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This past October there was a debate on the existence of a teacher shortage in Indiana. The majority the legislature agreed that one does exist, but seemingly disagree on why one exists. What could explain the 30% drop in the number of people licensed as first year teachers? Any student who has taken a class […]

“Tapping” for Teachers


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Anyone who has served in an instructional role can attest to the fact that you feel an immense responsibility for your pupils’ education. During my time working with the Cyzner Institute, a school for students with special-needs, I felt even more pressure t o make sure everything I did was perfect, for so many other […]

Creating Harmonious Educational Experiences


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When I decided to intern at an education start-up in North India this past summer, I had no idea what to expect. I entered the summer with many opinions and questions about education. What I didn’t realize was that I also carried plenty of ingrained assumptions about education that I never even considered to be […]

Idealism and Pragmatism Clash in India



In the beginning two chapters of Improbable Scholars, David Kirp introduces readers to Union City classrooms with vivid details and heartwarming stories. Union City, NJ, exemplifies an urban school district that defies challenges often faced by city schools and produces impressive student outcomes. I loved reading about Alina Bossbaly and considering my own primary and […]

Summer Blog Post: Improbable Scholars, Introduction-Chapter 2


Ravitch claims that using testing, or “value added assessment” to determine whether students are learning and whether teachers are effective is unreliable and leaves much room for error. Throughout the book, she is critical of standardized testing for any other purpose than as a benchmark–to gauge how much information a student has taken in from […]

Reign of Error: Week 3 (Destiny Crockett)






At this stage in Diane Ravitch’s book, how convinced are you of her argument that the public school system in America is indeed fine? Additionally, she is quite visceral in her condemnations of groups (specifically Teach for America) that continue to operate on the belief that the public school system is broken, are her criticisms […]

Reign of Error, Week 2 (Alex Palmer)



Ravitch begins her book with the claim the America’s public schools aren’t broken. Instead, she says, they are under attack from reformers, groups and individuals interested in privatizing education and evaluating school and teacher quality based on test scores. Do you agree with Ravitch’s assertions? Do you find holes or generalizations in her argument so […]

Reign of Error, Week 1 (Clare Lombardo)



About two weeks ago I attended Philadelphia’s Teacher Town Hall, a series featuring Students First founder Michelle Rhee, former Washington Teachers Union president George Parker, and Capital Preparatory Magnet School founder and principal Steve Perry. I agreed with two points made that evening, both of which came from Ms. Rhee. We must improve the quality […]

Reflecting on Students First (Abel McDaniels)



September 17th, 2013. Free Library of Philadelphia. Summary: Diane Ravitch, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, launched her new book – Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools. The event was attended by several members of PES. Ravitch was introduced to the podium by American Federation […]

Anti-Charter Voices (Sam Osaki)