Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Capstone Graduate Course. Define Capstone? …THE END!

In 23 days, 18 bachelors will morph into masters.

However, before we walk the academic red carpet, we must blog, tweet, direct movies, and read books. All of this is relatively new to me, except for book reading. So, I am genuinely having quite a bit of fun.

To compliment my “tweets” about Jonathan Kozol’s book, Letters to a Young Teacher, I decided to compose my very FIRST blog post EVER!

Below is a poignant quote from Kozol’s letter to “Francesca”, a first year inner-city public school teacher.

“We need the teachers who are coming into our classrooms making up their minds, before they even get here, which side they are on." (109)

Kozol advocates the rebuilding of our public education system as opposed to tearing it down and replacing it with charter schools, small schools, and for-profit schools. He passionately states that education vouchers and the privatization of our public schools are, “The Single Worst, Most Dangerous Idea”. It seems appropriate then that a chapter from his book is titled, “The Single Worst, Most Dangerous Idea”.

Going back to his statement, “We need the teachers who are coming into our classrooms making up their minds, before they even get here, which side they are on." What does he mean by this? What sides are there to choose from? To me, this means I must decide whether to choose the authentic and joyful side, or the prescribed and standardized side, or for reality’s sake, perhaps a combination of both?

Because so much pressure is placed on students to perform well on high stakes tests, it has become necessary for teachers to prepare students for such tasks. However, good teachers must not forget to practice good teaching, even if prescribed curriculums are in place.

Presently, I choose to prepare my students for high-stakes tests because it is unfair to set them up for modern-day “failure”. If students are forced to take these tests to get into AP classes and universities, who am I to take these opportunities away from them? BUT… this does not mean I will become a robot-teacher. This means I must somehow incorporate “test-prep” into authentic learning experiences. Wish me luck!

#emmakdoub #MCERT #education #jonathankozol 


  1. I'm worried that all the focus on instruction devoted to high stakes testing takes away from the instruction that allows students to become passionate advocates for their own process.

    How does he suggest we rebuild the current system and what does he say in response to all the previous attempts to rebuild?

  2. The integration of 'teaching to the test' and being authentic is often easier said than done. It is my hope that the need for high-stakes testing disappears so that teachers are almost forced to be authentic. Your authenticity will shine in the classroom because you are so sincere!!!

  3. This is Charles R. Lund. I agree with Kozol's stances on charter school's, vouchers, etc. However, it is not clear what his proposals are to fix the current model. I wonder what Kozol would do if he were Secretary of Education for a day. What policy changes would he pursue?