Teach For America At 25: With Maturity, New Pressure To Change


“We, the Committee of Public Safety, find Jean Valjean guilty. The sentence is death by guillotine!”

Molly McPherson, a redhead with glasses, is dressed in a blue bathrobe — in costume as Robespierre. Her seventh-graders are re-enacting the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, with a little assist from Les Miserables.

But after they write down their verdicts, she asks them to reconsider — they may not have heard the best evidence available, and may be relying on hearsay instead of primary sources.

“What does bias mean?” she asks.

“You single him out for the part he did wrong instead of looking at the part he did right,” responds one girl.