The Burden of Understanding:  The Challenge for English Language Learners

The Burden of Understanding: The Challenge for English Language Learners

In my second year as a doctoral student, I worked with a professor who was finishing his first book.  Among my many tasks was to help him write footnotes for his first chapter.  This is how I was introduced to Rosina Lippi-Green’s English with an Accent: Language, Ideology and Discrimination…

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School’s Out for the Summer!

School’s Out for the Summer!

Yesterday was the last day of school for my first grade son. He came home with a backpack full of journals filled with writing, unsharpened pencils, jackets I thought were gone forever, and a bag of candy from his teacher. His younger sister will go to Kindergarten in the fall…

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The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow

Thank you, Deborah Meier, for being able and willing to reveal your own racism! As Meier tells Diane Ravitch in the blog they write to each other and willingly share with the world: I think I have fallen into the trap, too, when pointing out that the white poor face…

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Should Professional Learning be Required?

Should Professional Learning be Required?

I recently observed a conference room full of superintendents sitting in complete silence as they pondered a challenging question, “Should teachers be required to participate in professional learning?” Richard Elmore posed this question, and after what seemed like an uncomfortable amount of wait-time, a superintendent responded in an uncertain voice,…

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Observing Cultural Heritage Months: Not a Simple Decision

As a company passionate about imagining and enacting a public school system that overcomes historic and persistent inequities, you might think that celebrating national cultural heritage months is a standard staff activity for us.  It is not. Don’t get me wrong.  The West Wind staff agrees that these observances are…

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