Zócalo Public Square, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that publishes a magazine of ideas and puts on free, public events, asked me to write a piece for its thriving Web site about returning home, a favorite Zócalo theme. They have just posted it, including photographs of me at 17 that will inspire uncomplimentary comparisons with the geezer headshot at the top of this blog.

The piece is about my re-connecting with my high school, and the many surprises I found there. I will be writing more about Hillsdale High for my blog. It is an important education story that touches on several themes — teacher quality, new forms of assessment, union-school relations, teamwork, school reputations and whether educational communities can reform themselves. Some will find it odd that I am praising a school whose staff often relies on the advice of Stanford school reform guru Linda Darling Hammond, not a popular person among the many Teach For America alums I know.

Take a look. The best parts are about what happened to one of my classmates, years after he won a football championship for us when future Super Bowl hero Dick Vermeil coached our team.