The Rhetorical War on Public Schools from the Left and Right

Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. George Orwell Words matter.  What we call something affects public support for it. Is a medical meeting, “end of life counseling” or a “death panel”, the descriptions matter   So it’s not a coincidence, … Continue reading The Rhetorical War on Public Schools from the Left and Right


Beyond “Safe” Spaces for LGBTQ Students, the State, the School, and You

Recent events echo, and remind us of the hate directed against the LGBTQ community, while quieter pain, often equally devastating and more widespread permeates the halls of most schools.  Schools need to be safe places for every child and they aren’t.  You can check the stats, LGBT high school students report hearing an average of … Continue reading Beyond “Safe” Spaces for LGBTQ Students, the State, the School, and You


How Oakland Unified Graduates Left Over $16 Million on the Table and What We Can Do

Educational Policy is too often about promises and pledges with few delivered results.   Amidst the best intentions, everything comes down to implementation.  And if last year’s FAFSA submission rate is any indicator, Oakland Unified has a lot of work to do, as only 45% of seniors completed one. You know the FAFSA, the form that … Continue reading How Oakland Unified Graduates Left Over $16 Million on the Table and What We Can Do


Principals Get Right What Politics Got Wrong in SF

Working in education is tough because politicians who make the rules don’t have to play by them.  Case and point, SF Unified rejected a low cost contract for Teach for America that would have placed intern teachers in some of the most hard to staff schools.  This situation and the ongoing teacher shortage was described … Continue reading Principals Get Right What Politics Got Wrong in SF


Ending the “Lock Out” of Black Students—How Enrollment Rules Undermine Equity

District enrollment rules conspire against equity from top to bottom.  Even those most “fair” mechanisms like lotteries.   Redistributing opportunities and privilege means upending these rules, something Oakland Unified has started, and gotten huge pushback on.   But it’s time we take a hard look and make some hard choices.  I agree with president Harris’s comments at … Continue reading Ending the “Lock Out” of Black Students—How Enrollment Rules Undermine Equity