ArchiveSeptember 2023

Constancy vs. Change


Although we’ve lived in Chicago for 28 years now, we moved a lot before landing here –San Francisco, Boston, Mississippi, New York (Brooklyn actually), New Hampshire, Houston. We’re proud to say that we never left one step ahead of the law or out of unhappiness with the place. It was always pursuing a new opportunity or exciting experience. Each time we moved, there was that nagging question: how...



One of the most impressive products of the era of school reform in Chicago which began in 1989 was the creation of Catalyst Magazine. Its founder Linda Lenz, with a long history of covering the city’s education scene, saw the need for a watchdog to monitor the reform efforts. For the next several decades, Chicago was unique among cities in having investigative journalists tracking its every move...

Alex and The Poet X


Let me reintroduce someone who has been a character in my blog postings almost from the beginning. Alex was my student in the University of Chicago’s Urban Teacher Education Program 12 or 13 years ago. Our relationship didn’t end with her graduation. In fact, it’s grown and deepened. I have been her thought partner and sympathetic listener through her work in classrooms in Chicago and LA. I’ve...

Claudine Gay


The latest issue of Harvard Magazine arrived recently with a most astonishing and eye-catching cover photo of the University’s new president. Claudine Gay, the new leader of this legendary institution, is a Black woman! Even just a few decades ago such an outcome was unimaginable. She’s eminently qualified for the position, based on her academic achievements and on her successful tenure as Dean...

Alaska 3


I bet you didn’t know that Southeastern Alaska, which includes Juneau and Sitka, is located in a temperate rain forest. I sure didn’t, nor had I ever heard of temperate rain forests. Most of us are familiar with tropical rain forests, like the one we visited in Costa Rica, but here we were in an area where it rained more than 200 days a year and where the temperature never broke the 50s during...

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