A School’s “Got to Go” list and the Meaning of Success

One of NYC’s most successful charter networks, Success Academies, is on defense after admitting to a “Got to Go” list of students at one school, where not coincidentally most of those high needs students on the list withdrew.  The NY Times article describes a seemingly deliberate pattern to push out higher needs students, often documented … Continue reading A School’s “Got to Go” list and the Meaning of Success


Education Reform’s “Other People’s Children” Problem

We have a serious “Other People’s Children” problem in education reform. Many if not most of the spokespeople and decision makers, really don’t represent or often understand the communities they are “reforming.” This has a distorting effect on the reforms and also gives folks the often real impression that reforms are being done to them rather than … Continue reading Education Reform’s “Other People’s Children” Problem


Segregated Housing, Costly Transportation, and the Practicalities of Inequality

Students in Oakland have had to choose between food and the forty dollar monthly bus fare to get to school.  That was one of many troubling things we heard at a recent committee hearing as students from Unity Charter High and Skyline, as well as community representatives testified about the hardships that students face getting … Continue reading Segregated Housing, Costly Transportation, and the Practicalities of Inequality


The Real Stories of Unaccompanied Minors and What Oakland is Doing

Amidst the hysteria over cantaloupe-calved human marijuana “mules” you might miss stories from children like Victor found in the recent NPR story about unaccompanied minors and the ways the Oakland Unified has adjusted to, and tried to support them.  And while I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these brothers and sisters are called “mules” … Continue reading The Real Stories of Unaccompanied Minors and What Oakland is Doing


The Real Challenges of District Reform

Changing District behavior is really hard. I learned this first hand working with OUSD to reduce restrictions on schools and implement so called “site based decision-making” as part of its broader New Small Autonomous Schools Policy.   And it was often not bad actors or bad intentions, but just an inertia that kept the district hurtling … Continue reading The Real Challenges of District Reform