prison reform
Whenever I tell people I taught at a men's maximum security prison, I'm asked if I was afraid to do it, and in response I usually tell this story.
Apparently almost everyone who was there has a much better memory of a drunken me cussing someone out in French than I do.
Three days into my very first job as a preschool teacher, I found myself huddled by a park bench near where I worked, crying my eyes out.

Jun 23, 2014 at 3:00pm | 117 comments

Schools move to protect themselves instead of to alter themselves.
you are the advice columnist
But I feel that, even though there's always rainy days, a higher education should be something exciting, right?
My daughter's friends don't believe her when she tells them, "Daddy lives in a dumpster."
Unschooling is a contact sport! We spend time together, exploring our interests, as opposed to dictating our daughters’ interests.
My degree left me with emotional damage and an unflattering case of cynicism about the American education system -- and other awkward observations from four years in Boston.
When we view college as the only route out of poverty and as the only way of overcoming racial, class, and gender barriers, we are making it harder for everyone to find the path to success that will most work for them.

Feb 12, 2014 at 12:00pm | 374 comments

elizabeth street
Because feeder schools are successful at getting students into top-tier schools at the next level, many parents seek out these schools as a method of increasing their child’s chances of getting in. When it comes to highly competitive private schools, feeder schools are well known by both parents and school administrators.
At the end of my first semester, when a consistently absent male student who hadn’t done a lick of work over the last fifteen weeks marched into my chair’s office with his parents to complain about his bad grade, I took it personally. Like, I cried.
This isn't just about a high school dance, it's about a larger political and cultural symbol.
trans issues
Of course California would wait until the minute I've left the state for the opposite side of the country to pass a recordbreaking law and get it officially signed by the Governor.
The problem here wasn’t with the makeup, but with who was wearing it.
kiera wilmot
I don't know that I want to live in a world where kids can't occasionally blow stuff up by accident in chemistry experiments. And not get charged with a felony for doing it.

May 1, 2013 at 2:00pm | 60 comments

vagina vagina vagina
No matter how many euphemisms he cloaked it in, it still would have been viewed as unacceptable for him to teach his students about reproductive anatomy, and worse, to talk about orgasms.
hate speech
This is not an overreaction by students and faculty, but taking action, engaging in open dialogue to not only prevent future acts of hate, but to have a space to articulate feelings of fear and anger -- sentiments that are completely understandable considering the situation.
The hyperfocus on what girls are wearing with a healthy heaping of judgment sends precisely the opposite message, underscoring that girls should be constantly concerned about what they are wearing and who might be judging them for it.
Telling women they need smaller bazongas if they want to avoid bullying is feeding into a larger and really gross culture about women and bodies.
While it’s cool to know that being bilingual has scads of smarty-pants benefits, the study overlooks many other things that are awesome about knowing more than one language. But don’t worry -- I’m here to help with five more!
It was just one of those things that I knew I'd regret not doing on my deathbed. (Now, if I live to reach grandma status, my grandkids will know I used to explain to people the pros and cons of all the different types of dildos!)