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]

Show of hands: Anyone surprised it was charter school that expelled Tiana Parker?

Charter schools have been in the news recently. This is due in large part to Tiana Parker, an adorable 7-year-old in Tulsa who was unceremoniously sent home the second week of school for violating her school’s dress code policy, which labeled dreadlocks and afros – hairstyles natural to black children – as “faddish.”

After a public outcry, the board of Deborah Brown Community School, Tulsa’s first charter, rescinded the policy. … [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]

No {Wealthy} Child Left Behind

I think I’ve mentioned before that I teach in a pretty diverse school district; it’s one that is most definitely not one of the wealthier districts in the state of Michigan.

I wouldn’t say we under-perform, but we do have our struggles. Our staff has been diligently working on literacy and increasing thinking and problem solving skills in our students.… [Read more]

Why our kids are “S.O.L.”

Earlier this month, my wife and did the three and a half hour trek from Virginia Beach, Virginia to our nation’s capital to see the annual Cherry Blossom Festival (in case you haven’t noticed from her articles, she has a penchant for all things Japanese). While exiting the Smithsonian along Constitution Avenue, we got to see something we don’t normally see in our sleepy little town: an old-fashioned organized protest.… [Read more]

The Right War, the Wrong Battle

The United States Public Education System needs work.

This is not a secret, or even an opinion. It’s a complete fact. There are major problems with the public system that is in place from curriculum, to policy, to standards…the whole thing needs an overhaul.

For years politicians have been slapping bandaids on the problems hoping that it will hobble along enough until it falls into the hands of the next poor schmuck who needs to “deal” with it.… [Read more]

In Praise of Public Educators

One could easily believe that our public school educators have a patron saint in the late comedic actor Rodney “No Respect” Dangerfield. We went from treating our trained and dedicated educational professionals as a respected calling involving “starving with dignity,” to tagging them as a gaggle of greedy, selfish, and coddled public dollar freeloaders who allegedly weren’t perfect surrogate parent nannies.… [Read more]

Obama: On Education, Is The President Liberals’ Piñata?

While the rest of us offered thanks for family and friends on Thanksgiving, one D.C. teacher told a colleague, “I am thankful Obama won, now I can go back to hating him for what he’s doing to public education.” You mean like pumping almost $100 billion in new funds into federal education programs and another $60 billion into saving teacher jobs?… [Read more]

Education “Reformers” and “Status Quo”: Timeout!

Democracy is messy, but this election season at times was downright filthy. The partisan pot-shots and polarization was most prevalent in social media – let he who hasn’t retweeted @LOLGOP cast the first stone – but the campaigns had their moments too.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, President Obama called for unity. He challenged us to put the rancor of the 2012 campaign behind us.… [Read more]

Getting Schooled Part V: Public Schools

This is the final post in a five part series on school choices.

Part I is an introduction with statistics.

Part II is about Private Schools.

Part III is on Charter Schools.

Part IV covers Homeschooling.

This final part will talk about public schools in the United States, and hopefully dispel some of the myths surrounding the drawbacks of sending your child(ren) there.… [Read more]

Getting Schooled Part IV: Homeschooling

This is part four in a five part series on school choices.

Part I is an introduction with statistics.

Part II is about Private Schools.

Part III is on Charter Schools.

This time around I’ll be giving the pros and cons of homeschooling.

Homeschooling is defined as educating children outside of a formal school setting at home, usually by parents, but sometimes by a tutor.… [Read more]

Getting Schooled Part III: Charter Schools

This is part three in a five part series on school choices.

Part I is an introduction with statistics.

Part II is about Private Schools.

This installment is about the option of Charter Schools.

Like public schools, charter schools receive public money but, unlike public schools, they are not necessarily held accountable to the same rules or regulations.… [Read more]

Vouching for Public Schools

Recently Mitt Romney has decided to promote school vouchers as a way to help fix the “education emergency” we have here in America.

I guess this is ok if his end goal is to get rid of public education.

School vouchers are certificates, issued by the government, that parents can use toward tuition to a private school for their child(ren). … [Read more]

Stumped, Part Three: Indoctrination

Here’s some uplifting news just in time for all you hard-working students to wrap up your finals for the year, a little something to reassure you that you’re on the right track: the entire education system is broken. Not just a few kinks here and there that need smoothing out. I mean the whole thing, from the bottom up, from start to finish.… [Read more]