Education, Pop Culture

Who wouldn’t want to take a class like this? Syllabi of Famous Authors

Posted today on The Atlantic’s site, an awesome collection of syllabi from David Foster Wallace, Zadie Smith, W.H. Auden, and this one from Lynda Berry’s “The Unthinkable Mind” class at University of Wisconsin-Madison:


Media, Politics

Kerry Says Americans have the right to be stupid, MI GOP Lawmaker Proves Kerry’s Point

Secretary of State John Kerry told a group of German students that the First Amendment protects all speech, no matter how vitriolic or inane. Today, Michissippi State Representative Tom Casperson (R, Escanaba, eh) provided us with an example, questioning President Obama’s birth certificate:

Tom, you have the right to be stupid, you have the right to your own opinion, but you don’t have the right to your own facts.


Big Brother/Mosaica to install classroom cameras in Muskegon Heights

Because the privatization is going so well in Muskegon Heights (huge turnover, teachers lacking certification), Mosaica decided, “Hey! Let’s record everything going on in every classroom! Not to evaluate teachers. No, not for that.”

Why, then? Michigan Radio (the only media outlet offering quality MI education coverage) asked Mosaica’s VP/Superintendent, Alena Zachary-Ross:

“The purpose is, number one, for safety, and then with the model, sometimes there are conversations about behavior in the classroom or the educational plans.” (emphasis mine)

Not that classroom behavior or educational plans have anything to do with evaluating a teacher’s performance.

What a nightmare. But if it saves Muskegon Heights money, you’d better believe it’s coming soon to a district near you.

Education, Media

Extra! Extra! One MI Newspaper Gets It

Check out this editorial that argues AGAINST high-stakes tests in our schools. Here’s a taste:

We have monumental problems in our schools, and testing kids more and blaming teachers when they fail won’t help us solve any of them. Indeed, it will likely make them worse.

High-stakes testing may be the ultimate expression of what’s wrong with education in America, a system that’s been in steady decline for the past four decades, a period that roughly coincides with the rise of standardized testing.

So, who’s responsible for this common sense op-ed? No, not one of the MLive papers.

It’s The Battle Creek Enquirer.

Remember, if it doesn’t come from the Mackinac Center, it doesn’t make it in MLive.