natalie wexler dc educationMy name is Natalie Wexler. I have a background in journalism and a passionate interest in education, particularly in issues related to the achievement gap.

I don’t have a strong ideological bent, and I’m more interested in whether initiatives work than who has endorsed or condemned them. But as I’ve learned more about the state of urban education, I’ve come to believe that certain things are fundamental if we want to improve it.

Those things include:

  • well-prepared teachers;
  • school leaders who can create calm, orderly environments where learning can take place;
  • teaching kids actual content, rather than just basic skills, beginning at an early age;
  • and using teaching methods that ensure students who arrive with deficits in background knowledge and vocabulary are able to access that content.

I’m also a trustee of a small family foundation focusing on education in DC that has invested in both the charter and traditional public school sectors. I serve on the boards of DC Scholars Public Charter School and The Writing Revolution, which brings instruction in analytical writing to underserved schools, including a number in DC. In addition, I’m the chair of the Urban Teacher Center’s DC Regional Leadership Council. And I’ve been a volunteer tutor in high-poverty schools within the DC Public School system.

If I write about any initiatives that I have contributed to or am otherwise affiliated with, I will disclose that in the blog post.

In addition to having written for newspapers and magazines, I’ve been a lawyer and a historian. And I’m the author of three novels. For more on those, please visit www.nataliewexler.com.