It's hard work to try to help all kids, not just some. This is the underlying fight in New York and elsewhere right now. Mayor de Blasio has crafted a thoughtful, comprehensive plan to strengthen education for all children.
Indeed, the center of the fight in NYC seems to be about what will happen when the considerable wealth and influence of a capitalist economy begins to remake the institution that was founded to be the ultimate safeguard of our democratic society.
During his tenure as mayor, Daley consistently failed to make the required contribution to the city's pension funds. As a result, according to his successor Rahm Emanuel, the city is on the brink of bankruptcy.
I was not there chanting, "Save our schools!," at the top of my lungs because I care about my own job security. I was there, because to me, access to quality education is the civil rights issue of our time and something I take incredibly personally.
I did not learn about patents until about the age of 25, and I was insanely lucky to find co-founders who explained to me why it was important that our start-up business filed a patent. How many Americans learn this by 25, and how do Americans become more intellectual property aware even younger?
She arrived in October, after the school year had already begun, which is a difficult beginning for any principal. One of Montiel's first orders of business was to address the fact that very few students could meet state reading and math standards.
Most kids are forced to cope with a system that measures their success based on how they perform on batteries of standardized tests. In classes devoted to test prep they are told to "get used to it," work harder and show some "grit." Clearly, little has changed from when I was a child.
Since the release of Race to Nowhere, I've traveled across the country, hearing stories from parents, educators and students who struggle with the pressures of our achievement-obsessed education system and culture.
In my nine years as an educator, I have spent the majority of my time with teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18, and I have come to one certainty: Teenagers say some of the most profound, and most entertaining, things you could ever imagine.
The question that everyone is trying to answer is how we make our schools better for our kids. It seems like everyone has an opinion as to what the best solution is. Personally, I don't quite know what the right answer is. So I decided to join Teach for America to find out.
I decided to not only empower my students, but give them a forum where they can freely, and without judgment, share their thoughts, views and opinions on the topics that are current and being discussed in the mainstream media.
Just like the disastrous No Child Left Behind Act of the Bush era, in whose wake it follows, it's all about testing and uniform standards and the "rigorous" evaluation of schools and teachers; and it's clueless about the nature of childhood development, not to mention reality.
We will never build high-performing school systems if we drive away our top teachers at such alarming rates. The education sector must become a talent magnet that draws great people to the teaching profession and retains top performers.