In the recovery planning efforts that followed the flooding of New Orleans, we often heard the mantra that we need to have “the community involved in the schools and the schools involved in the community.” I first heard this from Clifton James. I’m sure he was repeating an aphorism, but it made an impression on […]

Read More → How We Chose Our School

Why We Pulled Our Daughter Out of a Private Suburban School and Enrolled Her in Public School in New Orleans — a headline intended to provoke. New Orleans public schools have such a bad reputation. How on earth could we send our daughter there? It’s an act of hope. Also trust. And determination. And a lot […]

Read More → Why We Pulled Our Daughter Out of a Private Suburban School and Enrolled Her in Public School in New Orleans

Yesterday’s front page story really captured our attention. All credit to reporter Sarah Carr. I’d never heard of the school she focused on, but the parallels to Xy’s experience are striking. I’ve quoted the story at length below, interspersing some of my own thoughts where relevant. Early every morning, Akili Academy’s teachers gather for a […]

Read More → Such a Brutal Lifestyle

Xy’s job hunt is in full force. She had a interview at a nearby elementary school last week. Yesterday I came home for lunch to look after the girl for an hour while she did a phone interview with another school. And this morning she went in to teach a sample lesson at the first […]

Read More → Job Hunt

Dear Aunt Ron, Thanks for Persephone’s birthday gift. It will probably take her a while to grow into those clothes, but better too big than too small. I also appreciated the letter you included. Rest assured, I won’t “disown” you for the suggestions you make regarding Persephone’s religious education. In fact I am touched that […]

Read More → Dear Aunt Ron

I was talking to Howie and he shared this passage with me: Education is now prized not because the culture values truth and wisdom, or views scholarship as a lifetime vocation, but because it is the means to economic success. So the study of science, engineering, and business takes precedence over theology, philosophy, literature, and […]

Read More → Bucket & Torch

Xy’s gearing up for the school year. Teachers are subjected to a seemingly endless number of “professional development” events. I pay some attention to this, because I work in faculty development myself. We’re always looking for new ideas. I was particularly intrigued, not to mention inspired, when Xy brought home a Ziploc bag with a […]

Read More → Teacher Survival Kit

Looking back at the last seven days or so, there’s a lot of stuff I haven’t written about. On the political front, there was controversy over Mayor Nagin’s comments to a conference in DC, and Governor Blanco announced she will not seek re-election. Also, Congress passed the Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act, which local housing […]

Read More → A Busy Week

I had breakfast with Arthur Hardy this morning! Yes, the Arthur Hardy. Michael and I met him at Betsy’s Pancake House to discuss how Mid-City Neighborhood Organization might work with the Warren Easton Charter Foundation, of which Arthur (class of ’65) is Vice-President. I live right behind Warren Easton High School, so I’m very much […]

Read More → Breakfast with Arthur

The meme seems to go something like this: In our state, officials use third-grade reading levels to project the number of prison beds that will be needed in ten years. Do a Google search on prison-beds third-grade or prison-cells third-grade and you’ll get a couple hundred results. Xy wanted me to find an authoritative reference […]

Read More → Prison Beds and Reading Levels

Yesterday a bunch of teachers from Xy’s school gathered at the Dry Dock in Algiers Point for snacks and drinks. So after work, I rode my bike down Canal Street, took the ferry across the river, and joined them. It was fun to hang for a bit with some less-than-sober schoolteachers. Sadly, they seemed to […]

Read More → Stranded on the West Bank!

Students go back to the New Orleans Public Schools today. In theory anyway. In practice — but that’s another story. The big hype this year? The tissue issue. (Pronunciation guide: tisha isha.) Yes, administrators are actually promising toilet paper will be on hand at every school this year! Amazing. From the Sunday T-P: A&M executive […]

Read More → Tisha Isha

Xy and I went to see Jonathan Kozol speak at Loyola. He’s the guy who wrote Savage Inequalities; I’ve never read it, but Xy did when she was in grad school, and it made a big impression. Plus tonight’s a rare school night when Xy didn’t have any homework. So we went. My boss told […]

Read More → Kozol