“Of course poverty matters. But are we going to let poverty be the determinant of whether children succeed?” –Howard Fuller

Here are three reasons I’m glad our colleague Jurate Krokys introduced me to Schools That Can and encouraged me to attend last month’s conference in Milwaukee:

No Excuses Educators. “Of course poverty matters,” Howard Fuller said at the conference. “But are we going to let poverty be the determinant of whether children succeed?” Meeting fellow urban educators who answer this question “no” through their daily work is what I value most about connecting with STC.

Sharing and Collaboration. My first STC experiences were meetings in Newark and Philadelphia where school leaders shared challenges and brainstormed solutions. How inspiring to see effective school leaders collaborate so they could be even more effective! It’s in this same spirit of sharing that I write my blog on Ed Week, as Harry and Rosemary Wong noted in their article about me: “David is happy to help others with practical information and coaching tips he shares on his blog.” Speaking of coaching tips, see the Wongs’ article for ideas that may enhance teacher coaching and supervision at your school.

Sector-Blindness. District. Private. Charter. I work in all three sectors, but never think about the type of school I’m supporting. In fact, when colleagues hassled me for accepting a charter school position after 13 years in the Chicago Public Schools, I replied, “I’m not pro-charter. I’m pro-child.” Such sector-blindness is another reason I admire STC.

Getting back to sharing, my blog posts this month include practical pointers for teachers and school leaders in two key areas: creating student buy-in around classroom expectations and using demo lessons to assess candidates based on potential rather than just performance. See my blog for details, and please let your colleagues know about it.


David Ginsburg