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August 10, 2018

A Teacher's Reckoning on School Shootings

I thought about what I had done during the 82 days since the Parkland shooting. Was it helping? Was it enough?

August 06, 2018

What Did You Learn in History Class?

Teachers today are fearful of deviating from the textbook and state standards and opening discussions in secondary classrooms around bits of information (say, for example, the U.S. turning away ships full of Jewish refugees during WW II) that might portray America as less than enlightened.

July 17, 2018

Bad Language in the Classroom

There are differences in use of offensive language--centered around the content of the point the speaker is trying to make. Still, I am appalled (as a teacher, especially) by the degradation of language in public discourse. Before we start selectively shaming folks, I think we should look at root causes.

July 05, 2018

The Blessings of Liberty Include Fully Public Education

I think I was experiencing the sacred last night, watching the 90-something Navy man sing 'Anchors Aweigh' in the front row--and the grandfathers who served in Vietnam shyly nod to each other across the crowd. I also thought about where and how those men and women were educated. Where did they absorb the idea that citizenship is both blessing and duty? Who taught them to read and calculate, who nurtured their talents and their dreams?

June 15, 2018

Do Core Democratic Values Belong in Schools?

It is a point of pride, really, having these core democratic values as an anchor in the Mitten State Social Studies standards. Here's a list of those identified values: Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, justice, the common good, equality, truth, diversity, popular sovereignty and patriotism. Things we all agree on, right?

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