Opening a window to diverse viewpoints

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LeeAndra Khan, principal of Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Oak Park.

LeeAndra Khan, principal of Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Oak Park.

By reading Catalyst, I get to hear the diverse viewpoints of parents, teachers, principals and other Chicagoans who are engaged in and care about our public schools. This helps me understand multiple views, even those on opposing sides of controversial topics such as our new Common Core tests. Catalyst has given me a wide lens through which to view education and this city. Knowing what people know and understand about education allows me to be sensitive to the needs of my school community and also helps me plan how to more effectively engage with and inform people.

One article that sticks out in my memory is an op-ed from last year about having alderman involved in solving the truancy problem by bringing together an array of resources. This kind of dialogue allowed me to think deeper about understanding the needs of my families and how I can work with social service agencies and community leaders to address their needs.

Overall, the goal for me is to help change the often-negative perceptions about our public schools and the education profession. Catalyst keeps me informed along the way.

LeeAndra Kahn, Principal, Bronzeville Scholastic Institute