Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Don’ts and Don’ts of Teaching

I’ll take a break from my relentless critique of TFA to offer some teaching advice to the new corps members.  Having written two books of teaching advice, I was invited, a few months ago, to write a short article for … 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

Teach For Un-America

America is supposed to be ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave.’  And our bravery is really just an offshoot of our freedom — we can feel brave to say and write what we want because … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 10 Comments

Wendy at Dartmouth: Builders vs. Haters

A few days ago, June 10th, Wendy Kopp, founder of TFA delivered the commencement address at Dartmouth (read it or see it here).  Aside from the appropriate motivational stories that make a commencement speech inspirational and relevant, Wendy also dedicated … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 17 Comments

It takes a village

Probably the worst part about being an opponent of bad education reform is when I have to ‘debunk’ a potential ‘miracle school.’  A ‘miracle’ school is one that gets extremely high test scores despite having the same types of students … Continue reading

Posted in Debunking | 19 Comments

Confessions of a recovering value-adder

In general, the ‘better’ I teach, the better my students do on my bi-weekly exams.  A big part of teaching is trying to accurately monitor assessment during the lessons and trying to ensure that by the time that the teacher-made … Continue reading

Posted in book proposal, Teach For America | 8 Comments