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Stories by Zachary Jason

By Zachary Jason 05/20/2017 5:11 PM EDT
The Battle Over Charter Schools
The fiercest battle yet in America’s struggle over charter schools erupted last fall in Massachusetts. If passed, a ballot initiative in the general election would have given the Commonwealth the power to annually add up to 12 new charter schools — publicly funded, independently run alternatives to traditional public schools. They would have been built in a handful of urban communities, where 32,000 children, a majority black and Latino, were sitting on waiting lists of existing charters as they languished in underperforming district schools. But teachers, parents, and investors across the...
By Zachary Jason 01/08/2017 12:53 PM EST
Bored Out of Their Minds
For two weeks in third grade, I preached the gospel of the wild boar. My teacher, the sprightly Mrs. DeWilde, assigned my class an open-ended research project: Create a five-minute presentation about any exotic animal. I devoted my free time before bedtime to capturing the wonders of the Sus scrofa in a 20-minute sermon. I filled a poster as big as my 9-year-old self with photographs, facts, and charts, complete with a fold-out diagram of the snout. During my presentation, I shared my five-stanza rhyming poem about the swine’s life cycle, painted the species’ desert and taiga habitats in...