Education Reform

Teacher Shortage as “Shock Doctrine”

Below is a letter that has been revised.  However, the message is appropriate for any supporter of public schools, professional teachers, and equity for all children. The original letter was sent to the state wide leaders of teacher education in Wisconsin.  The letter was written because of my adamant disapproval of toying with teacher licenses even… Read more »

Maintaining the Achievement Gap by Threatening Opt Out.

Let’s make this quick.  At this point it is no mystery that high stakes testing does nothing to reduce the achievement gap (30 + plus years of trying).  In fact, the reality is that the achievement gap is maintained by the constant insistence of using test based accountability.  Yes, accountability is responsible for maintaining the… Read more »

Opt Out Reminder: It’s Still a Powerful Act of Civil Disobedience.

Guest Post: Anne Burn Thomas, Ph.D. SUNY Cortland. Why I’m opting out of the state assessments. In the past few months, the idea of resisting as protest to a range of policies and ideas has populated headlines, Twitter streams, and even in-person conversations. One of the ways that I’m resisting destructive changes to a vital… Read more »

Let’s Change Teacher Licensure to Address the Teacher Shortage: FAILURE!

“Teachers are leaving the classrooms in droves all across the state and enrollment in teacher education programs is plummeting. We have a teacher exodus problem. Our elected officials will use this as evidence of a “teacher shortage” and then lower standards and allow a warm body approach to classroom staffing. There is no “shortage.” Those… Read more »

Fired For A Day. Guest post by Michelle Gunderson.

Our school system is falling apart, and what solution do Rahm Emanuel and his appointed school CEO, Forrest Claypool have? Firing us for four days. It might seem as an extreme statement, but that is essentially what we are experiencing. Chicago teachers have been furloughed for four days, and today is one of them. Our… Read more »

The Achievement Gap: Now Closed by the Alternate Executive Order

Amidst all the furor (Did I spell that right?), the derisive snickering, and those silly pink cat hats that surrounded the water coolers during these first few days of the new administration, it went virtually unnoticed that the Trump administration’s greatest triumph thus far is the end of the Achievement Gap. It’s sooooo over. Over…. Read more »

Why did I have to “tell you so?”

“All indications are that labor has been caught unprepared for a President Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress and Supreme Court. With such broad control over every branch of government, Trump may be able to not only roll back many of Obama’s accomplishments, but also change the face of labor law for decades to come.” –… Read more »

Can a Backpack Full of Cash Kickstart your Heart?

Hey! Check it out. “BACKPACK FULL OF CASH is a new 90-minute documentary, narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Matt Damon, that examines the growth of market-based education reforms such as privately-run charter schools, student testing and vouchers—and their impact on America’s most vulnerable children.” Interested in seeing it?  Then how about  little BustED Pencils help? The… Read more »

Children, Eat Your Breakfast on the Hallway Floor at School

As you all know by now, I am no longer working at Jewell Elementary in the Aurora Public School District. However, I was recently alerted to a new  policy regarding breakfast at the school. The school day starts at 9:25 a.m. This year, if children want to eat breakfast they must get there at 9:15… Read more »

The Sun Also Rises

 What an inspiring country!!!! Guess where I’ve been the last couple weeks. Let me give you a hint: There is virtually no litter, no profanity, no violent crime, no graffiti, and no public smoking. And I’m not talking about just those civil middle class folks (although this country claims that 90% of its people are… Read more »