Monthly Archives: June 2014

Michael Johnston’s Education Hero Principal Hammered by Johnston’s ‘Growth’ Metric

A few weeks ago, Colorado State Senator Michael Johnston, a leading ed ‘reformer’ because of his law that made teacher evaluations based 50% on student ‘growth’ on standardized tests, spoke at Harvard University.  There was a lot of resistance to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Gates Foundation Sends Reformers Scrambling

In the past two weeks, two big things have happened in the education reform battle.  First there was the decision in the Vergara vs. California case which declared that things like teacher tenure violate students’ rights.  Then, The Gates Foundation … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

The time KIPP was booed off the stage at TFA

If the founders of KIPP, Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg — two guys I once considered pretty good acquaintances — were to make an appearance at a TFA institute, nowadays, surrounded by a group of actual KIPP students (known as … Continue reading

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Kanine Years

What is the definition of ‘month’?  Nowadays we think of it as the 31, 30, 28, or even 29 day period of which there are twelve of them in a year.  Long ago, a month was defined as the 29.5 … Continue reading

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Advice to the 2014 TFA Corps Members

Please allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Gary Rubinstein, TFA Houston 1991.  Yes, that’s a long time ago.  You likely were born in 1992 so I was doing TFA before you were born.  That doesn’t mean that I’m necessarily smarter … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America, tfa rants | 33 Comments

TFA slips anti-teacher message into heart warming video

Teach For America carefully controls its online presence.  I follow them on twitter and often needle them when they post something over-the-top ‘reform minded.’ I’ve noticed, recently, that they have been trying to appear more neutral on issues of ed … Continue reading

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Guest Post Series. Part Three: Teach for the Future, Don’t Teach For America

This is the third in a series of guest posts.  I sometimes get emails from people who have been accepted into Teach For America and who did a little additional research before signing a commitment letter.  With so much honest … Continue reading

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In 2006, a TFA corps member created the blog site now called  One year later I wrote my first post there, and a year after that, in 2008, I started blogging regularly.  It was mostly advice for new teachers.  … Continue reading

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Michael Johnston’s speech at Harvard

Colorado state senator and sort-of friend of mine (I liked him better before he fell into the wrong crowd) Michael Johnston recently spoke at the Harvard GSE graduation.  Harvard GSE has spawned many ‘reformers’ including Michelle Rhee, so it did … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Guest Post Series. Part Two: Why I Walked Away from TFA (And Why You Should Think About It)

This is the second in a new series of ‘guest posts.’  The more intelligent TFA corps members quickly realize that something ‘just isn’t right’ about TFA.  Quitting is a tough, but brave, thing to do.  Writing about why you chose … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 35 Comments