Freedom to Teach, Freedom to Learn: A Year at Mission Hill

Teachers' Letters to Bill Gates

Chapter 7 – Behind the Scenes 



Yesterday I met a dyslexic man who told me he didn’t learn how to read until he was 37 years old. To avoid having to read out loud in grammar school, he’d hit the kid next to him and get kicked out of class. In 8th grade, he was sent to a now defunct “600 School” in Brooklyn, which functioned “to educate emotionally disturbed and socially maladjusted children…unable to profit from instruction in a normal school setting.”

As I begin another school year here in New York City, I am fretting over the academic fate of some of my barely-reading-and-writing students who are over-age for their grade and act out – in large part – because of their learning struggles. Add to that budget cuts, which are resulting in larger class sizes and cuts to academic intervention services (AIS), and a…

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