
March 17, 2015
I'm a Colorado educator and I helped build the PARCC math exams
Days after Colorado became a PARCC state in 2012, I traveled with about 25 other Colorado educators to Chicago to the first convening of the PARCC Educator Leader Cadre.
March 10, 2015
What student protesters can learn from history
If students want to be taken seriously, it is critical that they come to the table with solutions, not just problems.
February 23, 2015
Commentary: Class rank is an antiquated practice that pits student against student
Schools need to realize that academic excellence and achievement is not something that can be measured by a ranking system.
February 16, 2015
Breaking down perceptions of others helps students learn
Our desire is for MindWorks to instill in students a growth mindset and to reenergize and feed the intellectual fire that we know all students possess. In doing so we seek to uncover each student’s potential and help him or her embark on the educational journey with renewed energy.
February 9, 2015
One parent's plea for accountability
Denver parent Arturo Garcia argues that rigorous annual testing of students is essential if the U.S. wishes to remain competitive on the global stage.
February 6, 2015
‘Ready to read’? Why schools should reject the label and focus on solving the problem
Harlem Link's Steven Evangelista: What can educators and policymakers do about the word gap that lower-income children face even before kindergarten?
January 21, 2015
Why creating opportunities for students of color to become teachers is important
Our potential future teachers look vastly different from the current teacher demographics in Colorado. Nearly 60 percent of our current and former students are Latino/a, 35 percent African American and 42 percent male.
September 30, 2014
To raise graduation rates, the de Blasio administration needs a comprehensive strategy
Former deputy chancellor Eric Nadelstern: So far, Chancellor Fariña's initiatives have not globally addressed the entire school system, and they have not made student performance their central ambition.
June 24, 2014
Pairing serious inquiry with play, my students find a balance education policy lacks
Describing her students' end-of-year presentation, a teacher makes the case for curricula that blend "piety" and "play."
June 16, 2014
School’s Out but Learning is Still In: Summer Resources for Families of Students with Learning Differences
As the final dismissal bells tolled to mark the official start of summer, thousands of students across the state headed home and won’t spend a moment more…
June 6, 2014
Unable to suggest other schools, teachers left with special ed reform dilemma
A middle school special education teacher is concerned that city policy has schools like hers constantly scrambling to support the needs of new students who might be better served by different schools.
May 30, 2014
What I learned from four years of fighting for the city’s ‘scariest’ schools
An unlikely parent advocate explains why she chose to work in schools slated for closure—and what she learned from the students and teachers who stuck it out.
May 23, 2014
How a very unlikely school visit improved my students’ writing
Rather than turning exclusively to other private schools for insight, a Catholic school principal looked to district schools and a Brooklyn charter school teaching Greek for new models.
May 21, 2014
An overlooked part of fixing school discipline policies: reducing fear
A behavior coach and former Bronx school administrator argues that overhauling teachers understand misbehavior and interact with their toughest students is key to improving school discipline policies.
May 13, 2014
City’s approach to assigning credits allows for fresh starts, but increases frustration
A high school teacher reflects on how offering credits at two points in the year leads to differences in student emotion and motivation.
May 7, 2014
Swamped with assessments, the biggest lesson my students learn is how to give up
A second grade special education teacher: "We have spent so much instructional time assessing our students this year that we have not been able to effectively use the data we have collected," at great cost to students' learning, confidence and self-worth.
April 28, 2014
The city’s attendance system is inefficient—and I’ve seen a better way
After moving from Philadelphia to New York City, a teacher argues that the city's pencil-and-paper attendance system is wildly inefficient.
April 23, 2014
How teaching students with special needs makes me a better teacher for everyone
A special education teacher argues that educating children who don't have special needs in the same classroom as those who do, as happens more and more under special education reforms, can be an opportunity for greater learning for all students—if teachers get creative.
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