The Status Quo Miracle District

Over the past two years I’ve spent a lot of time debunking ‘miracle’ schools and ‘miracle’ districts.  The way it works is that some politician or journalist tells a story about how this school or district has come up with a way to get their high poverty students to score as well in standardized tests as their wealthier counterparts.  Usually they just imply that a school or district has done this, instead quoting some contrived growth statistic, college acceptance numbers, or an ambiguously defined graduation rate.

When I debunk a school or district, it’s not to say that these schools are not doing a good job.  They may very well be.  But my purpose is to show that they are not doing a miraculous job and are certainly not proving that “poverty doesn’t matter” or whatever other cliche you prefer.  I think that these miracle stories are dangerous since they imply that even without a huge increase in funding some schools have figured out how to outperform the nearby ‘failing’ schools.  Certainly some schools are better run than others and certain staffs are better teachers than other staffs.  But when one place is supposedly working miracles, it causes people to support the idea of shutting down those other schools and firing their teachers, which is something I don’t believe works.

The latest miracle district was featured in a New York Times Op Ed written by David Kirp entitled The Secret To Fixing Bad Schools.  This article has gotten a lot of attention and I learned about it initially from people on “my side” of the ed reform debate since the article says that this “turnaround” story was accomplished without any of the usual corporate reform tactics.  Here is a widely quoted section:

What makes Union City remarkable is, paradoxically, the absence of pizazz. It hasn’t followed the herd by closing “underperforming” schools or giving the boot to hordes of teachers. No Teach for America recruits toil in its classrooms, and there are no charter schools.

Instead they made research-based reforms which included expanded Pre-K programs and teacher-designed curricula.  I can understand why people opposed to the destructive policies of corporate reform would get excited about the point of this article.  This district has improved despite bypassing the reckless type of reform that is happening in Newark with charter schools and merit pay.

But after the initial good feeling I got by reading this article, the skeptic in me started thinking about these claims and their implications.  I also noticed that this article was sent around on Twitter by some corporate reform types and was even sent out on Whitney Tilson’s email digest.  My concern is that when people who are opposed to corporate reform buy too much into a story like this, it opens them up for people to say “You see.  Poverty really doesn’t matter.  You admit that schools can overcome all.”

Now it seems like this district, which is ironically named “Union City” has done a lot of good things.  Expanding Pre-K is something I fully support and I’ve noticed some things recently even from StudentsFirstNY tweeting about the importance of the early years.  Also Union City has gotten some extra funding from the state, and I’m all for giving schools more resources.  All these things will help students get a better education, but they still won’t make a big difference in terms of the main metric of the corporate reformers — test scores.  And looking at the school report card for the lone high school in that district, Union City High School, the numbers are not all that impressive.

The article quotes one statistic, that the school has an 89.5% graduation rate.  While this is true, I’ve found that ‘Graduation Rate’ is one of the more ambiguously defined metrics I’ve studied.  It doesn’t mean, generally, what most people would think it means, namely that 89.5% of the students who entered as 9th graders four years ago graduated four years later.  When I examined the report card I learned that of that 89.5%, a large 23.2% graduated in a non-traditional way by appeals, an Alternative High School Assessment (which is, from my understanding, like a GED) or other methods.

One statistic you can see for yourself in the report card is that the school seems to have zero students passing any AP exams.  Not that I put a lot of stake into standardized tests, but still, it is worth noting.  Also the average SAT score hovers at approximately 400 per section.  This is a little lower than the score for their District Factor Group (DFG) which is a group of schools that have similar demographics.

Anyway, I hate to burst people’s bubbles and I certainly don’t want to take anything away from the work that the teachers and students are doing over there.  I think these authentic reforms are the way to go and are the things that make schools better.  But still, there is a limit to how much schools are able to accomplish without some shocking increase in resources.  I certainly don’t think that their test scores mean they should get shut down or to be experimented on with ridiculous corporate reform garbage.  But I also don’t think that the ‘bad’ schools that are alluded to in the title of the Times article deserve to be called that either.  I do think we should celebrate a district not buying into the usual reforms, but it is also important to acknowledge the limits of school based solutions, even solutions based on research, on things like standardized test scores.  In that sense there are not, to my knowledge, any ‘miracle’ schools.  On the other hand, the small miracles that teachers all over the country perform each day are not something to be ashamed of.

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36 Responses to The Status Quo Miracle District

  1. Pingback: Headlines, 2/13/2013 | EdGator

  2. Mary Hunter says:

    Very unhelpful. With friends like you, public education needs no enemies. You help the reformer deformers with this.
    And what do you know of Union City? I expect extremely little. You’re so busy venting a blogger’s ATTITUDE, that you’ve lost all thoughtfulness.

    • Emily Becker says:

      I think a thoughtful analysis of the math behind the miracle claims is always helpful. I am really thankful to have a math person paying attention!!

  3. David Kirp didn’t claim this was a “miracle” district, but a very high poverty that has made real, solid progress in improving educational quality and outcomes for its kids. There are other NJ high poverty districts making similar progress. How about visiting these schools and talking with the teachers before commenting from afar and passing judgment? .

  4. Emily Becker says:

    Thank you for writing this! I read that op-ed in the NYTimes and thought, here we go again. It’s like a fad diet craze, jumping from one thing to the next. Yes, I do think pre-K would make a big difference…anybody willing to pay? In my school, it would also help to have 3 more counselors! But no, test scores trump everything.

  5. Stan Karp says:

    I’ve appreciated a lot of your work about TFA, Brill and corporate reform, so I was disappointed to see this not very well-informed take on Union City and the Abbott reforms. Just to correct your post on one issue that I have personally worked on over the past several years: NJ’s alternate high school assessment is not at all “like a GED.” The AHSA is an alternate assessment that assesses the same standards as the regular exit exam, but is given with additional accommodations for time, langauge, etc. It leads to the same state-endorsed diploma as other graduates receive and AHSA students must complete the same course and local requirements as other graduates. Advocates have fought hard to retain this “multiple pathway” which is especially important for ELL students like those in Union City. About two-thirds of NJ’s ELL students earn their diplomas by using the AHSA to satisfy state language arts standards. It keeps kids in school and on track to graduate when they might otherwise be pushed out.

    The next battle will be to save the AHSA from the PARCC common core assessments. It doesn’t help to spread misinformation about the all-too-rare good practices we’re trying to save.

    There are no “miracles” in Union City or anywhere else, but Abbott did represent an alternative, equity-based approach to reform that we need to resurrect. That’s real “Union City story.”

  6. public school supporter says:

    Positive change was made in Union City and other Abbott districts by receiving additional, hard-fought resources, and spending it on things that matter in education (preK, curriculum, instruction, etc) . This is NOT a negative story. Please do not turn it into one. No one who fights for adequate and equitable school funding claims that schools can do it alone. But when schools show progress with additional funds spent on what really works in education, why denigrate that, just because it is not a miracle? How does that help? And, by the way, the AHSA is NOT like a GED. It uses the same standards and leads to the same state-endorsed diploma. AHSA students need to complete the same coursework and requirements.

    • Gary Rubinstein says:

      @public school supporter, Thanks for clarifying about AHSA. As someone who has been defending public schools with every moment of my free time for the past two years, I feel bad if it seems like I’m denigrating a success story here. I’m not saying that they did not do a lot of good there. But when that graduation rate claim was quoted in the article, it made me think that this type of misdirection is right out of the corporate reformer playbook. We have the ‘truth’ on our side so it is not necessary for us to stoop to that level. Union City has nothing to be ashamed of. They are using extra money that they earned wisely. They are building a strong culture, and they are doing it without the fear mongering that is making other districts worse. I just don’t think that it is necessary to ‘prove’ their success by the metrics devised by people who know nothing about education.

  7. The Abbott districts, of which Union City is one, also received more state funding to spend on programs like class size reduction; which now average about 15 in pre-K, 21 in grades K-three, 23 4th and 5th grades, and 24 in 6th through HS. This is far smaller than class sizes here in NYC and most other high-need districts.

    • KatieO says:

      See, now THIS is the sort of information that should have been in the article. There may well be some things that can be learned from Union City but all the Kirp article talked about was “strong leadership”, teaching non-cognitive skills, “raising expectations”, and “rigor in the curriculum”. Every teacher, every school, every district I know already does these things but is thwarted by being overwhelmed with the effects of poverty and gross underfunding. NO! If Union City is truly an exemplar it is because of OTHER factors, namely lots more funding directed to the classroom and most likely less concentrated, less deep poverty. I think Gary’s point is dead on.

      At the end of the day, I need a lot more information ’cause outside of universal Pre-K and maybe a little of curriculum control, I did not hear much that truly sets this district apart. And the article gave it the typical miracle rhetorical spin saying things like “It has taken strong leadership from its principal, John Bennetti, to turn things around — to instill the belief that education can be a ticket out of poverty” or “persuading teachers to raise their expectations.” This type of mischaracterization is everything that I have been fighting against with the miracle stories of the corporate reformers!

      While I am glad that the tide seems to be turning from “charters and TFA”, things we KNOW do not work-and this change needs to be celebrated (yay!)- we are not inside the conversation I want to have about how to truly improve schools. Yet.

    • gkm001 says:

      Thanks for pointing that out. Some of us who live, not just teach, in high-poverty, majority-minority districts, have a very hard time persuading our fellow citizens that there is any “return” for investing in public education. I appreciated Kirp’s article for pointing out that Union City has been plugging away at its efforts to better support teachers and students for 25 years (!) — surely this is not a “miracle” or “turnaround” claim, but evidence that a building a solid, functioning public school system requires time, money (universal preK and smaller class sizes aren’t cheap), and trust in teachers (to create developmentally appropriate ECE curricula like the one described). Ultimately, it is up to communities to make these investments, and it’s hard to persuade them to even start unless you can paint a picture of what the end results might look like: not miracles, just decent schools where students and teachers feel supported to do good work.

  8. Billy says:

    Hilarious that all of the anti-reform types commenting can’t handle it when Gary goes after their side’s miracles.

    • Gary Rubinstein says:

      Billy, It is pretty strange, I agree. They seem to not understand the concept of “winning the battle but losing the war.” If just because some school district that is using reforms that we think are good, and then they get a high graduation rate that may or may not be bogus, we shouldn’t suddenly become ‘data driven’ fools when it suits us.

      • Brian Ford says:

        You should know more about the specifics before suggesting that the graduation rate ‘may or may not be’ bogus. I think KatieO’s comment, in response to Leonie Haimson’s information, was right — that money and a bunch of other factors made a difference in this case. If that was the main point you made in the article, then fine, but you cast aspersions on the district, specifically the high school.
        You were the one who introduced the metrics as a way of doubting how much of a change had occurred.

        Generally I like you posts, but this one had a red herring in the middle that it could have done without. And please, please, do not put up the 4 year graduation rate as the proper measure of success. It is not and never has been for schools in areas of concentrated poverty.

    • KatieO says:

      I think people were latching on the paragraph saying “What makes Union City remarkable is, paradoxically, the absence of pizazz. It hasn’t followed the herd by closing “underperforming” schools or giving the boot to hordes of teachers. No Teach for America recruits toil in its classrooms, and there are no charter schools. ” That WAS a breath of fresh air!

      But I agree with Gary, the article paints a picture of teachers just trying a little harder or leaders caring a little more. That is NOT why schools thrive or struggle. Even things like school climate require prerequisite essentials so staff is not completely overwhelmed. It is never as simple as a change in “expectations”. Kirp never get down to the real issues namely funding including class size, racial integration/isolation, concentrations of deep poverty, racism, etc. I’m sure what Union City is doing is commendable, but I think the teachers in Chicago are doing amazing work too. I am sick of these “miracle stories”.

  9. KrazyTA says:

    I reread Gary’s posting to see if somehow I missed his attack on public education.

    It’s not there.

    I humbly suggest a few folks take a deep breath, relax, take another [perhaps slower] look at the posting and see how carefully Gary made clear both his limited knowledge about the situation and his tentative and respectful tone.

    I would add that I am strongly critical of the movers and shakers in the charterite/privatizer crowd. I would hazard the guess that many posters on this and similar blogs who share some of my views would agree with me that we need to be critical and skeptical about all claims.

    Period. By anyone.

    Lastly, an indispensable part of having a meaningful discussion is to allow people to suggest lines of thought and analysis that may not always pan out. That’s what truly productive discussions are like. It challenges us, makes us question both others and ourselves, and keeps the discussion moving forward. The “failures” in such dialogues are just as important, and at times more helpful, than the “successes.”

    Gary, don’t change a thing. Your blog is one of the lights in the darkness of “education reform” hype, spin and outlandish claims. I would add that I couldn’t bring the same amount of patience to such discussions.


  10. E. Rat says:

    I really appreciated this post because I found the Kirp op-ed (and his book a couple of years back) lacking in nuance. I don’t like the ed reformists’ plans for The Solution ™ For Our Failing Schools. I don’t think it’s helpful to agree that their is A Solution, because no amount of teacher-driven change and early childhood education will obliterate the effects of institutional racism and classism, poverty, lead poisoning, asthma spikes, and so on that place enormous barriers in front of my students and their families.

    I do think that the programs and policies Kirp supports are powerful and that over a very long term could help to combat societal factors. But there is no easy solution.

    Also, I have some concerns about PreK programs. I agree that they’re critical, especially because the Common Core Kindergarten is going to be very pressured to provide social development and play. The one described in the op-ed sounds incredible. Yet as districts in my state increase PreK support, they’re also increasing academic testing in PreK so that they can “measure its effectiveness”. I think that arguing for PreK and ECE programs must include a lound and primary demand that those programs are based around inquiry, play, and social development. I fear that education reformers will demand academic testing, find the results lacking, and use that to argue against PreK investment (because they already do in my state).

  11. Ajay Srikanth says:

    One overlooked factor: Union City has one of the highest populations of Cuban Americans, many of them middle class. And there is some evidence showing that within the Hispanic subgroup, Cubans had higher standardized test scores than other nationalities:

    Also, Cubans often come from a strong educational system and country where education is fully funded:

  12. Pingback: Gary Rubinstein on the Union City Story « Diane Ravitch's blog

  13. David Kirp says:

    No miracle, no secret–just very hard work: that’s the Union City story. There aren’t many urban districts that can boast such graduation rate statistics or college enrollment figures and it’s worth having a close look at those that do. It’s very hard to shrink a book-length story into 1200 words, and I invite you to read Improbable Scholars, which details what’s happening in Union City as well as other districts, rich and poor, that are beating the odds.

    • KatieO says:

      “Scholars”? “Beating the Odds”? “Just hard work?” and then quoting grad rates and college enrollment…this is all the language of reform, and it makes me very skeptical. I am willing to believe there is something good worth looking at in Union City, but I assure you, it is not happening because of “just very hard work”. Every teacher I know works beyond hard, and that alone is NOT enough. Plus, the scenes described in the article are what all teachers I know are doing, I’m sorry but it is not special. There is SOMETHING else going on.

      Sorry to be cynical, but please tell me about the funding of the schools and who exactly the kids are in the schools. Is it true Union City has a large Cuban immigrant population, because Cuba has a powerful education legacy born out of their revolution and that history would drastically change the circumstances. Also, how many kids live in deep poverty verses how many qualify for “reduced” lunch, but live relatively stable lives? Is there racial and economic segregation and isolation or is there (at least relative) economic and racial diversity in the schools? And where is that extra Abbott funding going? It sounds like lowering class sizes. Where else? Are any of these discussions in the book because that’s what I want to know.

      I’m not interested in grad rates or whether kids “perform” at the same level (ON MEANINGLESS TESTS) as their suburban counter-parts. Grad rates can and have been fudged in creative ways and test scores can be artificially raised by test prep and even cheating (and tell me little about the quality of the school anyway). What I care about is what experiences are offered in the classrooms (including class sizes, rich and relevant curriculum, ample support services, etc) and an honest discussion about what is truly successful and what is simply a unique set of demographics.

      “Hard work” is definitely not the answer I’m looking for.

  14. Wayne Gersen says:

    I just re-read Kirp’s article and did not see any mention of the additional money Union City received… good news in this article is that when supplementary funding is spent wisely and thoughtfully it can make a difference… That’s not nearly as newsworthy or inspirational as a school succeeding WITHOUT additional funding, but it IS more accurate…. The headline should have read: The Secret To Fixing Bad Schools: The WIse Use of Supplementary Funding… the question is: would the NYTimes be interested in publishing such a story?

  15. Pingback: Union City Redux « Network Schools – Wayne Gersen

  16. Brian Ford says:

    Actually, the ed dismantlers are usually the ones to think that a school is doing something wrong when not all its students graduate in 4 years. They use the phrase ‘drop out factory’ when the school often puts in extra resources for the plus-4 students.

    So, while I understand your skepticism, you can’t reject something just because Whitney Tilson supports it.

  17. Harold says:

    “Cubans often come from a strong educational system and country where education is fully funded:” —

    You mean some of the success of the students in Union City is owed to Fidel Castro?

    • KatieO says:

      Actually, the literacy rates in Cuba are pretty phenomenal, near 100% ( ), and the reason has very much to do with the revolution and Castro. The people of Cuba had a REASON to learn to read after the revolution: in order to educate themselves and build a country of the people, and so they did. What a difference from the paternalistic, oppressive, literacy programs forced on our working classes and policed and punished by testing. As any good teacher knows, you don’t carrot and stick a person into reading, you point them to a REASON to want to read for themselves.

    • Brian Ford says:

      It is certainly the case that socialist countries in general devoted large percentages of their national GDP to education and they generally had pretty strong schools systems. Not that are systems to emulate them — I doubt anyone would say critical thinking and deliberation on political issues were strengths. The schools’ authoritarian tendencies were predictable. Also, one of the reasons they had talented people go into teaching is that there were few other options available to them.

      There is, however, another point about Cuban-Americans. Among the different Hispanic national groups they had traditionally been at the top of the list when it comes to wealth, income and education. I am not up on current statistics, but the last time i looked the median income of Cuban-Americans was slightly higher than that of the United States population as a whole.

  18. Gary: to assume “there is a limit to how much schools are able to accomplish without some shocking increase in resources” is wrong. Yes resources matter, especially when they are invested in programs like preK and class size that have proven to work; but to call this amount of extra aid “shocking” plays into the hands of the defeatists who would rather give up on the idea of equitable public education at all. The truth is there are sound, research-based educational reforms that will make a significant difference in the lives of children, especially those high-needs kids who often are subjected to the worst conditions in their schools. these reforms are not only affordable in the richest country in the world, but I would argue are a moral responsibility. From what I gather, the Abbott districts are a good example of extra funding used well, with good results. But I also didn’t like the Kirp piece for the reasons that KatieO mentioned above. The claims that more “rigor” “high expectations” and a “we can do it” attitude” produced the gains in Union City recall the bogus notions of the TFAers, which I like to call the “Tinkerbell” theory of reform; clap your hands and your students will thrive. These notions once more put the onus on the poor attitudes of individual teachers, as opposed to lousy systemic conditions in which they work.

  19. Pingback: More Challenges to Kirp’s “Miracle” Narrative – @ the chalk face

  20. Diane Ravitch says:

    I welcome Gary’s post.
    The truth does not need a “bodyguard of lies.” What we do need is candid discussions of what works as well as candid discussions of what we mean by “works.” If all we refer to are test scores, then we encourage the nefarious effects of NCLB. Tests are not the goal of education, they are an indicator. Union City is not a miracle district. It’s a district that is doing a good job and creating a positive climate. That’s good. We can celebrate their steadfast commitment to their students, as well as small victories. We will leave the propaganda and bombastic claims to the “reformers.”

  21. Educator says:

    This is a great post. It gets people thinking about what “great” and “failing” means.

  22. rmurphy12 says:

    As someone who spent 20 or 40 seconds skimming Kirp’s reformie propaganda –

    OPPS! I’m supposed to go all propeller head-ish and make all kinds of tome-ish arguments!

    I’ve spent the last 7 years as a high school math teacher in Seattle. Seattle, the home of The Teacher Basher, Gate$, supported by his local ringwraiths. How many of my kids have been helped by slick soundbites on flashy powerpoints delivered by a social cla$$ of toadies to the powerful? Zilch!

    For those of us dumb enough to actually work with kids, instead of smart enough to do policy, how much of our work lives have been wasted chasing the latest flashy spinny from the powerpoint parasites?

    I SKIMMED Kirp’s piece becuase it was loaded with reformie jargon which is used to bash teachers, which isn’t surprising given how frequently the NYT feeds us all the reformie thoughts which are fit to think. Mr. Rubenstein dug around and found that successes were founded upon some extra resources and targeting those resources on things which work. Thanks Mr. Rubenstein.

    Here’s MY reform idea. Take ALL the edu-policy-whatever people making over $75,000 a year who are NOT in buildings with kids, and fire them. (Gate$ and cronie$ can go back to focusing on protecting some dysfunctional monopoly.) We can then hire back the 1/500 who are helpful, like Ms. Ravitch.

    rmm, Seattle.

  23. Brian Ford says:

    @rmurphy12 and everyone==

    I agree that the turnaround specialists need to be turned around. In New York we used to sing the Bob Marley song ‘Crazy Balk Head’ in honor of Joel Klein. But he stayed, and his ilk stayed, grew and prospered, at least for the moment. They put principals in place who had never taught and treated veteran teachers who were not lap dogs with disrespect and contempt. So I truly understand your skepticism.

    Still, too much skepticism can be a bad thing. I don’t know much about Union City, but what the Kirp article points to is a modest, but important success story using common sense methods.

    It is not a miracle and it is not a secret, but it is treated as such because it is not the common sense of the business community.

    It is not a secret of any kind, unless the ‘secret’ is to show kids they are valued and that the educators who value them will be back year in and year out. To call it a secret without putting it in quotes was a fault of Kirp’s piece — it tried too hard to grab our attention–, but maybe the book is different. We’ll see.

    To not highlight extra funds (I assume Leonie Haimson is right on this) was also a fault, but to attack Kirp and the Union City case is to throw the baby our with the bathwater.

    Sorry, I’ve been teaching about metaphors, but this seems to be a success using what are common sense methods — a secure group of professional educators, stability and increased funding. This is what Finland does, it is what every successful educational institution in the world does, but it is lost in the noise emanating from hedge funds and pro-business think tanks.

    Why? Because, yes, it is common sense, but, no, it is not the common sense of the business community, who see schools going out of business as a positive sign and have a majority of investors who demand short-term returns, but the common sense of building up schools over the long term.

    The NYTimes piece is at fault for not pointing to what was done in terms of funding, but it is correct in pointing out that it is possible to improve results without relying on all the neoliberal crap we have been forces to swallow since the late 1990s.

    Yes, they have given tests and success is being defined in terms of those metrics, but that is not all. We are also talking about graduation rates and attendance — maybe the metrics that are most worthwhile.

    Incidently, for Gary to suggest that the graduation rate ‘might be bogus’ was like the guy on ESPN who asked, ‘I don’t have any evidence, but don’t you wonder if Derek Jeter is juicing?’ Not as bad because Gary (whose posts I make a point of reading and who I greatly appreciate) doesn’t get ESPN exposure. It is also worse because schools are more important than Derek Jeter — not that you would know that from reading the tabloids in New York.

    Most importantly, In Union City no one is claiming it is necessary to destroy the schools and in order to save the students. The schools have been supported and they have not rushed in to close “underperforming” schools — they have improved performance by long term planning, something impossible in the fad of the week world that the Bill Gates of the world have enabled.

    They have not attacked the teachers or tried to fire the entire staff of a school, as Rhode Island did and which President Obama endorsed. Remember Central Falls High School? Not one teacher was deemed worth retaining. ALL 93 members of the staff were fired because they would not accept the ‘turnaround plan’ that Arne Duncan had endorsed.

    President Obama was a cheerleader. At the US Chamber of Commerce he sounded like a mix of Ronald Reagan firing the air traffic controllers, Mike Bloomberg and Michelle Rhee telling us he knows what is best for kids and Bill Clinton distancing himself from Sister Souljah:
    “Strategies like transforming schools from top to bottom by bringing in a new principal and training teachers to use more effective techniques in the classroom. Strategies like closing a school for a time and reopening it under new management, or even shutting it down entirely and sending its students to a better school. And strategies like replacing a school’s principal and at least half of its staff.”

    Strategies that have never been proven to work.
    Strategies that threaten what may be this country’s greatest achievement — its system of public education.

    Kirp by saying it was ‘just hard work’ falls into the pattern of the deformist rhetoric, yes. And there is a huge problem with such rhetoric because it implies that the problem in other districts are not working hard enough. I also understand Gary’s skepticism about ‘miracles’ and would have preferred if the word ‘secret,’ which might have been chosen by an editor, had not been used. But Kirp did tell us that Teach for America recruits are not running the system or creating an alternate system and that there are no charter schools. Basically he told us that there is no single ‘secret’ — and emphasized that the market model was not what produced results here.

    Sorry to go on so long and I know that the Jeter analogy may be irrelevant, but, on the other hand, Jeter was born right near Union City.

    Good luck to Gary, @rmurphy12 and everyone . . .

  24. Pingback: Matt Barnum: Testing is Good for Teachers and Children | Dropout Nation: Coverage of the Reform of American Public Education Edited by RiShawn Biddle

  25. Pingback: Who Needs Reformers When You Have David Kirp? | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

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