Defund the Police to Fund Public Schools – Education Article

 Back in the pre-Coronavirus days when we still had in-person classes I used to come to school in a suit.   Every day, suit and tie.   I didn’t have to – the dress code allowed me to wear pretty much whatever I wanted and most teachers dressed much more casually.   Now let me be clear – I’m not saying my way was the only way. Each teacher has his or her own way of doing things that work…

Read More

America Has Failed in Every Way But One – Education Article

 This year has been a disaster.   We are living through a global pandemic yet have inadequate health screenings, medical equipment or a viable vaccine.   We are witness to public lynchings of black people at the hands of law enforcement yet our legal system continues to be slow to act if at all.   Our schools and hospitals are starved for resources yet police have riot gear, tear gas and army surplus tanks to patrol the streets.   Climate…

Read More

Good News: Harrisburg is Not Cutting Education Funding! Bad News: Handouts for the Rich & Charter Schools – Education Article

  If you live in Pennsylvania, you can breathe a sigh of relief now that the legislature has passed a stopgap budget that does not cut education funding.   But you can let out that breath in a cry of disgust when you see where much of that money is going and how many underprivileged kids will be left wanting.   GOOD NEWS   With the economy in tatters due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the state legislature never-the-less passed a…

Read More

The Internet is NOT the Best Place for Kids to Learn After the Coronavirus Pandemic – Education Article

 If the Coronavirus quarantine has taught educators one thing, it’s this.   Online learning is not better than in-person schooling.   After all these years of corporations throwing apps at us and well-meaning administrators providing us with devices and philanthrocapitalists pumping billions of dollars into ed tech first academic schemes, we can all see now that the emperor has no clothes.   When schools nationwide are closed to stop the spread of a global pandemic and learning is restricted to…

Read More

Mike Turzai is Willing to Sacrifice Pennsylvania’s Students and Families to the Economy – Education Article

 Mike Turzai says he’s furious with Pedro Rivera.   Why is the highest ranking Republican in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives so angry with the state Secretary of Education?   Rivera said the Commonwealth’s public schools, which have been closed since mid March due to the Coronavirus pandemic, would not reopen until it was safe to do so.   If that means schools don’t reopen on time in the Fall, so be it.   Specifically, on Wednesday, Rivera said:   “At…

Read More

Save Our Schools From Coronavirus Budget Cuts – Education Article

    America is one dumbass country.   We don’t do the metric system.   We don’t do universal healthcare.   And during a global pandemic, we don’t demand the government pay us to stay home and stop the spread of the disease.   Instead, we demand the government let us go out and get sick.   It should come as no surprise, then, that we deeply under-fund our public schools.   There’s always money for a new war or…

Read More

Adventures in Online Teaching: Reinventing the Wheel for a Handful of Students – Education Article

 Today in our ZOOM meeting, one of my students tried to get one over on me.   I sat at the bureau in my guest bedroom, surveying a gallery of 7th grade faces lined up in little boxes on my laptop like the opening scene of the Brady Bunch.   Lilly was lying on her bed face up, almost definitely scrolling on her cell phone.   Pha’rrel was eating a cookie as he tried to fit his overgrown curls under…

Read More

Bernie Sanders Supporters Have Every Right to Be Furious – Education Article

 Dear non-Bernie Sanders supporters,   Shut up.   Seriously.   Sit down, and shut the fuck up.   You’ve been doing an awful lot of talking lately, and there’s a few things you need to hear.   We, the Bernie supports, are sick and tired of the never-ending flow of bullshit coming out of your mouths.   For the past five years you’ve called us Bernie Bros, Bernie’s Internet army, Russian bots, naive, sexist, racist, privileged, pigs.   Yet women,…

Read More

Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 General Election – Education Article

 With Bernie Sanders dropping out of the 2020 Democratic Primary, I can think of only these 10 reasons to vote for Joe Biden in the November general election:   10) He’s not Donald Trump. 9) He’s not Donald Trump. 8) He’s not Donald Trump. 7) He’s not Donald Trump. 6) He’s not Donald Trump. 5) He’s not Donald Trump. 4) He’s not Donald Trump. 3) He’s not Donald Trump. 2) He’s not Donald Trump. 1) He’s not Donald Trump.  …

Read More

Bernie Sanders Would Be the First Jewish President – What That Means to Me – Education Article

 Being Jewish is not something I advertise.   Some of my earliest memories are trying to explain to school friends that no, I didn’t kill Jesus – and, yes, I do eat matzo but it isn’t made with baby’s blood – and would they like to come over to my house and play Legos?   I’ve been called “yid,” “kike,” “heeb,” even just plain “Jew” with the lips curled and the word hurled at me like a knife.   Heck.…

Read More

Don’t Extend Kids’ School Day; Shorten Parents’ Work Week – Education Article

It’s rough being the parent of an American school student.You often leave for work before your kids have even made it to school yet – and you get home long after they’ve returned.When exactly are you supposed to parent?   Your kids have to get themselves to school. They have to get themselves home. And helping with homework, talking about their days, even setting a good example are all luxuries you have to pay dearly for with an ever-shrinking amount…

Read More

Don’t Fear Summer Lee. Fear the Devil’s Bargain Labor Leaders Are Willing to Make Opposing Her – Education Article

 Cancer or unemployment.   That’s the choice Pennsylvanians are being asked to make in 2020.   Do we allow hydraulic fracking to continue to destroy our environment and increase our risk of cancers and other debilitating illnesses?   Or do we clean things up and risk losing jobs?   Some labor leaders seem willing to chose the former on behalf of their constituencies.   That’s why the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council (PA AFL-CIO) voted to oppose the re-election of…

Read More

AstroTurf Alert: National Parents Union is Thinly Veiled Union Busting Backed by Billionaire Cash – Education Article

 How do you do something disgusting without hurting your image?     If you’re the Walton Family, you hide behind a mask.     That’s what their latest AstroTurf front group is – the so-called National Parents Union (NPU).     It’s a way to bust teachers unions, destroy public schools and profit off of students behind the guise of a friendly parents organization.     Oh, it’s all funded with oodles of cash from the Walton family and other…

Read More

Robots Will Never Replace Teachers. They Can Only Displace Us – Education Article

 My favorite movie of all time is “2001: A Space Odyssey.”     And my favorite character is the computer HAL 9000.   In the future (now past) of the movie, HAL is paradoxically the most human personality. Tasked with running the day-to-day operations of a spaceship, HAL becomes strained to the breaking point when he’s given a command to lie about the mission’s true objectives. He ends up having a psychotic break and killing most of the people he…

Read More

Economists Ate My School – Why Defining Teaching as a Transaction is Destroying Our Society – Education Article

    Teaching is one of the most misunderstood interactions in the world.     Some people see it as a mere transaction, a job: you do this, I’ll pay you that.     The input is your salary. The output is learning.    These are distinctly measurable phenomena. One is calculated in dollars and cents. The other in academic outcomes, usually standardized test scores. The higher the salary, the more valued the teacher. The higher the test scores, the…

Read More

Charter Schools, Harrisburg & Mayor Peduto Created Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Budget Deficit – Education Article

 Where did all the money go?     Pittsburgh Public Schools will start 2020 with a $25.1 million budget deficit.     Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet has asked for a 2.3% tax increase to cover the shortfall, but school directors ended up approving his spending plan without approving the tax increase.     The school board will meet on Friday to decide whether to ultimately raise taxes or make cuts including possible staff furloughs.     But in the meantime,…

Read More