Tag Archives: Politics

A Student, A Person, Not a Number

8 Aug

Woo-hoo for local news! I’m all about it and the most recent is sent to me from my mom via the Escanaba Daily Press (check them, out, they’re alright).

However, the most recent local news is somewhat… depressing. Are we surprised?

“With the state’s unemployment rate stuck in double digits and school districts struggling financially, even experienced teachers are finding themselves out of work. ”

Well, let’s be a downer. As a soon-to-be graduated pre-service teacher, I’m not finding that news particular uplifting. But what media organization reports anything positive? It seems, in the modern world, that positive news is for saps.

Yes, unemployment is up. Yes, teaching jobs are shrinking. But we buck up, we get on. The real alarming news is the following:

“Since peaking at 117,973 in the 2004-05 academic year, the number of public school teachers in Michigan has shrunk by nearly 9 percent, a loss of about 10,000 jobs, according to the Center for Educational Performance and Information. That number tracks the 8 percent drop in public school students, to 1.56 million, that Michigan has seen over the past five years.

Why is the percentage of public school students dropping? Could it be that we’re opening our doors wide open for private education ventures, closing hundreds of districts, and closing networks to the public sector?

Dear Michigan,

Stop telling your citizens and public employees they’re not worth a damn. Fund public schools. Don’t close them. End of story.

Sincerely, Much Love,

A Student, a Person, Not A Number.

Thanks to the Daily Press (and Mom!) for the great article.

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The Power of Politics

3 Aug

National politics are funny.

Many people  turn to politics because they believe it can help them become more informed; that knowing the issues and the political scene may help them affect the political scene, and thereby affect their world.

The funny thing about it is that often, you just end up the politician amongst your group of friends/colleagues/coworkers. You talk a lot about issues you’re not doing anything about and have little power to affect. To top it off, you’re righteous AND angry.

We want YOU - to feel good!

Yet knowing about the national political scene makes a person feel more involved with their world. There is a sort of “I’m doing good just by knowing this and making others aware” feeling.

Making others aware?

Most people who are already not aware of a particular national political agenda will not care when you make them “aware.” In fact, most of the people who show up to events to spread awareness are those who are already very aware. It will take a spontaneous act of the heavens on behalf of the spectator/listener to engage him or her in a political conversation about which they previously did not care.

However, let the issue affect some potent aspect of the spectator/listener’s being and then you have TWO angry and righteous individuals.

The only way these two “ready to make a difference” individuals could ever make a difference would be to forget the national agenda and create programs locally that support their position – OR – advocate locally against the national political agenda and amass a local, growing mass of people who agree and fight the national agenda.

Which brings me back to the first problem – how do you amass a large group of people on one particular political agenda if they do not care about the issue. Do we have to wait until something terrible happens at the national level which affects the population to such a degree that each individual feels his or her rights have been violated? I had thought that issues in education would interest almost everyone, as public education is something that affects us all. I thought that all education majors, at the very least, would want to gather on issues in education and start up a movement.

So how do you start a movement? Half of us are busy with the feel good of making others “aware” while the other half desperately fails to amass enough people to make a noticeable local change. Do we wait until the government takes more and more control until we knock our head against the obvious and say, “Oh, shit.” ?

Because by this point it would be, well, almost too late.

See Brother Ali for a better rendition of fighting the man.

Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Diane Ravitch

29 Mar

The fundamentals of good education are to be found in the classroom, the home, the community, and the culture, but reformers in our time continue to look for shortcuts and quick answers. Untethered to any genuine philosophy of education, our current reforms will disappoint us, as others have in the past (Ravitch, 2010, pg. 225). Continue reading

The Shadow of Doubt: Darkness Easily Dissolved by Dostoevsky, Donne, and the Outspoken Apology of a Pre-Service Teacher

22 Mar

Click me!

I’m just going to say it: the current state of affairs in the field of education makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

Why am I going to be a teacher? What am I getting myself into? The political stage is mess, the public has taken a stand against teachers and the profession, and reforms encouraging the turnover of education into a private business are readily being passed and accepted on the basis of faith, i.e. despite all the excitement about charter schools, there is still no research to support the claims that charter schools outperform public schools. Again, read the research here.

Education does not look like a promising profession in which to devote oneself. The teacher is no longer the apple of the public’s eye, the security of a wage over minimum may disappear with the advent of charters, and with curriculum reform, teachers may even lose the ability to choose the content of their classroom. Continue reading

Glenn Beck vs. Jon Stewart: the Wisconsin Rumble

6 Mar

Courtesy of the Glenn Beck Wikipedia site

Courtesy of the Jon Stewart Wikipedia site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click the link below for an article from the Huffington Post and a segment of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/01/jon-stewart-critiques-wis_n_829618.html

Just a warning: Stewart’s segment does have a “liberal” bias.

 

Click the link below for a segment of Glenn Beck’s radio show, courtesy of the Glenn Beck website.

http://www.glennbeck.com/2011/02/23/wisconsin-protester-fail/

Another warning: Beck’s segment does have a “conservative” bias.

 

It’s all entertainment, folks.