READ: The Best Hope for Teacher Unions Is…Reform →

I find the growth of charter schools in many districts leaves me conflicted. First, regulations around charters vary so widely from state to state, you can’t paint them with a broad brush. Second, it often feels like a zero-sum game, with only a certain number of liferafts available as families desperately jump ship from their struggling neighborhood schools.

But I like this piece by my boss, Peter Cunningham​—he lays out the pragmatic case for where we stand now for charters. They are a part of the urban education puzzle, and in many cases they are a great use of public dollars to provide an education that can actually challenge income inequality and the cycle of poverty. I’m encouraged by districts that are embracing and working with charters while doubling down on improving their traditional schools.


WBEZ: Merger of Gold Coast school with Cabrini Green school would mean first integrated neighborhood school in a former public housing area →

School and city politics are never as simple as they seem (I’m still trying to figure out what the hell happened with Dyett), but this just seems like a good idea: an overcrowded affluent public school and a struggling, poorer school, in the same neighborhood, should combine and create a more integrated, equitable learning environment for everyone.

But of course, the actual recorded comments from the public hearing about the proposal is uncannily similar to that chilling scene of scared white privilege bigotry from Nikole Hannah-Jones’s much talked about TAL episode.

I’m not necessarily convinced that simply integrating schools—i.e., take these black kids over here and put them in this white school over here—will necessarily lead to the kind of rich learning experiences that I would wish for all of our kids. But in this case, my understanding is that the schools are in the same neighborhood. So, wouldn’t this simply be a truer representation of the people who live there? It’s like the Platonic ideal of an integrated school.


Research on Spanking: It’s Bad For ALL Kids

Usually academic articles couch their recommendations in dense language, but this is about a researcher who just lays it out in “Spanking and Child Development: We Know Enough Now to Stop Hitting Our Children.”

Straight up.

Random Musings

WSJ: The Action in a Baseball Game Is About 18 Minutes

This analysis would have been so much more valuable if it had accounted for suspense.

There’s a big difference between anticipation and boredom.

Food, Random Musings

A collective gasp could be heard across the creative communities when this NYer piece started making the rounds. Like so much linkbait, though, the title is inflammatory and a bit misleading.

How Caffeine Can Cramp Creativity →
By Maria Konnikova in The New Yorker (via

The real take-away isn’t that you should stop drinking coffee, just that it’s okay to let your mind wander periodically. Which, actually, is a good reminder.

Parenting, Random Musings

Snopes looks at Fred Rogers