Monthly Archives: December 2013

Open Letters To ‘B-List’ Reformers I Know. Part 2: Elisa Villanueva-Beard and Matt Kramer

On February 12, 2013, founder and long time CEO of TFA, Wendy Kopp, stepped down.  Two new co-CEOs were appointed, Elisa Villanueva-Beard and Matt Kramer. Elisa was a 1998 corps member and Matt had never taught.  Both were working as … Continue reading

Posted in Open Letters Series, tfa rants | 13 Comments

Math topics that need to be put out of their misery. Part 3: Radian measure

So far I’ve written about two topics I feel contribute little to math education.  They don’t inspire students to want to learn more about math.  They are not topics that are ‘useful’ in real life or as a prerequisite to … Continue reading

Posted in stale math | 3 Comments

Math topics that need to be put out of their misery. Part 2: Absolute value

The old math standards, say common core defenders, were “a mile wide and an inch deep.”  I’m inclined to agree with this.  Too many topics and too little time led to teachers having no choice but to teach many topics … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 6 Comments

Math topics that need to be put out of their misery. Part 1: Writing algebraic expressions

Last month I wrote a post called ‘The Death of math’ which got a lot of attention as I described how I’d improve math teaching in this country by significantly reducing the number of topics taught and by making math … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 13 Comments

10 PRINT “CODING IS OVERRATED”                       20 GOTO 10

I remember when I taught in Houston back in the early 1990s and felt it was a crime that my school did not offer any real computer programming course.  The best they had was something called ‘computer applications’ where students … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 4 Comments

Please Support Spencer Smith’s Recovery

This past summer I befriended a new TFA corps member named Spencer Smith.  For five months I followed his journey from his teacher training to his experiences in his Detroit classroom.  Sometimes I’d needle him about being in TFA, but … Continue reading

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My first year, re-evaluated

A lot of what has motivated me throughout the past twenty-one years has been the desire to redeem myself for what I considered to be an unacceptable first year of teaching sixth grade math during the 1991-1992 school year at … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 10 Comments