Education, Media

Pinch Me! Education Nation is Next Week!

NBC’s annual take down of public schools and promotion of privatization Education Nation “summit” begins next week. I can’t wait to see the list of prominent educators who will lead this crucial discussion!

Tony Bennett! (The singer, not the yahoo who screwed up Indiana’s schools.)

David “Architect of the Common Core” Coleman!

Secretary of Education Arne “I’ve Never Taught a Day in My Life” Duncan!

Goldie Hawn!

after earth
The man responsible for this monstrosity is now an education “expert.”

and M. Night Shamalama-Ding-Dong! (Okay, Shyamalan.)

How many elementary, middle, and high school teachers? None. Old singers? One. Old actors? One. Lame movie directors? One.

Anyone with teaching experience? Other than college professors, not really.

How about Diane Ravitch? She’s got to be there, right? Nope. She was first invited to sit in the audience, then received an actual invite TODAY to participate in one discussion on testing. The nation’s preeminent education historian was invited to just one event, and that came after loads of emails sent in protest.

A summit implies climbing upward. Education Nation will take the most crucial topic of our time and send it in a downward spiral.

Education, Literature, Politics

North Carolina Celebrates Banned Books Week!

ImagePerhaps folks in the Tar Heel State didn’t get the memo. Banned Books Week celebrates our right to read whatever we darn well please because, well, FREEEEEEDOM!

And that whole First Amendment thing.

But the Randolph County school board decided last week to pull all copies of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man from its library shelves, deeming it to be without “any literary value.”

Somehow, it managed to win the National Book Award in 1953, and the Modern Library and TIME magazine placed it on their lists of Best Novels of the 20th Century. The College Board has referenced it on the AP Literature exam more than any other novel. Image

But because one parent objected to it, Ellison’s Invisible Man is no longer available to the students of Randolph County, North Carolina.

Free people read freely. Except in Randolph County, North Carolina.

Education, Media, Pop Culture

Doonesbury Backs DonorsChoose.Org

After forty-one years, Doonesbury is still the most consistently engaging and entertaining comic strip. Not that G.B. Trudeau needed to do anything special to earn my support, but today’s strip is wonderful, especially if you know a teacher in need of a little financial support for a cool classroom project:


If you don’t have a QR reader, just visit and toss a few coins to a worthy teacher.

Education, Politics

Education Funding: Fuzzy Math for OneToughNerd, Jase, and Lisa

While Governor OneToughNerd and his acolytes in the Republican legislature claim that education funding has increased during his tenure, a new study by The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that Michigan is one of 34 states that have decreased school funding over the past six years. At least we’re in the majority.


Why does this matter? Less state aid means teacher layoffs, which means larger class sizes, which means less-effective instruction. Less state aid means a longer recovery time from this recession due to fewer public school employees overall. Fewer employees means more people out of the workforce who can contribute to the state coffers with their income tax and discretionary spending.

This is pretty simple. Even for someone like me, an English major. Why can’t Rick, Jase, and Lisa figure it out?

Education, Politics

Protect Our Democracy, Get to Know Your Public Schools

Great read from 7 Things You Need to Know About Your Local Public School. Nancy Letts of offers a reality check for one of America’s best ideas. Please share this with your state representative and senator (especially if she’s the Chair of Michigan’s House Committee on Education).

Fact #7: If your school believes that the purpose of public education is to prepare students to be well educated in order to take part in our democratic society, go to the head of the class! Does your school invite students to weekly town hall meetings? Do students have a voice in some decisions? Are teachers part of a collaborative team along with parents and administrators? If so, your children are better equipped to preserve, protect and promote our democratic way of life.

There’s a reason why I fear corporate takeover of public education, and it has nothing to do with keeping my job. It has everything to do with our country’s future.