Jason Bernal is CEO of the Yes Prep, charter school network with 13 schools in Houston, Texas.

Getting low income students to college takes more than just academics

By Jason Bernal

At a time when a college diploma is more important than ever to compete in the global economy, only 10% of students from low-income communities across the country who enroll in college are earning a degree. Pair that with the fact that the majority of African American and Latino students graduating high school don’t meet […]

Dwight Davis

Why one teacher got behind education equity after meeting with Obama, Duncan

By Dwight Davis

On July 7, I had the privilege of meeting with and discussing education policy with President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and three of the most amazing teachers within our profession: LeShawna Coleman, Justin Minkel and Leslie Ross. One of the questions that the president asked of us was, “What brought you […]


Growing pains: Can disruptive innovation benefit students?

By Michael Horn and Richard Whitmire

Why do organizations struggle so much with the innovator’s dilemma? It’s not hard to grasp. Kodak, DEC, Sears, Xerox and Bucyrus Erie saw their empires fade because when disruptive innovations appeared, they did not look like opportunities that made sense to chase. For example, with profit margins of film/processing/printing so high, why would Kodak shift […]

Why did the GOP flip flop on Common Core?

By Stephanie Grace

For the first time in recent memory, K-12 education is emerging as a top tier issue in the coming presidential race, at least among Republicans. That, for people who care deeply about schools, is the good news. The bad news is that the political conversation is almost entirely focused on the ever-more contentious topic of […]


The Common Core difference, from a teacher’s perspective

By Taylor McGraw

In 2012 I moved from Mississippi to New York City to teach at a charter elementary school in Harlem. My 27 fifth grade students had reading levels ranging from third to eighth grade. They grew up speaking 14 different languages in their homes, which were scattered from the far reaches of Brooklyn to the South Bronx. I had spoken word poets, Lego masters, dancers, and chess fiends. One gave me a hug every hour, on the hour. Others had to be coaxed into speaking.

Glenn Sullivan

New Orleans schools should stop hiring so many teachers who don’t understand the students’ culture or backgrounds

By Glenn Sullivan

The lunch period ended like so many others. After the bell rang, students raced up the stairwell, not in a rush to get to class on time but to finish socializing and playing with their friends. I was a sophomore at Lake Area New Tech High School in New Orleans at the time, and I […]

Melinda D. Anderson

People came together 50 summers ago to transform education’s trajectory – let’s finish the job

By Melinda Anderson

“Civil rights issue of our time” is the catch phrase no advocate can resist. From transgender discrimination and gun violence to inequality and education, it’s used with astonishing regularity. This slogan – favored by national and local politicians, as well as Secretaries of Education from the left and the right – is overused and abused to the point of parody. Because there’s never been a time when education was not a “civil rights […]

Jonas Chartock

Why this is California’s moment to help teachers, students grow

By Jonas Chartock

At its heart, the landmark June 11 Vergara ruling in California superior court was a decision in support of the notion that every child has a constitutional right to an excellent teacher. In finding California’s teacher tenure laws and “last in/first out” seniority rules unconstitutional, the judge found that such provisions create inequities in our schools that often […]

Merlin George graduated this spring from New Orleans' Lake Area New Tech Early College High School. He will attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the fall.

Strict rules have helped boost academic performance in New Orleans, but some schools go too far

By Merlin George

School was a complete joke to me as a young child. I thought it was just a place where I could come and socialize, play around, eat the free lunch and wander up and down the halls. There was a time in the third grade when I listened to James Brown music and danced to […]

Stephanie Lee

Teaching your immigrant parents how to apply to college

By Stephanie Lee

When I submitted my college applications, I thought the hard part was over. But a few weeks later, I found myself hunched over my computer trying to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The document does not look that difficult; the lines on the online application clearly link to the corresponding […]

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