Are teachers the root of the poverty problem in America?

Kati Haycock, CEO, The Education Trust, delivered a rather scathing report titled, “Achievement and Opportunity in America: What Can We Do?” at the Texas State Board of Education Learning Roundtable: Educating the Children of Poverty in Austin alongside the Texas Education Agency. Although my seatmate, a Professional Service Provider for the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Center for District and School Support (TCDSS), interpreted the conversation differently finding much of what was said to be true, I saw extensive finger-pointing and heard excessive teacher bashing from the lectern. At the 2 hour and 45-minute mark, things got heated…

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What do I do?

I’m often asked what I do. It’s difficult to describe to teachers, thus it’s tenfold more troubling for those not associated with education to grasp. When asked by others what his father does for a living, my son replies, “That is the great mystery.” To answer this mysterious question, a few years ago after seeing a remarkable “presume” online, I created my own, which I’ve uploaded to SlideShare. Shortly thereafter, I was notified my “presume” was featured as one of 3 Inspiring Visual Resume Examples on SlideShare by Career Sherpa. His presentation is fun and conveys personality. It is loaded…

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Got behavior problems? Here’s a solution.

Science was never piqued my interest. Perhaps better stated, reading and answering questions at the end of the chapter didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t until just a few years ago, I found myself mesmerized by books citing scientific studies and research. Books like Drive by Dan Pink, Made to Switch by Chip and Dan Heath, The Brain Rules by John Medina, Teaching with Poverty in Mind and other works by Eric Jensen, everything Brené Brown, and so many others changed my worldview. Having found myself studying these and others, I did a Google search for “the scientific method.”…

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Book review: Helping Children Succeed

Empty. While reading Helping Children Succeed, the new book by Paul Tough, I went through the ink of a brand new highlighter. Need I say more? In this follow-up to his best-selling, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, Paul answers the “tough” questions he encountered while promoting his prior work. This piece continues to note statistics and research such as this note, “In 2013, the United States reached an educational milestone. For the first time, a majority of the country’s public school students — 51 percent of them, to be precise — fell below the…

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Federal investments in education: Are you up for it, legislators?

This morning, I was asked to respond to three “homework” questions for our school board to take to the 2016 Advocacy Institute to discuss issues applicable to our school district with members of Congress and/or their staff. Having crafted my states over the past three hours, I use my responses as today’s blog post. Preface As noted in my recent TEDx Talk, “Education Is None of Your Business,” education is a state of flux. It has operated on a traditional, industrialized, business model for well over a hundred years. Education is not a business; and the United States can no longer operate…

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Summer learning loss: Long-term ramifications over short-term [economic] gains

On its website, the National Summer Learning Association writes, “For the more than 25 million low-income public school students in America, summer is often anything but a vacation. Instead of a relaxing break to explore new interests and places, it’s often a time when children, youth and families struggle to find and afford food to eat and a safe place to be.  Summer learning loss, the phenomenon where young people lose academic skills over the summer, is one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth and one of the strongest contributors to…

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