The Hall Monitor Blog

The McNeels Choose a School, Part Five: What’s in a neighborhood?

The McNeels Choose a School, Part Five: What’s in a neighborhood?

When applying for SAISD’s choice programs, parents may choose three programs per child. While we started out with the ambitious goal of visiting about five schools before applying, by the time we visited our top three choices, we were pretty much set. Both kids are in the lottery for Steele Montessori. Moira went on the…

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RootEd wants parents to bloom in the diverse gardens where they are planted.

RootEd wants parents to bloom in the diverse gardens where they are planted.

 Founders of the pro-public school group say opportunity hoarding, not school choice, is what they are really up against. It speaks to the success of the grassroots public school advocacy group “RootEd” that I had been wondering who they were for some time before we met. Their posts and hashtags sprinkled my Twitter feed, and…

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The McNeels Choose a School, Part 3: Why we love Montessori so much

The McNeels Choose a School, Part 3: Why we love Montessori so much

It takes Lewis McNeel approximately three weeks of internet research to buy a light fixture. In our old house, he designed his own entertainment system, suspended from the ceiling by pulleys and counterweights. It took months.  So, now that we are picking a school for our kids, we are being thorough.  It’s hard to be…

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Great Idea: A home for pegs of all shapes

Great Idea: A home for pegs of all shapes

I don’t know anything about Providence, Rhode Island, but I was there a couple of weeks ago for the Education Writers Association equity seminar. I plugged the address into Uber, knowing nothing about the hosting institution, listed only as “The Met” on our seminar itinerary.  My Uber driver, on the other hand, seemed to know…

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The McNeels Choose a School, Part Two- Excuses, Experiments, and Expos

The McNeels Choose a School, Part Two- Excuses, Experiments, and Expos

Having an education reporter for a wife, Lewis McNeel rarely needs to comb through niche.com or GoodSchools.org to learn more about his local options. In fact, having an education reporter for a wife, if either of those sites were ever discovered in his browser history, he would likely be subjected to an exhausting treatise on…

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The McNeels Choose a School – Part One

The McNeels Choose a School – Part One

    For the past six years, I’ve been there every time San Antonio ISD sneezed. I’ve done so from a safe distance, where the propulsion of mucus and saliva can’t hit me. I stayed noncommittal when, hugely pregnant, an SAISD principal asked me if I would send my unborn daughter to the neighborhood school.…

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Mission creep critical at the Public School Finance Commission

Mission creep critical at the Public School Finance Commission

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt’s Revenue Working Group—a subsidiary of the Texas Commission on Public School Finance— continues to be one of the more intriguing things you can watch on Texas Capitol livestream.  The purpose, one would suppose, of the revenue working group, is to find money to fulfill the recommendations of the other working groups:…

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Great Idea: Where to find a substitute teacher in rural Nebraska

Great Idea: Where to find a substitute teacher in rural Nebraska

While conducting research for my recent Edutopia story, “Modernizing the Search for Substitute Teachers” I came across a fantastic program in rural Nebraska. While the story focused mainly on technological upgrades to the cumbersome morning process of finding substitute teachers, this win-win still relied on human capital. The North East Nebraska Teacher Academy (NENTA) deploys…

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