Single White Female

Many studies show that young white teachers are fresher and more innovative than their LIFO lifer peers of other races.

The achievement gap is the civil rights issue of our time—which is why it may be necessary for us to destroy a large part of the Black middle class in order to achieve our goal of closing said gap.

During the Chicago Teachers Union strike I encountered a stunning statistic. Since education reform arrived in Chicago, African Americans have dropped from 45% of the teaching force to just 19%. But how can that be? you must be wondering. Arne Duncan LUVS Black people. Alas reader, while the schools slated for closure, turnaround or charterization have had a significant percentage of African American teachers, the ones replacing them rarely do. But at least Chicago has made great strides in closing the achievement gap…

Chicago is not the only place where Education Reform, Inc. is quickly reshaping the teaching force into one that is fresher and more innovative younger and whiter. In urban areas across the country, middle-aged, middle class African American teachers are being pushed out to make room for the flavor of the day: vanilla. Continue reading →

The Massachusetts Miracle

 UP Academy is a genuine miracle school, achieving miraculous results in its brief existence. Now UP has its sites set on one of Boston’s largest elementary schools, and the miracles have started already.

Massachusetts is home to plenty of miracle schools, those wonder academies of excellence and innovation that teach EXACTLY THE SAME students as our union-stifled public schools but achieve miraculous results. One of these is working such marvels, such magic that it deserves a special stop on our wonder tour. Reader, I give you Unlocking Potential, or UP Academy, which in its brief existence has managed to prove once and for all that poverty doesn’t matter. No wonder that UP is quickly expanding into a mini-miracle empire. Continue reading →

Missing: Lots and Lots of Charter School Students

UP Academy, which is expanding into Lawrence and recently applied to open another charter school in Boston, lost more than 25% of its students last year.

Since UP Academy took over a public middle school last year, more than 25% of its students have left. Yet state officials continue to tout UP as a success story.

The hot new buzz word in local edu-crat circles these days is “portfolio.” Here–say it with me: port·fo·li·o. Excellent! Now you are probably wondering, what does  “a case for carrying loose papers,” (from Latin, the imperative of portare “to carry” and folium, meaning “a sheet for writing upon”) have to do with closing the achievement gap–unless perhaps those papers are to be stuffed into said gap???

Alas, “portfolio” in this case refers to the many education options that await students who live in a high-poverty, low-performing school district. Or at least that’s what the term WOULD mean if we weren’t in the strange, upside down world of education reform. Instead, “portfolio” really refers to a nonsensical #edreform strategy in which 1) a few schools enjoy the luxury choosing their students while 2) the remaining, truly public schools continue to deal with the reality of poverty that made them low-performing in the first place. Continue reading →