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First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our
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January 11, 2019
I’m a white teacher who chose a high-poverty school for my daughter. Here’s why.
I'm not immune to worrying that my daughter will miss out if I don’t fight for entry into schools that get all the buzz. But I know true equity means giving up privilege.
January 4, 2019
I’m a Chicago teacher who has watched many Javions fall through the cracks. Here’s what would help.
In Chicago, a district that prides itself on its variety of choices for families, Javion’s story is an illustration of how little schools can have in common.
January 4, 2019
My school policed our black male students’ hair. The viral forced-haircut video showed me how wrong we were.
"I believed our policy prepared our male scholars for life. Now, as I look back at the rule in the handbook, I am glad it is gone," writes an Indianapolis principal.
December 13, 2018
The SHSAT helps Manhattan families like mine. I finally stood up last week to say that’s wrong.
Choosing schools in New York City can be a formidable challenge. That was evident at a Community Education Council meeting in District…
December 4, 2018
Being the only black girl in her class took a toll on my daughter. Then she got a teacher who looks like her.
In first grade, my daughter was the only one: the only African-American girl in her entire classroom. To be clear, the year was 2016.
November 29, 2018
I’m a Denver high school principal. Here’s what we need in our next superintendent.
It's time for a new perspective at the head of Denver Public Schools.
November 13, 2018
Like most superintendents, I cared a lot about test scores. Too much, it turns out.
If life outcomes are what we are about, and test prep keeps us from helping students, we should welcome state test scores going down, argues Paymon Rouhanifard.
November 7, 2018
I voted for the first time on Tuesday. My journey to the ballot box began at my NYC high school.
My mother, three sisters, and I didn’t talk about politics much when I was growing up in Washington Heights. My parents, Mexican immigrants,…
November 6, 2018
It’s hard to leave the school you love. But sometimes, it’s necessary.
I’m a parent and a person who watches schools for a living. This guarantees I’m a fussy school-shopper. In kindergarten, we tried three…
October 23, 2018
Staying ‘neutral’ after the Jason Van Dyke verdict was a tough ask of Chicago teachers like me
Asking me to “stay neutral” is asking me to send a message to my African-American and Latinx students that I am indifferent to their experiences.
October 17, 2018
We’re a middle-class black family. Here’s why we’ve skipped our local schools for now.
While some newcomers in our neighborhood seem willing to take a chance on works-in-progress schools, we feel we have little room for error.
October 16, 2018
How football prepared me for my first year of teaching (but maybe not the second)
A former football player writes about how his gridiron experience helped him be a classroom teacher in Memphis.
October 8, 2018
I didn’t get into any of my top high school choices. Then I learned to love my safety school.
New York City’s intense high school choice process ends with students being matched to one of more than 400 high schools — at least…
September 14, 2018
I spoke with our governor during his TNReady listening tour. Here’s what I hope he heard.
Tara Baker, an assistant principal at Nashville's McGavock High School, was among about 150 educators invited to participate.
August 30, 2018
We’ve come a long way in addressing student stress and trauma. I could use help, too.
There’s an old adage, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” But as a paraprofessional in Chicago, my cup is almost drained.
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