Who I am, For the Curious, the Supporters and the Haters

I was born young, gifted and Black, and grew up in Upstate NY.  Well I guess we are all born young. My parents moved to a high performing school district, but we were the first Black family on the block and one of the few flies in the buttermilk in the school.  This created challenges … Continue reading Who I am, For the Curious, the Supporters and the Haters


Dreaming Big at Roosevelt

“Dream what?” the teacher prompted, “Dream Big!” was the enthusiastic response, little arms wiggling in the air. Another great school visit in Oakland, to a community that is starting with a mission of creating community leaders and re-envisioning how school should be structured to support students not only in passing a test but developing as … Continue reading Dreaming Big at Roosevelt


A Pleasantly Unsettling Visit to Oakland’s Urban Montessori

“My number one goal is that students are happy and want to come to school.” In this age of test-based accountability those are rare words to hear from a school leader, but I heard them last week at Urban Montessori Charter School, an extraordinary school, that has me thinking. Schools generally are not very fun, … Continue reading A Pleasantly Unsettling Visit to Oakland’s Urban Montessori


Wasted Air on Dead Issues in Oakland

Common enrollment is like the Sharia Law of Oakland’s education debate- something that is not going to happen, but is trotted out as a convenient boogey man for all that supposedly ills us.  Common enrollment is dead in Oakland—politically it has no chance.  I have long predicted this death, the time of death has been … Continue reading Wasted Air on Dead Issues in Oakland


Student Actions at Castlemont Inspire Hope

With everything wrong in the world, it is inspiring to work with kids and see them take the lead while we dawdle.  Great story in the news this week, where students from a neighboring district, San Leandro, saw the challenges that their neighbors in Castlemont were facing, and they did something, raising money through a … Continue reading Student Actions at Castlemont Inspire Hope