Ilana Garon

Writer | Educator

Poverty and the PISA: Aggregating for Economics

The strongest implications of PISA data are not about American achievement as a whole, but about the adverse effects of poverty on student achievement.

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PISA Scores: What Do They Show?

According to scores on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which were released today, American students are lagging behind their global peers in science and math.

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A Letter to My Students, Who Just Discovered My ‘Secret Life’

Dear Students,

This week a whole bunch of you realized that there is a blog being kept and a book that has been written by someone who happens to look very much like your English teacher, and even has the same name. And now, it seems a lot of you are reading this blog, and some are even reading the book! Try as I might, I can’t get any of you to believe that it was all written by this random other person named Ilana Garon, who looks like me only with shorter hair. And, you’ve all found my professional Facebook page. (We still can’t be friends on the personal Facebook page–tough luck!) So, I’m going to come out and tell the truth: You’re right. It’s me. I am “internet-famous,” as one of you guys told me.

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The Tale of the Truth Locker: A 10th Grade Story

Every once in a while, our lives are changed by an event of such sweeping emotional power and intensity that we’re left speechless. Maybe it’s the ballet Swan Lake. Maybe it’s the movieThe Notebook. Or maybe it’s the Truth Locker.

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Is Literacy Fun-Damental? Teaching Reading for Pleasure

A source of constant bedevilment for me, and probably for most English teachers these days, is the fact that many kids will tell you they just don’t “like” reading. A recent article in The Atlantic stressed the importance not only of teaching students good literacy skills for a future in a “globally-competitive world” (thanks for that beautiful turn of phrase, Arne Duncan) but also of emphasizing the sheer joy of reading. To the many English teachers like me, who joined this profession precisely because we loved reading, this may seem intuitively obvious; however, that’s easier said than done.

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