In spring of 2009, special education teacher Anthony Mullen -- former New York City police officer -- was named the 59th National Teacher of the Year. Mullen taught at an alternative high school in Connecticut, where he worked with students who are often on their last academic stop. As NTOY, Mullen was on leave from his classroom for the academic year. He traveled the country, speaking to educators and reformers about what he sees as the greatest threat to American education: this country’s high dropout rate. Mullen’s opinion blog discussed his experiences in this space. This blog is no longer being updated, but you can continue to explore these issues on edweek.org by visiting our related topic pages: dropouts.