Posted: July 8th, 2014 | Author: Michael Goldstein | 20 Comment(s) »

Michael Jonas writes in Commonwealth:

Jazzmin Hernandez doesn’t fit anybody’s profile of a likely high school graduate, never mind a soon-to-be college student.

When she was 10, she and her older brother spent two years in foster care as their mother battled drug addiction. By the time she was in high school, Hernandez was back home with her mom, but in a bad relationship where she suffered domestic abuse at the hands of her boyfriend. She felt increasingly isolated at Revere High School. She got pregnant, and after Averyanna was born, Hernandez and her daughter were kicked out of her home by her mother, with whom her relationship had...

Posted: July 3rd, 2014 | Author: Michael Goldstein | 23 Comment(s) »

Matt Candler writes:

Now, listen. Before you go off and yell it from the roof tops that this is the silver bullet we’ve been waiting for, just chill. It’s not. There are no silver bullets in this work.

I like micro-schooling precisely because it constrains us, it forces us to do small batch testing of new ideas, gets us closer to kids and families.


Here’s my working definition of micro-schooling in 2014 and why I think we should build more of them.

1. Modern micro-schools serve less than 153.5 kids.

Psychologist Robin Dunbar’s research suggests that most humans can't manage more than about 150 friendships. The story behind how he came up with Dunbar’s number is fascinating. Read about it if you...

Posted: June 25th, 2014 | Author: Michael Goldstein | 38 Comment(s) »

Guest Post by Andrew from Match Next

Here’s an antidote to a dull dinner party: ask a teacher how their behavior management system works. Specifically, ask them how they record all of the consequences for each student.

Actually, this might only get interesting for people who work in schools like ours that issue school-wide ‘merits’ and ‘demerits.’  Here’s what many of my friends have said (with some less-than-savory adjectives removed): One described an Excel doc that only one person at a time could add things to. Another talked about individual kids carrying around their own pieces of paper. Another talked about a front-desk employee who spent 3-4 hours each day logging items. Another talked about an Excel sheet so complicated, they had to hire...

Posted: June 24th, 2014 | Author: Michael Goldstein | 68 Comment(s) »

Hat tip Alex Hernandez...

Story from ESPN:

"I didn't want to tell a coach that's been doing something for 30 years that he's wrong," Viloria said. "I didn't want to find out that what I'd been doing was wrong."

As it turned out, the GPS devices had the opposite effect.

The data didn't uncover any stunning secrets but instead gave Viloria the evidence he needed to better deploy plans he already had embraced.

Read the whole thing here.


Veteran "teacher"...

Posted: June 17th, 2014 | Author: Michael Goldstein | 101 Comment(s) »

Josh Biber.  Loves flag football but really slow afoot.  Was a big champion of Jeff Green on the Celtics and that proved disastrous. 

However -

He and his marvelous team at Teach For America/Massachusetts do have the #1 rated elementary teacher training program of 788 rated by the National Council on Teacher Quality.  (Disclosure: I'm on NCTQ Advisory Board).

TFA-MA also part of several success stories helping Massachusetts kids, including transformation of Lawrence Public Schools, some Boston turnarounds, and a number of greater Boston charters. 

Read the exec summary here


Posted: June 15th, 2014 | Author: Michael Goldstein | 120 Comment(s) »

From the Boston Globe:

Just months later, on Sept. 28, 2010, Brittany’s half-brother, Levaughn Washum-Garrison, was gunned down — along with his friend Simba Martin, Martin’s girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory, and her 2-year-old son, Amani Smith — in the brutal killings that came to be known as the Mattapan massacre.

That Brittany succeeded in graduating Friday as valedictorian of Match Public Charter High School — that she graduated at all, in circumstances that could have caused her to give up her dreams — is a testament to her belief in her father’s mantra, “Hard work pays off”; to her strong will; and to the support of family...

Posted: June 13th, 2014 | Author: Michael Goldstein | 81 Comment(s) »

Jen and the great folks at YES Prep have published a new paper: 

More than 90% of our 1,700 alumni are first-generation college students. We are heartened that over 72% of our alumni are either still persisting in college or have graduated, and that, since 2001, 44% of our total alumni have earned their college degrees.

Our six-year college graduation rate currently stands at 41%. This rate is significant: our students are graduating from college at five times the rate of their peers in Houston and more than quadruple the rate of their peers nationally.

Yet, we are still not where we need to be, and we have learned some hard lessons along the way. Though our students have continually outpaced national college graduation statistics for low-...

Posted: June 13th, 2014 | Author: Michael Goldstein | 40 Comment(s) »

From the Boston Globe:

Boston Preparatory Charter School in Hyde Park was selected Thursday as the first-ever winner of the Pozen Prize, an $80,000 award that recognizes academic excellence in charter schools in the Boston area, the Boston Foundation announced Thursday. The prize was created by Boston Foundation donors Robert and Elizabeth Pozen.

“The school’s focus on ethics and character education help make it a model for schools across the sate to learn from,” Robert Pozen said in a statement. The school educates 370 students in grades 6-12. Two runner-ups for the prize, Match Charter School in Boston and Pioneer Charter School of Math and Science in Everett, will receive $10,000 each.

1. I really love the folks at Boston Prep. ...

Posted: June 12th, 2014 | Author: Michael Goldstein | 24 Comment(s) »

Michael Petrilli of Fordham Foundation writes:

Over the course of thirteen days, Flypaper’s Charter School Wonk-a-Thon produced eleven posts jam-packed with sound analysis on charter school policy today.

But who was the wisest, wonkiest wonk of all?

Here is where you go to read them, and to vote.  

My entry is here.  Included this:

The No Excuses charter isn’t a cure-all. But the reason CREDO shows New York City, New Orleans, D.C., and Los Angeles with very large gains is because they have several No Excuses charters,...

Posted: June 8th, 2014 | Author: Michael Goldstein | 7 Comment(s) »

Guest post by Andrew from Match Next

Classroom hack from Match Next today. I’m tinkering with a few typing programs right now. I’m at ‘stage 4’ if you’re a regular reader (here's my blog about I approach finding and testing new products).

Right now I’m trying out Typing Club. Seems promising, but it’s too early to say. I’ll get back to you once we play with it more.

One immediate problem we found was kids looking at the keys while they type. Big no-no. So I made these from the top of some copy-paper boxes: