CONTENT WARNING: This piece raises issues of mental health and suicide. Cora, the name used here, is a pseudonym.

I met Cora when she was 19 and on the cusp of earning her diploma at West Brooklyn Community High School. Though her path to graduation was tortuous, it brought her…


Earlier this week, the De Blasio Administration proposed universal assessments for NYC schools. Will this truly help children post-pandemic? Test-makers often paint a picture of technology magically telling us all we need to know about our children. It may sound too good to be true. It is.

In a moment…


Today is the one day of the week my son will come home from school full of stories. On Wednesdays, a group of teachers go bouldering at the Cliffs at Harlem. …


Since starting my blog on the challenges of one kid in this COVID year, I have heard many stories from other families.

A teenager began ideating suicide; their family looked into a residential program to help.

A former straight-A tween was struggling so much in classes that their family pulled…


More than a foot of snow fell on New York yesterday. In any other year, this would have meant a snow day. Not this year.

Yes, it may seem trivial, but to our kids it is not.

In Being Mortal, Atul Gawande notes that people need different spaces for work…


For those keeping score, my sixth-grader has gone from failing several classes to the cusp of honors as we head into the new year. Here are four lessons I take from this V-shaped recovery that I hope can help teachers and parents alike.

1. One peer connection can make a…


In the last week, I have watched my sixth-grader struggle with the online message of grades, surprised to see he was failing three classes. I then heard from a friend whose seventh-grade daughter is fraught with spiraling anxiety after failing all her classes in the world of remote learning. …


I founded Eskolta School Research and Design a little more than a decade ago. Now, $25 million and more than 200 school and district research and design projects later, I am leaving it. I’ve had this moment to reflect on where we are and where we have come.

I founded…


Last week, I had the chance to attend a meeting of the National Conference on School Assessment. The audience is largely state superintendents, so I was pleasantly surprised when one idea posed there immediately made me think of something that might help in my son’s online sixth-grade classroom: opportunity-to-learn measures…


As we get into a new year of remote learning with all its challenges, I wanted to see if I can offer some insights from my twenty years working with schools engaging students who had previously been chronically, and unfairly, disengaged. …

Michael Rothman

Founder of Eskolta School Research & Design. Education reformer, husband & father living in New York City.

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