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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.

May 11, 2018

The Grinch Who Stole Teacher Appreciation Week

It's time we asked ourselves just who gets 'appreciated' once a year--and whose work is considered vital, essential and fully professional year-round, with no need for annual symbolic gestures. There's something about Teacher Appreciation Week that smacks of a pat on the head for being willing to go the distance without adequate compensation or support.

April 10, 2018

Suffering Teachers Can't Be Good Teachers

Teacher walkouts are the ultimate outcome of wringing every drop of energy, patience and creative juice out of a well-meaning workforce.

March 16, 2018

Sing On, Children! How the Arts Help Social Movements Take Flight

An urgent call to teach our children this: Making and appreciating art that reflects our collective joys and sorrows is part of what it means to be human. Art helps human movements and causes take flight.

December 22, 2017

The Best Books I Read in 2017

Why are there no mushrooms, mold or mice where wealthy white children go to school? Freedom demands a collective effort to engage the young people of Detroit in building a new world, for themselves and us, in which we do not permit human beings to be poisoned in the first place.

September 23, 2017

Should 5th Graders Be Studying the KKK?

Will difficult student conversations go awry and get muddled? All the time. But that's the precise reason why we ought to be holding them now, with our young citizens. One of the central purposes of public education is developing core understandings of democracy and hey---no time like the present for that.

April 18, 2017

We Need Women in Education Leadership Roles

Our statistics are striking. Over half the people in the United States are women. Over half. But the fact remains that half the population has little political voice nor is it enmeshed in a political structure that embodies the knowledge, skills, talents, and gifts of the feminine.

April 09, 2017

Misguided Things People Say About Public Schools

The unexamined national goal now seems to be a productive, compliant workforce, at the lowest cost, not an educated citizenry. Instead of building on our public education infrastructure, we talk about "failing schools," and bogus international testing data.

March 15, 2017

The Kids Are All Right

I am fortunate; I get to spend time in a range of public schools, as observer, presenter, consultant and, on occasion, substitute teacher. I know that the plural of anecdote is not data--but there are hundreds of thousands of vital examples of what needs highlighting and replicating in public education. Why aren't we focused, like a laser, on those?

March 01, 2017

4 Reasons the Arts Are the Most Important Academic Discipline

For arts teachers, this is the ongoing, contentious, core issue in their pedagogical practice: What is the value of what I do? How do I share my conviction that the arts are essential in the lives of children? Why does artistic expression typically carry less weight than other fields and specialties?

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