Archive | April, 2011

Rick Snyder’s New Law: Stripping Power from the People

29 Apr

Rick Snyder. Scott Walker. What’s with these governors? Let’s get them out.

Education: Making Kids Feel Good?

28 Apr

Metacognition for All!

A new study has revealed that the easier kids think content is to learn, the more difficult time they have learning it. The study also shows that more effective, yet more difficult study tactics are more readily pushed away by students in favor of study tactics that make kids feel more confident.

So we enter the rabbit hole. Continue reading

Teaching Tolerance: California’s Bill and the Fight for LGBT Rights

16 Apr

Photo Courtesy of Liz Martin, AP.

The California Senate is shaking up education with a push for gay rights. In a controversial move on Thursday, the Senate passed a bill that would require schools to include gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history in the social studies curriculum.

If the state Assembly adopts the bill and Governor Jerry Brown signs it, California will become the first state to require the teaching of gay history. Pardon my bias but, “Yippee!” Continue reading

The Sweet, Sweet, Unrelenting Cowardice of Politics

7 Apr

Ah, Michigan. You swell and break my heart.

The Detroit Public Schools system is officially undergoing reconstruction. Called the “DPS Renaissance 2012 Plan” (It must be because we’re returning to a “Golden Age” in education), the plan will affect 45 schools. The ideal, according to Robert Bobb, the city’s emergency financial manager for DPS, is to see all 45 of those schools converted to charters. However, Bobb notes that if only five or six schools convert, the plan would be a success.

Detroit, since 2005, has seen a rapid decrease in population and has in turn, has closed 130 schools. This leaves us with 142 open, underfunded, overpopulated, overstretched schools. Robert Bobb is right. Something needs to be done.

Yet here enters a popular controversial education debate: the rise of charter schools. The topic is called a controversy for a reason – the public, the pundits, and the politicians have NOT found common ground on the issue.

Perhaps the biggest issue surrounding charter schools is the fact they use monies from public education funds to support a for-profit business. Continue reading

On What Teachers Make

7 Apr

Catch a badass in action: Taylor Mali – What Teachers Make

A special thanks to Professor Thomas Hyslop, who wants to be carried off campus in a snappy suit the day he cannot teach any longer –

and also to Callie Youngman, a fellow pre-service teacher with a hell of a lot of heart.

Prevention: Fighting Sexual Violence in our Schools

4 Apr

“Six juvenile males who are accused of sexually assaulting another teenager have been removed from classes and extra security measures are in place at Dunbar Senior High School, a DCPS spokeswoman said in a statement Monday.” – TBD

“The exact circumstances surrounding the alleged gang-rape of a girl at Jules High School in Johannesburg remain unclear.” – Eyewitness News

“Details into the allegations of two young girls raped by as many as five boys on school property remain cloaked behind a criminal investigation that continues.” – 59 WVNS

“Three Memphis teens have been charged with raping a 17-year-old East High School student earlier this week.” – WMC-TV

“An official with the school district where a 15-year-old girl was brutally gang raped outside the homecoming dance said they were praying for her recovery but also defended school security, saying that when the students leave the dance, “we don’t take them home.”” – ABC World News

While it is no secret that the media has a bad habit of reporting the worst of news, we must sometimes take the worst of news for what it is. Cases of sexual violence on academic campuses have serious consequences for kids, staff, faculty, and community. While I want to rave about the injustices of sex crimes and the enormity of the act of rape or sexual assault, I know that I would get no further than my sadness and indignation on the matter. When we read about these crimes in the news, we must not stop with our momentary feelings of horror or anger; we also must not simply rage against them in a torrent of words; we must also think, and think rationally. We must turn these thoughts into words, and words into action. There is no other way to prevent acts of sexual violence from occurring, and prevention is the only plausible solution. Continue reading