Compassion

The Stink of Segregation Needs to End in Steel Valley Schools – Education Article

 I am a teacher at Steel Valley Schools.   I am also an education blogger.   In order to belong to both worlds, I’ve had to abide by one ironclad rule that I’m about to break:   Never write about my home district.   Oh, I write about issues affecting my district. I write about charter schools, standardized testing, child poverty, etc. But I rarely mention how these things directly impact my school, my classroom, or my students.   I…

Read More

Charter Schools Cherry Pick Students & Call it Choice – PART 2: The “EVERYONE’S DOING IT!” Excuse – Education Article

  “Got school choice?” asks a charter school supporter.   But who exactly is she addressing – families or charter school operators?   Because it is the later group who is offered choice by school privatization – not parents, families or students.  Billionaire investors and charter school managers answer, “Heck yeah – we’ve got school choice! We get to choose to take your tax dollars but not your child!”   As we’ve seen in Part 1 of this article, charter…

Read More

Racial Disparity in Student Discipline Isn’t All About Race – Education Article

In 2016, the poorest 50% of American adults had an average net worth (home and financial assets minus debt) of just $7,500. To make matters worse, only a year previously it was $9,000. The difference all went to the top 1% who gained an average of $1.5 million during that same year.   These facts have real world consequences for every level of society – especially how our children behave in school.   CONSEQUENCES   It seems clear then that…

Read More

Six Problems with a Growth Mindset in Education – Education Article

  Sometimes the truth is not enough.   Especially if you misunderstand its meaning.   That seems to be the main problem with a growth mindset.   It’s one of the trendiest concepts in education today, and – though it’s based on an authentic insight into how kids learn – it’s been shackled and monetized into an excuse to support a sterile status quo.   The basic idea goes like this: academic ability isn’t something students have or do not…

Read More

Blaming Schools for Student Absences is Like Denouncing Doctors for Disease – Education Article

 If something is wrong with children, it must be the school’s fault.   Right?   If kids can’t read, write and do ‘rithmetic, the teachers must not have taught ’em right.   It couldn’t have anything to do with home life, generational poverty, economic inequality and systemic racism.   Except that it almost always does.   Inextricably.  The fact is children who don’t live in safe, loving homes have much greater difficulty concentrating and caring about academics. Kids with impoverished…

Read More

‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ Has Never Been More Important Than It is Today – Education Article

It’s not.     Anne Frank is not dead.     Not in 1945. Not in 2019.     Anne was a Dutch Jew hiding from the Nazis with her family and four others in a loft above her father’s former factory in Amsterdam.     The teenager is the most famous victim of the Holocaust, but her story doesn’t end when she succumbed to typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in the closing days of WWII.     Because…

Read More

The Holiday Season Brings Fear and Resentment for Many Students – Education Article

“I hate Christmas.”   Teachers hear that with surprising regularity around this time of year.   I hate Christmas. I hate Thanksgiving. I hate every holiday.   America’s public school students are living under tremendous pressure.   The social safety net is full of holes. And our children are left to fall through the ripped and torn fabric.   The sad fact is that one in four students in America’s classrooms have experienced a traumatic event.   So if your…

Read More

Charter School Lobby Silent as Charter Teachers Continue Strike – Education Article

  Charter school teachers in Chicago are in their fourth day of a strike.   Yet I wonder why the leaders of the charter movement are quiet.   Where is Peter Cunningham of the Education Post?   Where is Shaver Jeffries of Democrats for Education Reform?   Not a word from Campbell Brown or Michelle Rhee?   Nothing from Bill Gates, Cory Booker, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?   Not a peep from Betsy DeVos or Donald Trump?   This…

Read More

Compassion Is Our Standard – The Teacher And The Admin – Education Article

Compassion is not weakness.  Compassion is not lowering standards.  Compassion is not about giving kids passes without giving consequences.  Compassion is not some desperate attempt by teachers to become popular with the students.  There are still relics in our profession who see their rules, their numbers, their order; they cling to what they perceived to be good teaching two decades ago. But, they are even wrong about that: it wasn’t good teaching 20 years ago. Compassion was always the number…

Read More