Monthly Archives: June 2012

Join me live on Spreecast this Wednesday 6/27

It has been a while, but I’m going to attempt another live internet video chat show on Spreecast. If you want to watch or participate, go to this Wednesday June 27th at 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. I’ll be … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 3 Comments

The power of negative thinking

Reading the great blog posts by new corps members give me a real insight into what they are, and are not, being taught at institute.  I really appreciate that these new TFAers are willing to write about their thoughts and … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 38 Comments

Same problems, different year

Looking over some of the new corps members blog entries, I’m struck by their enthusiasm despite their revelation that my biggest critique of TFA over the past few years is still valid in 2012. Student teaching classes are ridiculously small.  … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 12 Comments

Has TFA attrition improved since the first corps?

Going through some old stuff I located a copy of an article from the New York Times on June 26, 1991, just after I arrived at the Los Angeles TFA institute to begin my training. The headline was ‘For Freshman … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 7 Comments

TFA: The paradox of ed reform

When you hear proponents of the current style of ed ‘reform’ speak about their mission, it is all about getting ‘great teachers.’  LIFO causes us to fire great teachers.  Three great teachers in a row can close the achievement gap.  … Continue reading

Posted in book proposal, Teach For America, tfa rants | 8 Comments

Reflections on my NPR interview and TFA’s response

A few weeks ago I did my first ever radio interview.  I have to admit that I was a bit nervous.  Writing a blog is a lot easier since you can stop and think about what you want to write, … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America, tfa rants | 7 Comments

What charters teach us

Charter schools were conceived as places for innovation so the lessons learned from these experiments can be shared with all schools to help them improve. After twenty years of such experimentation, there is finally one very clear strategy charters have … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 23 Comments

The Don’ts and Don’ts of Teaching

Having written two books of teaching advice, I was invited, a few months ago, to write a short article for Educational Leadership Magazine with the best advice I’d give to new teachers. I decided to focus on common rookie mistakes … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching Advice | 8 Comments


A TFA blogger called yoteach on this site recently wrote a post revealing a juicy secret about me that I have been trying to conceal, evidently, for years. I could deny that this secret is true, but there is too … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 13 Comments


I got my start as a writer with my monthly submissions to the Teach For America Houston newsletter during my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years of teaching (1992-1995).  As the columns were supposed to be light and funny, I avoided … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 11 Comments