All posts by: Mike Vaughn

Coffee Break: D.C. Principal Arthur Mola on Mucho Cafe, Helping Kids Chase Their Dreams and Channeling Frederick Douglass

In any endeavor, great leadership can make all the difference. In public education, that’s been getting some renewed attention lately. The Washington, D.C. Public Schools recently honored the leadership team of Arthur Mola—principal of the dual-language Bancroft Elementary School—for making...

Betsy DeVos Doesn’t Do Herself Any Favors By Attacking Denver

New U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos faces an uphill battle to sell her voucher-heavy, uber-market brand of school choice to an American public that’s choice-friendly, but voucher-skeptical. Which makes it hard to fathom why she would choose to throw stones...

Coffee Break: Parent Advocate Muhammed Akil on Getting Honest About Our Weaknesses and Creating Real Change

By Laura Waters Muhammed Akil is a fierce advocate for school choice and unflinching in his conviction that we must confront long-time failures of traditional school systems. As executive director of Newark, New Jersey’s PC2E, he is committed to fostering...

Coffee Break: Richard Kahlenberg on Knocking Down School District Walls That Separate Kids by Race and Class

By Peter Cunningham Richard Kahlenberg is perhaps the nation’s leading proponent of the idea that for kids to succeed, schools must be places where families of all economic backgrounds come together. A senior fellow at The Century Foundation, he is...

Five Reasons for Parents to Care about the State’s School-Accountability (ESSA) Plan

As the March 13 deadline approaches for giving feedback on Colorado’s accountability plan under the Every Student Success Act, I’m sensing that it and ESSA are not exactly hot dinner-table or Facebook conversation topics. But, especially in a choice-heavy state...

Coffee Break: Tulsa’s Talia Shaull on Peruvian Coffee, Developing Talented Teachers, and Embracing Innovation

Putting the best talent in front of students in every classroom is among the toughest and most important challenges in public education. Talia Shaull tackles that challenge for the Tulsa Public Schools, where she serves as the Chief Talent Officer....

Coffee Break: Colorado Ed Reformer Mike Johnston on DeVos, DACA, and his future in the Democratic Party

By Katelyn Silva Mike Johnston was a Teach For America corps member in the Mississippi Delta, a principal for six years in Colorado, and served as a senior education advisor to President Obama. He just wrapped his tenure in the Colorado...

Coffee Break: Denver Refugee Student Zahra Abdulameer on the Power of Inclusivity and Diversity

Zahra Abdulameer and her family came to Denver in 2009 from Iraq. She’s one of many refugee students who attend Denver’s South High School—a “welcoming center” school for refugees. She’s one of the students who talked with the leadership of...

A Liberal’s Confession on Vouchers

As a dyed-in-the-wool liberal and as someone who worked in city school districts for a long time, I have a confession to make: I’m not against vouchers. I’m not entirely for them, either. But I am open-minded. I’m somewhere in...

Coffee Break: Chicago Principal Sonia Wang on How Community Context Makes a Difference in the Classroom

By Katelyn Silva Sonia Wang is an educator on the South Side of Chicago who began as a literacy and writing teacher at a district elementary school. She is now a new principal at the University of Chicago Charter School...