The Highlighter Article Club

The Highlighter Article Club
A deep dive on one great article per month. Join us!

What are your ideas for Article Club?
Dec 8 • 5 min
Hi there! I’m excited: Our article club is growing. Just last week, we had 20-30 new sign-ups — welcome! Now it’s time to figure out what we want to get out of this experience. That’s what this week is for. I want to share some of my ideas and get your…
Introducing Article Club!
Nov 27 • 3 min
If you’ve been a loyal reader of The Highlighter (and especially if you’re a VIP member!), you know that I’ve been thinking of launching an article club.Good news: It’s here! (Well, sort of: It’s going to start in January.)Article Club is for people who…
Want to annotate an article together?
Oct 14 • 3 min
Hi VIPs! This week’s audio letter is an invitation to all of you to join me in annotating an article together. Many of you know about my hope that The Highlighter, at least in part, becomes a sort of article club, where interested folks read and reflect…
#41: Author Brian Broome, “79”
Jan 13 • 33 min
When I featured “79” as one of last year’s best three articles (see Issue #173), naturally I wanted to speak to author Brian Broome. He graciously accepted the invitation, and I’m honored to present our conversation to you, loyal Highlighter Podcast…
#40: Education Reporter Emily Hanford, “Hard Words: Why Aren’t Our Kids Being Taught to Read?”
Nov 5, 2018 • 30 min
Why are we still teaching reading the wrong way? Why are so many educators ignoring settled research and brain science and doing their own thing instead?In “Hard Words: Why Aren’t Our Kids Being Taught to Read?” Emily Hanford investigates these important…
#39: 1st Grade Teacher Kristin Smith
May 14, 2018 • 28 min
Anne interviews San Francisco first grade teacher Kristin Smith about why she doesn’t assign homework, how to create a reading culture through book choice, and how to get the resources needed to do it ( —- Support this…
#38: Anne and Mark Banter About Reading
May 7, 2018 • 33 min
Last month, we did a deep dive on reading instruction. Now it’s time to reflect on what we learned and to share some of our highlights. It’s also time to realize that we’ve just scratched the surface on reading — and that the topic deserves another month…
#37: English Teacher Joan Cone on Supporting Readers
Apr 30, 2018 • 18 min
Joan Cone is a retired English teacher who taught for more than 40 years. In the middle of her career, she changed the way she taught her class in an attempt to support young people to love reading. Ms. Cone wrote about that transformation in her article,…
#36: Dr. Josephine Arce
Apr 23, 2018 • 31 min
Dr. Arce has worn many hats in education: bilingual elementary school teacher, literacy specialist, head of San Francisco State’s Literacy Specialist Program, and now head of SF State’s Department of Elementary Education. Hear her advice for teachers…
#35: John Corcoran: The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read
Apr 16, 2018 • 29 min
Before John was an author, CEO, and literacy education advocate shaking hands with the president and being a guest on Oprah, he was a college-educated high school teacher who didn’t know how to read. Hear his remarkable story, his hopes for American…
#34: SF Teachers Todd, Nick, and Shannon on Building Readers
Apr 9, 2018 • 27 min
Mark goes on assignment and interviews three excellent reading teachers in San Francisco. Todd Smith, Nick Nordlinger, and Shannon Jin-a Lamborn talk about how they’ve built readers in their high school classrooms, plus we discuss this month’s lead…
#33: Reading Is Believing
Apr 2, 2018 • 23 min
This month, we’re focusing on reading — one of our favorite topics. Hope it’s a passion of yours, too! In this episode, we begin with a startling statement about young people’s reading habits. Then we chat about how reading emerged as an essential part of…
#32: First in Family to College
Mar 26, 2018 • 18 min
Anne and Mark conclude this month’s deep dive on college with some reflections, highlights, and student voice. What began as a general focus on college ended up centering on the experiences of first-generation college graduates — who make up 1/3 of all…
#31: Lezly and Wendy on “Three Miles”
Mar 19, 2018 • 22 min
Anne interviews two former students who graduated six years ago to learn how well prepared they felt for life after high school.—- Support this podcast: Get on the email list at
#30: Teacher Rosie Leyva on “Who Gets to Graduate?”
Mar 12, 2018 • 31 min
Rosie Leyva is a third grade teacher in Oakland and a first-generation college graduate. In this episode, Rosie discusses her experiences in college and explains why she connects deeply with this month’s lead article, “Who Gets to Graduate?” If you want…
#29: The New Highlighter Podcast
Mar 5, 2018 • 15 min
Mark and Anne unveil a new format for The Highlighter Podcast: covering one topic over the whole month. Listen to learn what March’s focus will be! And let us know what you think! (415) 886-7475—- Support this podcast:…
#28: Attorney Christine Rhee
Feb 5, 2018 • 29 min
Christine Rhee is a loyal subscriber, loyal listener, and loyal San Francisco Giants fan. She’s also an attorney in San Diego and former criminal prosecutor. On the show, we talk about predictive policing and the article, “Can You Arrest People Before…
#27: Brittany Flynn
Jan 29, 2018 • 27 min
Brittany Flynn is a learning specialist at Impact Academy in Hayward, California. On the show, she talks about what it means to be a learning specialist and about her favorite aspects of the profession. Before serving at the high school level, Brittany…
#26 Alvin Chang, Vox reporter
Jan 22, 2018 • 26 min
Alvin Chang is senior graphics reporter at Vox and the author of the lead piece in The Highlighter #125, which focused on school resegregation. Mr. Chang creates explainers that include data, cartoons, and history. He believes that our society’s most…
#25: Teacher Anne Nyffeler
Jan 16, 2018 • 31 min
Anne Nyffeler is a great teacher and instructional coach in San Francisco and is the editor of Anne-otations, The Highlighter’s new feature! Each week, Anne will select one excellent podcast episode to share. This week, it’s “You Had Me at Black.” We talk…
#24: School Leader Omar Bryan
Jan 8, 2018 • 39 min
Omar Bryan is a talented artist, art teacher, and school leader in the Bay Area. He’s also a big champion of The Highlighter! On the show, we talk about how he got into education and how he applies his art background in building relationships with…
#23: Educator Jamie Marantz
Dec 11, 2017 • 34 min
Jamie Marantz is an experienced educator in the Bay Area who works relentlessly to disrupt predictable educational outcomes for young people. She questions school policies that are for the comfort of adults rather than for the benefit of the children. In…
#22: Barbara Shreve
Dec 4, 2017 • 34 min
Barbara Shreve is an outstanding Math educator in the Bay Area who believes in the power of math to support young people’s identity formation — who they are and how they have agency in the world. She is also a wonderful, caring, close friend. On the show,…
#21: Teacher Olivia Morales
Nov 27, 2017 • 27 min
Olivia Morales teaches social studies in New Orleans and is the co-founder of Teacher Beasts, which promotes exercise and wellness among educators. On the show, Olivia and I talk about the educational landscape in New Orleans, particularly its emphasis on…
#20 Jonathan Wright & Philippe
Nov 20, 2017 • 27 min
Science teachers Jonathan Wright and Philippe Vanier, friends and colleagues, talk about the lead article from this week’s newsletter, “Can Racism Be Stopped in the Third Grade?” Please enjoy! —- Support this podcast:…
#19: Sonya Wang
Nov 13, 2017 • 29 min
Sonya is a mom, loyal subscriber, and devotee of Oakland. On the show, we talk about choosing a school for her daughter, the stress of buying a house in the Bay Area, and her experience living in the Deep South. Please enjoy! —- Support this podcast:…
#18: Kati Parker
Nov 6, 2017 • 27 min
Kati Parker is the first-ever former student of mine on the show! She is great and smart, and we chatted about “The Gentrification of Soul Food.” Please enjoy! —- Support this podcast: Get on the email list at…
#17: Nancy Lai
Oct 30, 2017 • 26 min
Nancy leads all things literacy at the Oakland Unified School District, and in this episode, she talks about reading and how we can teach it better. Then we chat about “The Ghosts of the Tsunami.”—- Support this podcast:…
#16: Sejal Patel
Oct 23, 2017 • 29 min
My good friend and loyal subscriber Sejal Patel talks about how best to advocate for your children when facing overworked or insensitive teachers. Also, we chat about “Birth of a White Supremacist.”—- Support this podcast:…
#15 Math teacher Laura Hawkins
Oct 15, 2017 • 29 min
Laura Hawkins is a Math teacher in San Francisco. We talked about whether our divided country has become a tribal one, with all of its negative effects. Is there hope when we can’t talk to each other?—- Support this podcast:…
14 Data Associate Nicholas Woo
Oct 9, 2017 • 25 min
Nicholas Woo is a data and evaluation associate at Partnership with Children in New York City. We talked about how education reforms just aren’t enough if we’re really seeking equity for young people.—- Support this podcast:…
#13: Writer Lauren Markham
Oct 1, 2017 • 30 min
Writer Lauren Markham is the author of “The Girl Gangs of El Salvador” and the new book, The Far Away Brothers. We talk about her writing and how best to serve newly arrived immigrant youth.—- Support this podcast:…
#12: Professor Tony Johnston
Sep 24, 2017 • 30 min
Professor of education Tony Johnston talks about fireflies, Black masculinity, and Advanced Placement classes. He supports new teachers in Connecticut and believes in the power of reading. —- Support this podcast:…
#11 Clare Green & Eric Foner
Sep 18, 2017 • 26 min
Principal Clare Green interviews Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. They discuss Prof. Foner’s recent article, “Confederate Statues and ‘Our’ History.”—- Support this podcast:…
#10: Niki Magtoto
Sep 11, 2017 • 22 min
Niki is a San Francisco native and works in education at SFUSD. We talked about her work, resegregation, charter schools, and Nikole Hannah-Jones’s article, “The Resegregation of Jefferson County.” —- Support this podcast:…
#9 Nation Editor Zoë Carpenter
Sep 3, 2017 • 19 min
Social studies teacher Allison McManis chats with Zoë Carpenter, editor at The Nation, about her article, “What’s Killing America’s Black Infants?” —- Support this podcast: Get on the email list at…
#8: Principal Tim Reidy
Aug 30, 2017 • 20 min
Tim talks about his first week as a principal in San Francisco, plus counseling, CPS, foster youth, and what it means to serve young people in an equitable way.—- Support this podcast: Get on the email list at…
#7: Librarian Michele Godwin
Aug 13, 2017 • 24 min
Michele and I chat about cell phones, Generation Z, and the hope she has for young people and our future, even in these dark times.—- Support this podcast: Get on the email list at
#6: Data Guru Angelina Garcia
Aug 7, 2017 • 25 min
Academic Data and Assessment Manager Angelina Garcia and I chat about data in education and last issue’s article about homeless students in Seattle schools. Please enjoy! —- Support this podcast: Get on the email…
#5: Teacher Erin Brandvold
Aug 1, 2017 • 24 min
History teacher Erin Brandvold talks about immigration, empathy, and This American Life’s recent episode, “Fear and Loathing in Homer and Rockville.” Follow Erin on Instagram: @teacher_beasts—- Support this podcast:…
#4: Teacher Marni Spitz
Jul 24, 2017 • 21 min
Humanities teacher Marni Spitz talks about teaching, equity, her new community in Bend, Oregon, and “Youth From Every Corner,” by Kirstin Valdez Quade.—- Support this podcast: Get on the email list at…
#3: Artist & Art Teacher Heidi
Jul 17, 2017 • 13 min
It’s time to talk to loyal subscribers of the digest! This episode, I got to chat with East Bay artist and art teacher Heidi. Thank you, Heidi, for being the podcast’s first-ever guest!—- Support this podcast: Get…
#2: Rugged Individualism?
Jul 13, 2017 • 3 min
My favorite article this week is about Henry David Thoreau and how everything I thought about him was wrong.—- Support this podcast: Get on the email list at
#1: Welcome to The Highlighter
Jul 5, 2017 • 0 min
Welcome to The Highlighter Podcast!—- Support this podcast: Get on the email list at