Great Teachers Make Great Schools

Another school year. It's my 32nd as a teacher and I can still say that I love what I'm doing and believe that I am contributing to the betterment of society. I just wish that at some point before I go to the Great Faculty Room in the Sky, you know, the one where the microwave works, the carpet doesn't smell and the walls aren't made of cinder block, I could feel that society's attitudes about my work would improve and that the United States would value education as much as it does entertainment,...

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The August Election

OK, I'll play along. According to the polls, the guesses, the conventional wisdom, the money and the low-down, scandal-mongering, hyper-partisan, yellow-dog press, we now know who's going to win that all-important August 2015 presidential election. I'm sure you know that this election is a rather unusual one in American politics because it doesn't take place in every state and candidates can say the most outrageous things and still be considered Oval Office material. We all know that Donald...

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Education By Dummies

Politicians can talk all they want about how changes to the American education system such as the Common Core, new testing rubrics and teacher evaluation systems will vault us into the top tiers of learned nations over the next few years, but, really, that's not going to happen if what's happening in Arizona and other states doesn't get fixed. Consider: At least 30 states spent less per student this school year than in the year before the economic downturn began, and 14 states, including Arizona,...

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Afraid of Rubio? They All Scare Me.

Ooohhh! Scary!!! Yes, The New York Times reported last week that many Democrats are most afraid of a presidential match-up between Hillary and...Marco Rubio. Scary!!! And why? Because...he has a story! Scary!!! And he's good looking. And he's a good speaker. And he's Hispanic and his father came here from Cuba and he won big time races in Florida. And he was once friends with Jeb Bush who might or might not have promised not to run for president in 2016, which would have opened a spot for Rubio...

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Pensions in the Age of GOP Math

Things are getting a bit complicated in New Jersey for Governor Christie, and that's having a major effect on when (and it will be when) he announces his bid for the presidency. Yes, he is waiting for the economy to improve and the George Washington Bridge scandal to go away, but now he's added what could be a signature accomplishment for him to run on: another public employee pension reform bill. This time, however, he won't have as many Democrats to help him. Christie has been traveling the state...

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In Education, Teachers Must Lead the Way

Aside from the December holiday season, the back-to-school late August and early September rush has the most profound effects on the United States. Shopping patterns change, traffic gets worse, and the general tenor of every community shifts to accommodate the children and adults who work in education. Welcome to this year's edition. Some things have changed, and other have stayed the same. In most polls, a majority of Americans say that they respect their school's teachers and consider...

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With a Court Like This, Who Needs Congress?

The Tea Party and most social conservatives can sleep easily throughout the summer now. The two Supreme Court decisions rendered on Monday should delight the right and make the inaction across the street in the Capitol seems like a mere distraction. Like a fly buzzing around the collective government heads. The conservative revolution has been won, and all it took was five justices and very little money. In the Hobby Lobby case, the court affirmed that not only are corporations people, they...

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