Chicago Public Schools teacher to discuss race in American schools with Eve Ewing

Chicago Public Schools teacher to discuss race in American schools with Eve Ewing
This winter, scholar and activist Eve Ewing organized a series of documentaries exploring the central role that race has played in the experience of schooling in America. What constitutes a “good” school, and for whom? Who is included in the vision of education as the great equalizer, and who is left out? I’m honored that Eve... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools lets down Hancock College Prep with new building

This is the statement I prepared for the Chicago Public Schools Board of Education meeting today: This is the third time I stand before this governing body with the same request: Give Hancock College Prep the building our community deserves. We did not choose the title of Selective Enrollment.  The title fell on us.  In... Read more »

How Julián Castro Must Change to Be a Viable Presidential Candidate

On Saturday, Julián Castro announced his candidacy for president of the United States.  However, if Castro wants to be a viable  frontrunner, he needs to show us a mirror of the state we’re currently in as a nation and conjure a window where we can envision some escape from Trump’s volatile presidency. During his speech, Castro... Read more »
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My Chicago Public Schools Students Give Trump’s Border Wall Address High Grades, Unfortunately

Trump focused on evoking anxiety, heartache, horror, distress, exasperation.  And my students disappointedly began to conclude that Trump achieved his rhetorical purpose: To convince Americans that there is a crisis at the border and funding for a wall should be approved so the government shutdown can end. “He makes this sound so simple,” Jose said. ... Read more »

Michelle Obama's Becoming misleads today's teens about success

The worst piece of advice those of us in our 40s or older can tell teenagers is this: “If I did it, you can do it.” Who knows? In the past 23 years of teaching in the Chicago Public Schools, maybe I said it to my students. But success requires more than ambition and hard work. Here’s... Read more »

More colleges need to follow DePaul University's example to help first-generation students

More colleges need to follow DePaul University's example to help first-generation students
I’ve never agreed with the “college for all” movement.  College is not for everyone and everyone is not for college. But for those students who do feel fulfilled being in a classroom or for those who see a degree as a path toward something better, college is for them–especially if they’re a first-generation college student... Read more »
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I hope dancing flamenco gives my daughter a lifetime of confidence

I hope dancing flamenco gives my daughter a lifetime of confidence
I could watch my daughter dance for centuries. Four years ago, when she was six, she and I began our weekly trek from the Southwest side to a flamenco studio in Logan Square.  Studio Mangiameli was where my daughter learned to follow the flow of a guitar’s strum and the echoes of patterned hand claps.... Read more »

"Foster Kid" in Chicago Public Schools reminds teachers and schools to be supportive

As part of a journalism project, my Chicago Public Schools student Gabriel wrote about his experience as a student in foster care.  This is his editorial. Most people when they hear “foster kid” assume they have problems, and that something’s wrong with them.  But that is not the case at all. They could be the nicest and... Read more »

Top Chicago Public Schools students says: Get rid of class rank

Report cards in the Chicago Public Schools will be handed out to parents and guardians next week.  Even though high school class rank won’t be determined until the end of second quarter, my Chicago student Andres Valencia says CPS should stop ranking students based on grade point average.  This is his guest post: I’m in... Read more »
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Northwestern University graduate tells Chicago Public Schools students not to isolate themselves

Northwestern University graduate tells Chicago Public Schools students not to isolate themselves
In June, Northwestern graduate Osbeyda Navarette delivered the keynote speech at the Hancock College Prep commencement ceremony.  As the first Hancock alumna to earn a degree from this highly selective college, this first-generation college student gave Chicago Public Schools graduates insight into world outside their teen experience. What I appreciated most about this speech was the... Read more »