The New School Year: History Will Guide the Future

New school years always bring new challenges for children, parents and teachers. This school year, though, promises to be much trickier, because we are now debating United States History. Remember history? That's the class that isn't tested at the end of the year by the great national testing monopoly, Pearson. The PARCC tests focus on non-fiction readings, which allows for more use of historical documents on the test, but there's no real history or context that a student has to master in order...

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America’s Educators Lead the Way

If you care deeply about social and racial justice, value equal opportunity, detest discrimination and believe that this country needs to focus on its core values of tolerance, compromise, equality and democracy, then fear not. America's educators have got your back. I returned from the National Education Association (NEA) convention in Boston last week feeling a great deal better about this country's direction than I get from watching or reading the news these days. The 7,000 strong NEA Representative...

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Trump’s Education Secretary Blocked from Entering Washington School

Fresh off her controversial nomination, controversial nomination process and eventual confirmation, the most inexperience Education Secretary in this country's history, Betsy DeVos, was greeted by a not-so-welcoming group of protesters as she tried entering a school in Washington. Parents holding signs greeted DeVos when she arrived at Jefferson Middle School Academy in southwest Washington, not far from the Department of Education building. When she tried to enter the school, the protesters...

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Readin’, Writin’ and ‘Ridiculous

There's a certain perverse pride public educators should feel due to the fact that Betsy DeVos, the nominee for Secretary of Education, is, of all the Trump cabinet picks, the object of the most phone calls and other communications objecting to her confirmation. She's also the only nominee that some Republican Senators will oppose. At last, education is at the top of the priority list. Feel better? The corporatization of public education has been gaining strength since A Nation at Risk was released...

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Trump’s Education Pick: Making American Public Schools Worse!

Just remember: Most voters rejected Donald Trump's vision of the United States. They rejected his rhetoric, his vile comments about women and minorities, and they don't want large tax cuts to the wealthy, a trade war with China or a Supreme Court that overturns hard-won democratic victories for women, gays, and those that desperately need health insurance. They also rejected the far right's view that religious people should be able to discriminate in the name of God's love and that hate groups should...

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Back To School: A Different Kind of Division

The great divide in American public attitudes is most evident during Presidential election years, and this year is no different. Republicans and Democrats seem to be living in two different countries when it comes to their views on how much the government should be involved in people's lives, the role of religion, support for social issues such as marriage equality, reproductive rights, voting laws, immigration and, of course, the bathroom. Now this divide is becoming more evident in education....

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Chris Christie: Terrible as Governor But Qualified for VP

I sort of forgot that Chris Christie was still the Governor of New Jersey and an active politician until this week, so quiet was he on policy and bombast. But now he's back. His first foray was to emerge with a set of checks made out to suburban school district students for $6,599 each.  This was his way of solving the school funding problem that has vexed governors for the better part of 40 years. Christie's solution was, in essence, to tell the students who live in New Jersey's cities...

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