The Edmond Sun

March 1, 2013

OKC Police prepare teachers to prevent gang association

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — The newest cohort of Urban Teacher Preparation Academy students from the University of Central Oklahoma and University of Oklahoma learned education can be a powerful weapon in keeping children out of gangs from those who have seen first-hand how gang violence impacts Oklahoma City youth.

The students attended a workshop with members of the Oklahoma City Police Department recently at it’s Northeast Family Awareness and Community Teamwork center to increase their awareness of how mentorship can play a positive role in their students’ lives, especially those at risk for joining a gang.

The workshop is a part of the intensive, targeted training students in the UTPA receive to prepare them to excel in urban classrooms. The only program of its type in the state, the UTPA is an innovative program that works in close partnership with Oklahoma City Public Schools to place upper-level education majors in schools throughout the district for three years of mentored clinical teaching experience.

OKCPD Sgt. Freddy Hernandez and Sgt. T.G. Childs shared their personal stories of gang interventions in the area, and emphasized how a positive force in childrens’ lives can be the difference maker in preventing gang involvement.

“Moral compasses need to be shaped by a positive influence,” OKCPD Lt. Paco Balderrama said. “Education from somewhere positive is key.”

UTPA students learned what makes a gang, how to identify gang members, what a gang offers and why some students choose to join. Understanding these factors is important for the UTPA student teachers, as gangs are a current reality in many Oklahoma City public schools. Ultimately, teachers can serve as a guide to lead those at-risk students to the OKCPD’s FACT program, which provides community facilities, activities and education for at-risk youth as an alternative to progression into criminal behavior.

“Having knowledge will allow these future teachers to interact more safely and effectively with students or family members who have gang affiliations,” said Teresa DeBacker, UTPA coordinator for OU’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.

“More importantly, they learned about the OKCPD FACTS program. Seeing the community center, and knowing about the reach and effectiveness of the FACTS program prepares these future teachers to be important partners in efforts to provide an alternative vision of the future of young people who are at risk for gang involvement.”

The UTPA immerses students in the challenges of teaching in an urban setting with real-world experience in OKCPS elementary, middle and high schools. Students in the program have a yearlong clinical teaching experience, followed by a two-year induction and mentoring process. The program includes professional development for the OKCPS teachers and administrators serving as mentors for UTPA students.

Students selected for the academy go through a competitive application process and exhibit the passion, knowledge and determination that are vital to being a highly effective teacher in an urban setting.

Since the first cohort started in the program at UCO in 2010, 34 students have participated, with 17 of those now employed as full-time teachers in the OKCPS district and 13 currently student teaching. An additional two graduates are teaching full time in other urban districts in the state.

FOR MORE information on the UTPA at UCO, visit or call 405-974-5144, and at OU call 405-325-1275.

By Caitlin Schudalla

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — As post-Sandy Hook discourse on school violence and appropriate legislative response remains heated, the proposal to arm teachers has risen to national prominence as a controversial, polarizing conversation for professional educators facing an uncertain future.

State Rep. Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa, brought the debate to the Oklahoma legislature with his December announcement of a bill he planned to bring to the House of Representatives authorizing teachers to carry firearms in schools.

Response from prominent Norman educators and community members has been mixed, but most agree that the arms debate highlights a need for addressing bigger societal problems that pre-existed the Sandy Hook massacre.

Ginger Tinney, executive director of Professional Oklahoma Educators, said her members’ response to the arms debate has been varied.

“From our membership, I’ve heard responses all across the board, and voices on both sides are very passionate,” Tinney said. “At a recent meeting, suggestions about a school security bond, using retired police or veterans as security personnel, mental illness and re-emphasizing ethics and compassion in schools were all raised. With everything coming from the state, our teachers are very stressed.”

Tinney said POE is currently conducting a poll of its membership to gauge the majority opinion on the question of arming teachers, and links to articles supporting and opposing the idea have been distributed on the group’s website.

“We want our members to read and ingest all sides of this issue,” Tinney said.

Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton expressed her support for taking the gun issue out of the school safety equation, cautioning against hasty reactions.

“We need to change the focus to safety for our children, which is a much larger topic than what we’re focusing on, and the answer has to be much bigger than looking at the gun issue,” Hampton said. “We can’t oversimplify what happened at Sandy Hook and there’s no quick fix, which is the problem after tragedies.”

For Gregg Garn, dean of the University of Oklahoma’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, the best answer is collaboration and planning.

“Arming teachers would not be my first suggestion, there are a lot of other things districts can do to make schools safe,” Garn said. “I think an initial assessment of security strengths and weaknesses is one of the first things districts can do, and joining the larger conversation on safety with law enforcement entities brings a lot of expertise to bear that schools just don’t have. It’s probably not your best strategy to have teachers try to solve these issues.”

Hampton agreed.

“Teachers came into the profession to be teachers, not law enforcement officers,” she said.

Hampton emphasized that a major piece of the “bigger picture” must be mental health, citing shortcomings in funding as a serious obstacle.

“There need to be background checks and better counseling in schools, so as to identify problems before they happen. Counselors in schools now have very little time for one-on-one counseling with troubled students,” Hampton said. “It’s easy to identify a child with a problem. It’s another to address that problem, and mental health solutions will be very costly for our government to address,”

Cost is also a problem for potential integration of firearms, as McCullough’s suggestion for teachers receiving Council on Law Enforcement and Education Training (CLEET) to receive arms authorization would come with a huge price tag.

“Some of our members have come forward to me, saying they already have concealed carry licenses and expressing a desire to be able to carry their firearms at school, but CLEET training costs $10,000 per person,” Tinney said. “Our teachers are very committed to children, and those who talk about CCL are acting on a desire to nurture and protect.”

As an education administrator and Norman Public Schools parent, Garn said his greatest confidence is in school drills.

“Building drills into overall preparation and practicing what to do in these tragic situations that we’ve seen is very appropriate,” Garn said. “If you consider reacting to a situation for the first time with no preparation versus reacting to a situation you’ve practiced or prepared for, the outcomes will be very different.

“I have three kids in Norman Public Schools and I feel very safe because I know they’re doing that kind of preparation.”

In meantime, Garn said teachers’ maintaining a positive and communicative rapport is the best way to achieve the unanimous objective: making students feel safe.

“Students’ feeling safe and positive about school is absolutely from a good relationship with their teacher, based on clear understanding of each student’s interests, hopes, etc. I think the idea of feeling safe in schools is something teachers have been committed to, since there’s been teachers and students in classrooms,” Garn said.

Whatever the questions raised or legislation produced by the arms debate, all educators share the hope that government officials will spare no expense or resource to ensure an adequate solution.

“I think we owe it to the victims to do this right,” Hampton said. “I’m sure the parents of Sandy Hook would have said it’s worth the money.”

Caitlin Schudalla



Urban Teacher Preparation Academy created at UCO expands to OU

Across Oklahoma enrollment numbers in Colleges of Education are showing alarming drops, with fewer students choosing education as a career path.  Even fewer are answering the call to teach in an urban school district, which provides very unique environments and challenges.

However, the University of Central Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma are partnering together to respond to the urban teacher shortage by expanding the Urban Teacher Preparation Academy (UTPA).The only program of its kind in the state, the UTPA is an innovative program that works in close partnership with Oklahoma City Public Schools to place upper-level education majors in schools throughout the district for three years of mentored clinical teaching experience.

Since the first cohort started in the program at UCO in 2010, 34 students have participated, with 17 of those now employed as full-time teachers in the OKCPS district and 13 currently student teaching. An additional two graduates are teaching full time in other urban districts in the state.

Still, the need for teachers trained through programs like the UTPA continues to grow rapidly.

“Those of us in higher education share a commitment to meeting the specific needs of our community. Together, UCO and OU can make a significant impact in the lives of the thousands of students enrolled in Oklahoma City’s public schools, and we’re thrilled to expand this program,” said Jim Machell, dean of Central’s College of Educations and Professional Studies.

OU’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education will take the UTPA model established at Central to start its first cohort of students in the program for the spring 2013 semester.

“We are very excited about starting our first UTPA cohort.  This partnership represents a great opportunity for OU teacher education students who are passionate about serving in urban schools, and for children in OKC public schools.  We look forward to working closely with UCO and Oklahoma City Public Schools through the UTPA,” stated Terri DeBacker, associate dean for Professional Education.

Oklahoma City Public Schools started the 2012-2013 school year with 270 teacher vacancies. Currently the district is 80 teachers short.  This shortage is expected to increase as more teachers retire.  In the next three years, 433 teachers are eligible for retirement and meet retirement standards.  There are another 410 teachers who are retirement ages, but don’t meet the retirement standards.

“We are at a critical time in education and specifically in an urban education setting with a looming teacher shortage on the horizon. It is through creative partnerships like UTPA and the thoughtful leadership at both OU and UCO that will put Oklahoma City Public Schools in a better situation to prepare our students for academic achievement,” Karl Springer, Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent.

Machell added that the UTPA may expand to more state universities in the future, ultimately creating a consortium throughout Oklahoma.

The UTPA immerses students in the challenges of teaching in an urban setting with real-world experience in OKCPS elementary, middle and high schools. Students in the program have a yearlong clinical teaching experience, followed by a two-year induction and mentoring process. The program includes professional development for the OKCPS teachers and administrators serving as mentors for UTPA students.

Students selected for the academy go through a competitive application process and exhibit the passion, knowledge and determination that are vital to being a highly effective teacher in an urban setting.

For more information on the UTPA at OU call 405-325-1275.

NORMAN – Aspiring teachers in The University of Oklahoma Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education soon will have a new tool that is expected to help revolutionize the way they learn today and teach in the future.

Beginning next month, OU will issue a new fourth-generation iPad with Retina display to 575 students enrolled in the college’s undergraduate teacher education program in spring 2013. Students will use the devices to enhance productivity, create lesson plans, demonstrate work and more as faculty integrate the devices into their classes.

The pilot project is part of OU’s One University digital initiative, which integrates technology and creates digital content to enhance the learning experience.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to create greater access to learning for our students,” said OU President David L. Boren.  “By providing iPads as supplemental education resources, our students will learn how to develop more powerful learning models, which they can then utilize in their own classrooms after graduating.”

“Since many K-12 schools have adopted iPad initiatives, it is imperative that future teachers learn and teach with the same tools,” said Gregg Garn, dean of the college. “OU will supply iPads at no cost to the student and, upon completion of the program, students will get to keep the device and the digital content they have created to use in their teaching careers.”

OU undergraduate teaching education faculty received iPads earlier this fall and are incorporating them into their spring teaching and lesson plans, focusing on how the devices are being used in K-12 education.

“If you really want a one-to-one technology initiative to be successful, you first have to empower the faculty to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the technology that they are learning how to use,” said associate professor Teresa Cullen. “The goal is to have the faculty use the technology as a tool to incorporate the activities that they are already doing, such as lesson planning, and to extend to such activities as reviewing apps that would further enhance what they are teaching.”

The college also has selected 10 students to be a part of the “technology student team” that will assist faculty members in designing activities for their classes.

“This is an innovative model, based on 21st century skills that include collaboration between the faculty and the student,” said Cullen. “We are trying to design this collaboration to get the students engaged with the faculty so that they are learning together as future and current educators.”

Through the One University digital initiative, OU is broadly implementing technology through videos and dynamic online course materials formatted specifically for the iPad that are continuously being made available on iTunes U. The university also is developing a new iPad app to offer additional services to students.

For more information about One University, visit


In the past several years, many states have extensively invested in building up systems to collect and analyze substantial amounts of education-related data. Everything from student performance to teacher assessment is collected, sifted and stored, yet while states have made impressive strides in using the collected data to inform education policy, according to the Data […]

In the past several years, many states have extensively invested in building up systems to collect and analyze substantial amounts of education-related data. Everything from student performance to teacher assessment is collected, sifted and stored, yet while states have made impressive strides in using the collected data to inform education policy, according to the Data Quality Campaign, they have yet to make serious progress in training teachers and parents in how to use the information effectively to help students learn.

Aimee Guidera, executive director of the Data Quality Campaign, commends states for building robust infrastructure to support their data gathering efforts, yet the next step could prove the more difficult one – creating an environment where education stakeholders are comfortable using the data and are actually learning from it.

 “State policymakers must actively support a culture in which all education stakeholders are actually using and learning from this crucial information to improve student achievement — not just using data for shame and blame.”

In their annual state-by-state analysis of data gathering efforts – Data for Action 2012 – the DQC provides several suggestions on how the rich datasets collected by states could be used to improve the quality of their education systems. One recommendation points out that while legislatures provide the state with the authority to collect information, they frequently fail to provide them with permission to share this information with those who need access to it most. People in the best position to assure that students remain on track to graduate and prepare to enter colleges and universities are denied tools to determine that it is so.

In many cases, parents are also denied access to reports produced based on analysis of the collected education-related information. Furthermore, even when parents can take a look at the data, it isn’t presented in a way that would make sense to them. Reports are published without taking into account the needs of their intended audience.

 States are increasingly providing training to help stakeholders use data but have not done enough to build the capacity of all education stakeholders to effectively use data, especially teachers.

But not every state is behind in making the leap from collecting information to deploying it effectively. Kentucky, for one, provides each high school with information about how their graduates are performing in college. This data allows schools to identify and correct academic shortfalls and has already led to higher college enrollment rates and a reduction in the number of students requiring remediation upon entering college.

Delaware has implemented 9 of the 10 State Actions by leveraging P–20W leadership, state policy, federal opportunities and resources and can now use data to answer important policy questions like which students enroll in postsecondary institutions and whether they get jobs in the field in which they were trained. Maine collaborated with stakeholders from critical agencies to build the policy, support and infrastructure to link data systems across the P–20W pipeline, which ensured that data collection, sharing and use are aligned with the state’s broader policy priorities aimed at improving student outcomes.

The OU-Tulsa early childhood students’ service-learning project was recently completed at Mannford Elementary School.


Cohort 6 worked with Mannford Elementary School and Up With Trees to plant trees at the Elementary School and Child Care Center. Most of their  trees were destroyed in the summer fires and the principal identified this project as a school/community need. Mannford second graders made flyers that were distributed throughout the community and the High School 4-H club participated as part of their community service hours.

Deborah Gist, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary & Secondary Education and OU Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education alum, began her career as an elementary teacher, rising through the ranks until she was named State Superintendent of Education in the District of Columbia in 2007. As the first state superintendent in the District, she transitioned all state-level education functions to the newly formed Office of the State Superintendent of education and put into effect the accountability systems of the federal No Child Left Behind education law.  She was featured in Time Magazine’s 2010 Time 100, a list of 100 people Time sees as “the World’s Most influential People”.  Gist was honored with the Award of Distinction at the 2011 Celebration of Education in Oklahoma where she reminisced about her time at OU and how well prepared she was to enter the classroom. She especially attributes her experiences at the Institute for Child Development as part of the foundation for her success. “The coursework, mentoring, hands on experience, the feedback, the collegiality, everything about it now looking back was incredible.”

Now, Gist is frequently asked to describe her leadership style and responds “elementary leadership”, a phrase she came up with.  The phrase is rooted in her teaching experience in elementary education and also stems from her time at the Institute for Child Development at OU. During her Celebration of Education acceptance speech Gist listed the top 10 things she learned about leadership from the Institute of Child Development:

  1.  No biting. When working with a 2 year old, time must be spent talking about biting. How it’s not nice and that it hurts and as adults we too often tend to bite one another. We need to use words and use them productively to solve problems without hurting each other.
  2. Believe everyone has unique gifts and can succeed. At the Institute for Child Development, teachers spent a lot of time talking about individual students and focused on their capabilities and what they were learning, not what they didn’t know. We need to believe that everyone wants and needs to be successful.
  3. Plan, know the expected result, and get feedback. At the Institute of Child Development they knew everything they were trying to accomplish with the lesson, the unit of study which was carefully thought down from the props to the make believe area to the snack to the story at circle time and the materials for the artwork. But more importantly, the student teachers received feedback all along the way. Our leadership is most effective when we have a clear plan. We need clarity about what it is we set out to accomplish and who will be responsible for what and how we will provide feedback to one another and our team.
  4.  Have fun. Children relish life, they can create a good time out of anything from a bubble to a puddle and it is so important for us to have a good time. Our work is very, very serious, but it doesn’t mean we can’t find joy in our work and in what we do and enjoy one another to accomplish and who will be responsible for what and how we will provide feedback to one another and our team.
  5.  Nurture the whole person. Everyone we work with from our allies to our adversaries has a complicated and whole self with hopes and wants and dreams with special talents and intellectual backgrounds with quirky characteristics and we need to get to know them. Relationships matter and showing that you appreciate your colleagues whole self will go a long way to getting the work done.
  6.  Run. We know that children have boundless energy. As we go through our day we should strive to have that kind of spirit and have a sense of urgency about our work.
  7.  Share. This one speaks for itself.
  8. Take a risk. Go on, give it a try, jump, swing higher, try the star fruit, try on that top hat, that cape, see how it feels. Touch that snake skin, put another block on top, see if it will stay up. As adults we have to be able to continue to put ourselves in experiences that might make us uncomfortable. Only then will we learn, only then will we grow, only then will we truly innovate and accomplish great things. It’s OK to be scared, but we have to jump anyway.
  9.  Celebrate together. We are very busy in our everyday lives but we need to make time to step back, reflect and to celebrate together
  10.  Get back up again. And with that Gist led the audience in singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider, complete with hand motions, a children’s song about dusting yourself off and getting back up again.


“She changed my life. I walked into her classroom insecure and meek, and left feeling ready to change the world.” Madison Wilkinson, OU Student

Teachers have the amazing ability to broaden our worldview, open our eyes, and shape our lives. However, we live in an economy where teachers are forced to do more with less. In fact, after graduation, few teachers have the luxury of returning to a learning environment. With fewer resources and larger classrooms, being a teacher can be a daunting task.

The K20 Center teaches leaders, educators, parents, and students how to succeed through shared learning, leadership development, and technology integration. In addition to providing teacher tools and educator training, the K20 Center also works diligently to develop, implement, and test innovative learning strategies for today’s technologically savvy students. Designed to stimulate and engage all students, regardless of school level, size, context, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, the strategies vary in appearance. One such approach includes the development of a Massive Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG). The education-charged video game teaches students to solve complex problems while developing and applying basic skills and knowledge in math, reading, science and social studies.

The final mandate of the K20 Center is to create connections and collaborations that support learning beyond high school. The K20 Scholars program supports students in their post-secondary experience through graduation. By connecting students back to their Oklahoma schools and communities with service learning projects, both the student and their home school benefit. Through these projects, students serve as role models for younger students and develop critical thinking and leadership skills as they help solve a local problem. Ultimately, the K20 Scholars program seeks to increase the number of college graduates ready to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related careers and encourages them to remain in Oklahoma.

The K20 Center has emerged as a dynamic leader of innovative education. K20 partner schools report significant increases in high-achieving school practices, show a 70% greater than average increase over the state average increase in the Oklahoma Academic Performance Index, while the K20 Scholars program creates career-ready students. By addressing student needs through innovative collaboration, the K20 Center is re-shaping the face of education in Oklahoma and across the globe.



A life changing event.  That is how many who attend the Oklahoma Writing Project Summer Institute feel about their experience.  While only a short couple of weeks every June, according to Priscilla Griffith, director of the Oklahoma Writing Project, “Some teachers have said they were ready to leave teaching until they attended the summer institute, but instead they leave energized and with a purpose.”  She continued, “I think it is a life-changing event for them because they finally see that there is a professional community that honors and recognizes their practitioner knowledge.”

The Oklahoma Writing Project promotes good writing instruction.  Its organizers firmly believe that writing matters and is a very important part of the curriculum.  “Writing can help a student learn how to connect the dots in their knowledge,” Griffith said.  “Every student serves a good writing teacher.”

OWP promotes good writing instruction through the annual Summer Writing Institute. Teachers are invited to study in-depth writing instruction.  “They reflect on themselves as writers, because in order to teach writing, you have to be a writer yourself,” said Griffith. Teachers prepare demonstration lessons and along with best practices, tie together what research says about writing instruction.  They then present their demonstration lesson to all of the summer institute participants.  The Oklahoma Writing Project is part of the National Writing Project Network, which started in the early 1970s. The first summer institute was held in 1974 on the campus of the University of California at Berkley. Then and now, the goals have remained simple: teachers developing teacher leaders, teachers teaching teachers, writing matters, and students are entitled to a good writing teacher. The University of Oklahoma was one of the earliest sites for the National Writing Project, hosting its first summer institute in 1978. Currently there are more than 200 sites across the nation, resulting in a large professional network of teachers.

Summer Institute in-service are all directed by teachers who have already been through the institute.  According to Griffith, “The summer institute also stresses the importance of school and university collaboration. Following the same model for every writing project across the nation, the institute is directed by university faculty and a highly respected member of the school system.”

In addition to the Summer Institute, OWP annually hosts “Write to Win,” a writing contest followed by a conference, which recognizes student writing from the contest. An anthology is published for elementary, middle school and high school students and one for teachers. A number of teachers bring their students to the conference, and OWP provides an in-service for the teachers, so the conference serves a dual purpose.

Every other year OWP hosts the Amazing Writing Race, which is held at the Oklahoma City Zoo and patterned after the television show “The Amazing Race.” Students move from station to station around the zoo and OWP teacher consultants provide a mini writing lesson at each station on a particular genre of writing. Those mini lessons often become the beginning of what the children submit for the writing contest.

Recently, the Oklahoma Writing Project received two grants to help further good writing instruction.  One of the grants allows 30 hours of professional development to Pioneer Intermediate School in Noble, Okla.  A teacher consultant will be on site for the next year at the school to assist all of the teachers with writing instruction in their own classrooms.

The second grant allows OWP to evaluate the model of professional development through the National Writing Project. The grant provides 40 hours of professional development to Monroe Elementary in Norman and Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, Okla. Professional development will be embedded in the school and the classrooms through book discussions and lesson study meetings. OWP will do demonstration lessons and help teachers reflect on their teaching. “The grants were extremely competitive so it’s very exciting that the National Writing Project is recognizing what we have been doing in Oklahoma with in-service,” Griffith said.

This past summer, I was given the unique opportunity to go on the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education’s first study abroad trip in Amiens, France. Two other OU education majors and I were in Amiens, which is about an hour Northwest of Paris by train, for five weeks beginning in May 2011. During those five weeks, we were given the opportunity to go on cultural outings around Amiens as well as spend a week each in a lycee (high school), a college (middle school), an ecole primaire (elementary school), and maternelle (the closest equivalent to the latter is a hybrid between pre-k and kindergarten).


There were numerous differences between French and American schools. Schedules were incredibly different, as students start at 8 a.m. and end at 6 p.m., but students have two recesses a day (one in the morning, and one in the afternoon), and two hours for lunch, during which they can go home if they so choose.  Discipline at the schools where I observed was also somewhat different than the discipline I have seen in schools in the U.S.; the approach was more authoritarian, and the teacher/student relationship was more professional than familial.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the French approach to foreign language and cultural education was phenomenally different. Students start instruction in English in CP, the French equivalent of first grade, and are given numerous opportunities to continue the pursuit of this language (as well as many others) as they progress through college and lycee. They can even choose to be a part of such revolutionary programs as the “European Section” or “American Section,” during which their literature and history courses (as well as some others, which include, but are not limited to, physics, chemistry, and algebra) are taught strictly in English. In fact, in these courses, I was asked not to speak any French at all so the students could benefit from interaction with a native English speaker.


Through these experiences and my experience in France as a whole, my entire world view was changed, not to mention my plans for my teaching career and my vision for what education can and should be for my future students.  My eyes were opened to the idea and possibility of a more global approach to education.  From an early age, students can, and should, be taught foreign languages. Language acquisition is at its peak in the early childhood years, and, I realized this time should be used to the fullest extent possible.  It was amazing to me to see what such young students could accomplish, and it became a dream of mine to see American students instructed in foreign languages and other cultures as early and as often as possible.


Overall, my study abroad experience in Amiens was, in a word, life-changing. It improved my language skills, yes, but it changed so much more than that. It changed my vision for my future, the future of education, and the future for our children, who can and should be encouraged to be connected on a global scale.  If not for this remarkable opportunity, I would still be a teacher, and, I hope, a good one, but I would never have developed the clear sense of what education can look like, beyond the wildest dreams of even some of the best teachers I’ve ever had.

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