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Jul. 13 2010 - 11:44 pm | 69 views | 0 recommendations | 6 comments

Signing off: The final Report Card

As many of you probably know from visiting True/Slant over the past couple of months, the site recently was purchased by Forbes. Lots of changes are in store, one of them being that the services of many current T/S writers (myself included) will no longer be needed as of August 1. Since I begin a new job next week and am redoubling my efforts to (finally) complete my dissertation, I’m saying goodbye a little early.

I’d like to thank True/Slant for providing me with a wonderful opportunity over the past 11 months. A year ago, I never would have imagined having a blog to my name, sharing my ideas and opinions with strangers across the Internet. I’m grateful to Katie Drummond, who was open to my pitch for The Report Card and helped me get on my feet early on, never getting annoyed despite my barrage of questions. Thanks also to Coates Bateman and Michael Roston, who provided me with feedback, story ideas, and encouragement.

Most of all, thanks to everyone who took time to read this page, especially family members, friends, and other T/S contributors who came regularly to the page in the beginning when I didn’t know what I was doing. I also appreciate those readers who took the time to add their comments at the end of my posts, helping me and other readers deepen our understanding of issues.

I’m not sure what exactly happens on August 1–if this page ceases to exist entirely, or if my posts will still be available–so if you’re interested in revisiting any favorite columns I’ve included an index below. Enjoy, and au revoir!


Week of October 12, 2009

Week of October 19, 2009

Week of October 26, 2009

Week of November 2, 2009

Week of November 11, 2009

Week of November 22, 2009

February 9, 2010

The education quotation of the year (seven months early)

My Reading List

September Edition

February Edition

Education Reform

Just released: 2009 PDK/Gallup Poll

Wanted: Education reform…Reward: $$$

In defense of No Child Left Behind

Why Obama and Arne will get their way with teachers’ unions

The NCLB limbo: How low can states go?

Blow the whole thing up and start from scratch! (Or not)

National education standards are here, and it’s about time

The continued vilification of No Child Left Behind

How should Obama fix No Child Left Behind?

Urban Education

Update on the Harlem Children’s Zone

Vexing questions about math scores in Detroit

Kansas City’s cutbacks are a warning to the entire country

Urban education as you’ve never seen it

High school hell, from a student’s perspective


What Chicago gangs and Al-Qaeda have in common

Can anything be done about gang violence in Chicago?

Preventing violence in Chicago schools: A video update

Literacy/Early Childhood Education

Lunches and literacy: America’s stubborn insistence on paying to fix problems rather than prevent them

The latest national security threat? Inadequate early childhood education

The lesson Haiti should teach us about funding preschool

Why our future national security depends on funding Yemeni and American schools

Elementary School

Is elementary school what America does best?

Are America’s elementary schools getting it wrong?

Putting recess before lunch (How did we manage to do this backward for so long?)


Convincing high school students to give it the old college try

What the heck are these kids thinking?

A Florida State University scandal that actually matters

Do U.S. colleges lack confidence in the country’s K-12 students and teachers?

The Harvard you don’t know

The conversation you and your 18-year-old need to have over the holidays

17 things high school grads need to consider before leaving for college

What’s the point of our universities?

Hail to the Victors Valiant!

The promise and pitfalls of community colleges

Should college students be allowed to carry guns on campus?

High school seniors, cell phones, and the art of waiting

Was Chris Rock wrong about community college?

Wait a second…Now kids don’t need to go to college?

What should happen to college kids who are illegal immigrants?

Should plumbers and hairdressers go to college?


Can NFL film study help teachers improve?

The illogical argument against teacher merit pay

Why too many unsuccessful students become teachers

Why teachers will never make as much money as lawyers

Who has the tougher job–teachers or lawyers?

NYC decides paying teachers to not teach is a bad idea

A few words from Dennis Miller on teacher-student sex

Letter to an unemployed teacher


Obama talks about Malia’s test scores

A program for better parenting (and why conservatives oppose it)

Who’s responsible–parents or schools?

There’s no compromising with Obama on this issue

The young parents’ guide to teaching kids to read

Is it good parenting to encourage your kid to drop out of high school?


A short history of the term “achievement gap” (or is it “gaps”?)

Parenting, race, and student performance in school

College degrees don’t prevent racial discrimination

Is affirmative action making a comeback in California?


Should we expect schools to equalize our society?

Should schools mix rich and poor kids for the greater good? (part 2)

Should schools mix rich and poor kids for the greater good? (part 4)

Columns for GOOD (the website “for people who give a damn”)

Sandra Bullock’s new movie and a call to volunteerism

The ABCs of struggling schools

A tutor for every child–pipe dream or possibility?

When is it too early to say, “Your child is failing”?


PBS airing special on school principals

Building a windmill in Africa, MacGyver style

The Simpsons takes on education

A “Supreme” (and educational!) new computer game

Arne Duncan on The Colbert Report

Google for Educators: Free stuff for students, teachers, and parents

How did everything about the world change in 6 years?

PBS news resource for teens

A last-minute Christmas gift that will help teachers, kids, and your karma

Should college professors be allowed to digitally rewrite textbooks?

Why every parent should watch Adam Sandler’s new movie

The Report Card

Introduction to The Report Card

The Report Card: 100 Days In

The Report Card’s best month yet!

Personal Favorites

Pink is for boys, blue is for girls

Your child’s test scores aren’t as good as they look

Can 36 hours on campus change a high schooler’s life?

The real reason Americans complain about taxes

Rush Limbaugh mocks, demeans NJ students protesting teacher cuts


Could charter schools use a little bureaucracy?

England’s education bureaucracy

My wish for 2010: That we get our facts straight!

Why home schooling may harm our democracy

Do schools teach a “true” version of American history?

Is it possible to teach non-partisan, non-ideological history?

Does volunteering mean you care about your community?

Teach For America versus bad journalism

Coming soon: computer engineer Barbie

The best investment in education: A class of one

Mad at Texas? No worries…it’s California to the rescue!

Do America’s students deserve a bailout?


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  1. collapse expand

    So sorry to see you go! I have enjoyed your blog and will miss your point of view on the various topics regarding education. You did a great job…good luck!

  2. collapse expand

    Thanks for the good writing and insight. I’m a long-ago teacher and a regular reader of your blog here; I will miss it. I hope you will return to writing about education at a more stable forum in the near future.

  3. collapse expand

    Thanks Michael – I’ll miss your blog. It’s not easy to write well about education, but you did it so often. I look forward to your future endeavors.

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    About Me

    I'm a Teach For America alum and spent three years as a high school teacher on the west and south sides of Chicago. I've conducted research on turnaround schools with a team from the University of Virginia, consulted for school districts across the country, and done work with New Leaders for New Schools, the Consortium on Chicago School Research, and DonorsChoose.org. Currently I'm finishing my PhD from UVa's Curry School of Education.

    My work has been published in Education Week, the Phi Delta Kappan, and a number of academic journals, and I'm a co-author of the book Teachers' Guide to School Turnarounds. I also contribute monthly to GOOD, the website "for people who give a damn": www.good.is/community/MichaelSalmonowicz

    Learn more about my writing: http://sites.google.com/site/salmonowiczpubs

    E-mail: michael.salmonowicz@gmail.com

    See my profile »
    Followers: 51
    Contributor Since: September 2009
    Location:Chicago, IL

    What I'm Up To

    My June column for…



    I am a contributor for GOOD, the website “for people who give a damn.” You can read my June column here. Past columns can be found here.