About the Authors
I’m Sabrina. Nice to meet you!
I went into teaching because I (mistakenly) believed the hype about bad teachers in our worst-performing schools, and I wanted to Be the change I wished to see in the world. When I was rushed to the hospital after fainting from exhaustion in my classroom, I started to suspect that the situation might be more complicated than the conventional wisdom on education reform would have us believe.
I started this blog to help shed light on the complex issues that face our most troubled schools. I believe that in order to have real education reform in this country, we need to get beyond the stereotyping (i.e. “Teachers are unqualified”), oversimplification (“All we need to do is…”), and political posturing that dominates so much of the current process. To me, that means we need to listen less to politicians and “the powers that be,” and more to real teachers and communities (also known as… the people who actually know what’s going on in the schools!).
Click here to learn more about my thoughts on certain “school reform” issues.
In my “free” time, I also read, cook, knit, sew, sing, dance, hike, and play the guitar.
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My name is “Maria” and I am pleased to be here.
I have over 15 years of experience working with children and have spent most them teaching young children in a struggling Colorado urban school district. I share Sabrina’s notion that we should strive to effect change through our daily actions, so I stay in a frustratingly mismanaged system rather than work in a more affluent and higher-achieving district. Advocacy for children and their parents is a part of my role and to that end I have actively participated in school and district reform efforts. However, my disappointment and frustration with the system’s ongoing failure to achieve meaningful change is developing into a deep sense of remorse, and even disgust, at the waste of talent and resources. Therefore, maintaining my sense of humor is of high priority. Click here to read my thoughts on the reform movement.
Books and reading for enjoyment are an essential part of my life, despite the fact that I live in a house filled with children and pets. When I do have free time, I like to travel and explore or work on any number of creative projects.
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Hello all. My name is Mark Friedman. I have taught social studies and worked in Rochester, New York for several years. Before formally entering into teaching I worked in after school programs and created a music program for elementary students. The politics of education surrounding the last decade of reform measures had me constantly reading, writing, and speaking out to whoever would listen. As the terms of the debate for teachers, parents, students and any other genuinely interested stakeholders became increasingly difficult, I became more interested in investigating change. I came to the conclusion that I could no longer flirt with the concept of community organizing based around progressive, anti-racist education. I needed to actively and strategically pursue an activist route in and outside the class room.
As the continual manipulation of public opinion distorts and misleads many on the best directions in education and politics, I’m hoping to educate myself and others on resistance. By empowering teachers and others on the front lines with direct experience to speak truth to power regarding the complex realities in schools, I see us building alternatives to the predominate narrative and prescriptions for “low-performing schools”.
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If you work in, learn in, or are otherwise directly connected to a public school or school district (particularly a low-performing school, one among the Five Percent or the suspected 10,000 that need “vigorous interventions”), we want to hear from you! To send us your story or availability for a video or audio interview, e-mail TeacherSabrinaFSP [at] gmail [dot] com.