Koby Levin, Chalkbeat

Koby Levin


Detroit, MI, United States

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  • Unknown
  • Chalkbeat
  • Detroit Free Press

Past articles by Koby:

The first day in Detroit: Cameras, cheers, and class rules that double as English lessons

Parents gathered outside the school Tuesday morning to grab one last photo and hug. Many were carrying tales of frustration with Detroit schools, as well as the hope that → Read More

This is what can happen when charter schools work together in Detroit

“That issue of isolation is real,” he said. “One of the ways people try to deal with that is by having peers that they can interact with.” → Read More

Amid a literacy crisis, Michigan’s school librarians have all but disappeared

Michigan's rapid loss of school librarians makes it an extreme examples of a national trend that has accelerated since 2007. → Read More

Defusing tantrums, tying laces, and changing young lives — while living under the poverty line

Spend a day in this teacher's classroom and it’s clear why some might be unwilling to take the path she has chosen. → Read More

Why lessons in ‘moral focus’ matter to this Detroit charter school teacher

A Detroit charter school teacher talks about how her classroom works. → Read More

National networks have overlooked Detroit, so a foundation is banking on homegrown charters

Top charter networks won't touch Detroit. Will philanthropic efforts to improve the situation succeed this time? → Read More

One question parents should be asking charter schools: Who owns your building?

When the American charter school movement got started, school buildings were often an afterthought. That's led to a lot of instability. → Read More

One question parents should be asking charter schools: Who owns your building?

When the American charter school movement got started, school buildings were often an afterthought. That's led to a lot of instability. → Read More

This Detroit master teacher doesn’t mind the tough adjustment to a new curriculum. ‘It just works.’

Here, in a feature we call How I Teach, we ask educators who’ve been recognized for their work how they approach their jobs. You can see other pieces in the series here. Mary Jane Espina was expecting a mess. Two decades of teaching have taught her a lot — including about how lessons can go wrong. As she prepared for → Read More

Watch: The state of Detroit schools, according to the people leading them

Watch our livestream of the second annual State of the Schools address. → Read More

Scared of robots? Here’s how one Detroit science teacher helps students deal with complex machines and instability at home.

Before she became a teacher, Maxine Kennebrew’s days were measured in hard numbers. I could say, ‘Okay this was a good day, we ran 1,000 engines today,” said Kennebrew, who formerly was a systems engineer for a Detroit automaker. “It was very tangible what I was accomplishing. In teaching, you can’t always measure → Read More

Detroit education leaders open to collaboration on accountability, student records

When students change schools — as they do all too often in Detroit — their data should travel with them. That idea has found support from more than one education leader in recent days, raising the prospect of additional cooperation between Detroit’s charter schools and its main district. Speaking in Detroit before → Read More

Out with Ben Carson, in with Aretha Franklin? Detroit kicks off a school renaming process

Detroiters with ties to four city schools will soon have their say over the buildings' names. The city school board on Tuesday kicked off the process of renaming four schools whose names, some say, are out of alignment with the students they serve. In the coming months, teachers, parents, and students at those → Read More

Want proof that the race for Michigan school board matters? Follow the money.

Teachers unions are shifting their political focus from a single school board — Detroit’s — to the one that oversees every school in the state. The high-stakes race for Michigan Board of Education will be decided on Tuesday, and it’s clear which candidate has the support of organized labor. Judy Pritchett, a Democrat and a former school … → Read More

Welcome to your cheat sheet on the obscure and critical race for Michigan school board

Eight elected officials oversee Michigan’s education department — four Democrats and four Republicans. Tuesday’s voting could break the ideological deadlock, just one more reason that the race for Michigan Board of Education is the most important one you’ve never heard of. Over their eight-year terms, the influence of the winning candidates will be felt in decisions … → Read More

As governor, Whitmer would create a ‘Detroit-specific strategy’

Gretchen Whitmer cast herself this week as an ally to Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti as his district jockeys for position in Detroit’s competitive education landscape, saying she would push for increased regulation of charter schools in Detroit if she becomes governor of one of the most charter-friendly states in the country. “We have to have … → Read More

A guide to the critical education race you’ve never heard of

It’s no secret that school closures are on the ballot in Michigan this November, with candidates for the state’s highest office taking different positions of that hot-button issue. But the gubernatorial race isn’t the only one on the ballot with sweeping implications for the state’s schools. The race for the Michigan Board of Education will … → Read More

Detroit district settles on long-term water fix, but major facilities issues remain

Detroit schools are getting new water filtration systems in the next year, a long-term solution to one piece of the district’s staggering school facilities crisis. The district will spend $3 million, partly subsidized by donors, to install the new systems in its roughly 100 schools, according to a plan approved Tuesday by the school board. … → Read More

In a bid to lure students back to Detroit, Vitti wants to open a new school focused on classical culture

Just two weeks after Detroit’s main district announced the opening of one new school, its superintendent is asking the school board to approve another — Detroit Latin, a K-12 school whose curriculum would focus on the classical cultures of Greece and Rome. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti proposes selling an abandoned elementary school to the George Washington Scholars … → Read More

WATCH: Candidates for Detroit school board introduce themselves live

The nine candidates for Detroit school board are gathering Thursday evening at IBEW 58 in Detroit to make their cases in advance of the November general election in which two seats are up for grabs. The candidates have already introduced themselves in video statements, but this is one of their first chances to address the … → Read More