Poverty and Student Achievement

“If you think education’s expensive, wait ’til you see how much ignorance costs.”

These were the words of President Barack Obama this past Friday  in Brooklyn, New York, at a local high school where he addressed students and faculty of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School, a joint venture between IBM and the NYC Public School System.… [Read more]

Where Do We Go From Here?

During this past week the debt ceiling was raised and a government shutdown was ended after 16 days of political rhetoric and hand-wringing. The attempt by the radical right wing of the Republican Party to defund the Obama administration’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was a complete failure. The Tea Party Caucus of the minority party held the federal government hostage over this one issue — at least initially — and they walked away with nothing and at the end of the day.… [Read more]

Collateral Damage

As a result of their attempt to block the Affordable Care Act, the American people have become collateral damage in the latest Republican assault on the Presidency of Barack Obama. They have shutdown the federal government with smiles and glee in their heart — knowing, but not caring about the ramifications of such actions. Just as Robert E.… [Read more]

Into the Wayback Machine to 1000 CE

Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas) stated that harnessing wind power will make the earth hotter because it will make the wind slow down. This is not the first time members of the Grand Ole Party have made absolutely astonishing statements when it come to science. The Party of No is the party of No because they know nothing.… [Read more]

The Inequality of Public Education

I recently went to a meeting for the school district I work for. At the meeting other teachers and I were told how the district performed on the Tennessee standardized test issued during the prior year. The director of schools and his staff told us about the state of the school system; he revealed data, graphs and other information that each school can use to analyze student performance and focus our sights on raising student achievement for the current year. … [Read more]

Make Them Eat Cake

The US House of Representatives voted to defund  $40 billion dollars from the SNAP program of food assistance for the poorest of the poor. SNAP, better known as the food stamps assistance program, is claimed by some in the House to be a program steeped in fraud.   That’s right — people are stealing a whopping $4.50 a day and some people are getting fat off food stamps, making them lazy.… [Read more]

A Teacher’s Value

After 25 years of teaching in some of the hardest and most challenging schools and situations in all of America, the State of Tennessee has determined my experience and my advance degrees mean nothing. Governor  Bill Haslam and his appointed henchman, Commissioner Huffman, have determined that teachers who have a Doctorate and/or a Masters degree should not get paid for the advanced education.… [Read more]

Disgusted

During the 1960s, politician after politician said that if we do not stop the communists in South East Asia they would take over the continent. The Domino Theory would take place where, if not stopped, every country in that part of the world would fall to communism.

Fifty years ago President Kennedy sent large numbers of American troops into Viet Nam to help the South Vietnamese government fight Ho Chi Minh’s army of communists. … [Read more]

Look up, move forward…

This week the March on Washington was remembered as the spark that ignited the Voting Rights Act and placed the Civil Rights Movement front and center in the minds of the American people. Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King,  Jr., the most visible African-American leader of his day, exhorted the 250,000 people in attendance and the millions around the country and the world to step forward and demand the same rights and freedoms other people have experienced since the beginning of the Republic.… [Read more]

Conservative ‘Idiocracy’

The other day, a guy I know was complaining about the Obamas going on yet another vacation. When I told him that both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush spent much more time on holiday during the comparable  5-year period in office than President Obama, he told me I must be wrong. I proceeded to show him a graphic indicating the actual number of days George W.… [Read more]

Positively 4th Street Revisited

I wish that for just one time You could stand inside my shoes And just for that one moment I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time You could stand inside my shoes You’d know what a drag it is To see you.

A friend of mine told me that when she was on a dating website, conservative Republican men would contact her despite the note in her profile that she was a liberal thinker who isn’t interested in a Mary Matlin, James Carville type of relationship.… [Read more]

School Days

This week hundreds of thousands of public school children all over the South started the school year just as congressional representatives left Washington for a month-long vacation, and in many cases those same representatives will be attacking the state of public education with lies and distortions.

The biggest lie being propagated by right-leaning congressional leaders is that the state of public education necessitates an end to the end Department of Education and compulsory education.  … [Read more]

Thank you, Anthony Weiner.

Thank you Anthony Weiner.

You are probably wondering why I am thanking the tabloid poster boy, ex-congressman and current New York City mayoral candidate. Well, today I received some bad news; an undetected water supply line break to a the refrigerator caused a great deal of water damage in three rooms of my house. As I sat thinking about how I would deal with the repairs and expenses I drifted into despair.… [Read more]

Rep. King, Empathy and the ‘Others’

“Deep in my heart, I do believe, that we shall overcome someday…” As I stood in the pouring rain Saturday in Atlanta for the Trayvon Martin rally, my mind wandered to another time, another place. I could have been standing in the rain for a rally during the 1960s. I could have been in any city in America.… [Read more]

Double Standard

“Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears Bury the rag deep in your face For now’s the time for your tears.” “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol” ~ Bob Dylan

When President Barack Obama was elected, I heard southerners wonder aloud if he was going to enslave white people just as white people enslaved black people for hundreds of years. … [Read more]

For the Workers: Fourth of July and Beyond

America is celebrating the 237th anniversary of its Declaration of Independence from England. There will be cook outs and parties all across the land. Thousands upon thousands of firecrackers, bottle rockets and other noise making fireworks will be exploded to the sheer delight of young and old alike. Hamburgers, hot dogs and other local foods will be consumed as the nation comes together in a state of unity.… [Read more]

America’s Untouchables

While visiting Atlanta over the past couple of days I talked with an immigrant cabbie from Nigeria. During our conversation we talked about the number of homeless people sleeping on the street around the Georgia Capitol. He told me he immigrated to America from his home so he could enjoy the fruits of America. I asked him if the money being made from oil has trickled down to the Nigerian people, and he told me that poverty and political corruption continued to rule his home.… [Read more]

Another Day, Another Massacre

A week ago another lunatic armed to the teeth descended on the town of Santa Monica, California and the Santa Monica City College killing 5 innocent people and wounding scores of others. The gunman, wearing an assault style military uniform, carried an AR 15 assault rifle with over 1800 rounds of ammunition. He killed his father, brother and three innocent random people, shooting indiscriminately at drivers of cars and a city bus before he entered the school where he fired on anyone he saw.… [Read more]

Where Have They Gone…

June 6th marked the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Just a couple of months after that, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. met the same fate: murdered because he preached peace. Like his brother before him, Bobby Kennedy knew that the war in Vietnam and racism were destroying this country and, like his brother, he was willing to end the war and take the racists head on.… [Read more]

The Business of Government

I love baseball. Well, I love the Mets and the Mets play baseball most of the time. This week they have been playing (and beating!) their cross-town rivals: the hated NY Yankees.

The Mets have played second fiddle to the Yankees for most of the 51 years I have been following the Mets. The Yankees are considered Major League Baseball’s most successful franchise and, with a monetary value exceeding a Billion dollars, they are estimated to be the richest team in all of professional sports.… [Read more]