Posts in category "Uncategorized"

On Our Lady of Guadalupe and manhood for my 9-year-old son

On Our Lady of Guadalupe and manhood for my 9-year-old son
I value taking my 9-year-old son, Adrián, to the barber shop.  As we walk from the car to the shop’s door, I take his hand.  When he was smaller, his little fingers barely wrapped around the edge of my palm.  Now that he’s older, his grasp inside my hand is changing. These days, his fingers remain... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools students explain why Obama's Ferguson speech failed

I heard President Obama’s statement about Ferguson last night and trusted my gut: something wasn’t right, something in the speech didn’t work.  Based on social media reactions, I knew I wasn’t the only one.  Still, I knew there was some teachable moment buried in the nation’s frustration.  After Obama’s immigration executive order, I wrote a... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools students react to Obama's immigration executive order: teaching controversial issues in the classroom

Teaching writing allows me numerous opportunities to help students see how what we read and write matters in the real world outside of our classroom.  Yesterday, I gave students the opportunity to understand and react to President Obama’s speech about his immigration executive order.  The approach I used in class with my Chicago Public Schools... Read more »
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Loyola University Chicago hosts Mexican Catholics conference

Today and tomorrow, Loyola University Chicago hosts a national conference about Mexican Catholics. Through the Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, this year’s  Chicago Catholic Immigrants Conference focuses on Mexican Catholics.  I’ll speak on a panel Saturday about Our Lady of Guadalupe. The sessions focus on the historical, cultural, and religious roles that Roman Catholicism... Read more »

5 reasons why Time Magazine's Rotten Apples article is right about education

5 reasons why Time Magazine's Rotten Apples article is right about education
Time’s November 3 issue began getting heat about a week ago when the cover blared, “It’s nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher.”  Union leaders and teacher bloggers ignited a backlash, which included an opinion piece by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten who wrote, “America’s teachers aren’t rotten apples . . . America’s... Read more »

The Chicago Board of Education fails the Southwest side

On October 1, Chicago Public Schools announced that Hancock High School, the school where I teach, would become 50% Selective Enrollment (magnet) starting next year.  That day, I posted a commentary expressing my concerns about this decision for a school in such a run-down building.  Yesterday, Todd Babbitz, from the Office of Strategy Management, could... Read more »
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Chicago Public Schools holds hearings about Southwest side high schools--in downtown!

Many conversations about Chicago Public Schools central office decisions begin with, “In their infinite wisdom . . . ”  I worked at central office for two years–and I can assure you that I met many intelligent people working there.  But then there are decisions that baffle everyone affected. Today, I found out that on Tuesday,... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools students react to Selective Enrollment press release

Today’s teachable moment,  inspired by the Chicago Public Schools’ decision Wednesday to make Hancock College Prep High School and Selective Enrollment & Career and Technical Education school, involved my journalism students. We began by looking at the CPS press release announcing the decision, which was cut up into six sections.  Each section was labeled with... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools students angered by Chicago Sun-Times education reporting

A teachable moment arose in class today when I found out my AP English Language students understood the power of connotation.  My colleague, who has them for College Reading, told me about the students’ anger over the Chicago Sun-Times caption that described our school’s population as “mostly poor Hispanic students.”  They discussed it in class. ... Read more »
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Chicago's Hancock High School to become Selective Enrollment

Today, Chicago Public Schools officials decided to make Hancock High School, the school where I teach, the school in my zip code, a Selective Enrollment and citywide Career and Technical Education school.  According to CPS central office staff, starting next year, 50% of our freshmen will be part of a competitive college-prep program while the... Read more »