The Back to School Episode

In the latest episode of Have You Heard we go back to school. And not to the idealized, romantic notion of school but to the harsh reality that awaits too many students and teachers. But wait! Our special guests are all intent on doing something about it. We hear from four educators who have a keen understanding of what needs to change, both inside and outside of school. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to do what they’re doing! Complete transcript of the episode available here. And if you’re a fan of our work, consider supporting us with a donation.

An Open Letter to Teachers and Staff at No Excuses Charter Schools

The former dean of students at a New Orleans charter school urges teachers and staff at No Excuses schools to ask some hard questions about the model’s social and emotional costs…

By Ramon Griffin

Dear You:

no excuses chalkboardYou were selected to teach at your school because of your intelligence, spunk, tenacity, vigor and, most of all, your passion for public education. You are a risk-taker. You have a can-do attitude with swag to match. You believe that every child has the capacity to achieve academically and are committing your life to ensuring that you affect change in every student you encounter. Your dedication to ensuring that traditionally marginalized students receive a first class education is commendable. But do you know how much power you hold? Do you truly understand the *No Excuses* school culture that you are part of? Do you know the psychological and emotional costs that the No Excuses model has on students of color? Furthermore, do you care to know? Continue reading →