Today there was a piece in The Nation discussing an internal memo (you can see the full document here) about how we respond to factual inaccuracies in traditional and social media. Like most organizations we have a media response strategy, and in the interest of transparency, I want to share how we’re thinking about addressing the public feedback we get.

One strain of feedback comes from corps members, alumni, partners and critical friends who have ideas for how we can evolve and continue to get better. We know that listening to these voices will only result in a more effective program that better serves students both today and in the long run.  Based on their advice and what we’ve learned over time, we’re partnering more closely with communities and doing more to support corps members as they develop their conviction about all that’s possible for our public education system. These changes are described more fully in a recent letter that our co-CEOs sent to our alumni network, which you can read here.

A few years ago, well into my thirties, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. As we close out ADHD Awareness Month, I’ve been thinking a lot about this experience.

In some ways, this was not news. My memories of my own education primarily revolve around the ways I wasn't learning -- disrupting classes, skipping lectures, doing little homework and reading few books. I couldn't maintain focus on what a teacher was saying for more than a few minutes, and I couldn't read more than a few paragraphs at a time. Even the slightest distraction -- noise from a television a few rooms away -- would render me completely unable to concentrate.

Last week, we received a second letter from the group United Students Against Sweatshops via email. When the group reached out a few weeks ago to share concerns with our approach, we responded, including an invitation to meet for further discussion. Since these letters are being sent publicly, we’ve provided detailed corrections on the misinformation they include here, and wanted to share our latest email below.

Matt’s email response to USAS:

Dear Blake,

Thank you for your response to our letter. I am glad to hear that you’ll sit down with us. I would welcome you and your colleagues to our offices in New York if that would be convenient, but I am equally happy with another location if you’d prefer. While Elisa is out on maternity leave following the birth of her son, I’ll have to represent the both of us, and may bring a few of my colleagues who are directly involved in our work preparing and supporting teachers across the country, so that they can hear from you directly.  Some dates that could work in the next month are: 10/28, 10/29, 10/30, 11/11, 11/12, and 11/13. Given the role that Randi Weingarten and the AFT are playing in supporting your efforts, we’d also welcome her if you’d like to encourage her to join us. 

I am an educator. I have the honor of teaching pre-school in Las Vegas. I get to spend my days with the future. I get to look into their eyes full of hope. I get to empower their minds with questions and challenges.

My family name, Cervantes, carries a long history of proud Mexican leadership.  During the Mexican Revolution, my great-grandfather Eulogio Cervantes, as a young boy, rode alongside Pancho Villa and his Villistas seizing hacienda land to re-distribute to the peasants and soldiers.  For my entire life, I’ve heard stories about my great-grandfather, all that he accomplished and how he worked hard to make a life for my family in the United States.  Like many people in my cultu

A national survey of teachers shows that teachers have lower expectations of black and Hispanic students. Although the long-term study showed to a statistically significant level the teachers expectations of student success held true, experts are worried that student outcomes may be the result of a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby teachers invest more time and energy into students in who they see potential.

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