Author: Mitchell Robinson

Teachers and the “social contract”: A parable

Teachers and the “social contract”: A parable

My son asked me today on the ride home from his after school jazz band practice if it ever bothered me that persons with less education than I had made more money–a lot more money–than I did. “That’s an easy one,” I told him. “No. Because how much money someone makes has nothing to do with their value in this […]

Read more ›
What Trump and our society can learn from the arts

What Trump and our society can learn from the arts

There has been a lot of chatter recently about the Trump administration’s plans to eliminate federal arts agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Public Broadcasting Service. As has been reported widely, eliminating these agencies would only amount to a savings of 0.02% of the federal budget, but they seem […]

Read more ›
Betsy DeVos is approved by the Senate: What do we do now?

Betsy DeVos is approved by the Senate: What do we do now?

I was honored to be giving a talk on education policy at Wayne State University today (thanks for the invite, Drs. Wendy Matthews and Abby Butler!) during the Senate vote on Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. While it was painfully ironic for all of us when Ms. DeVos was approved–by the closest vote for a Cabinet […]

Read more ›
It’s Not All About the Kids, Part 2

It’s Not All About the Kids, Part 2

It’s a common refrain among the reformer Illuminati whenever they experience any push-back against their anti-teacher, anti-union, anti-public education, anti-Motherhood-apple-pie-and-hot-dogs agenda. You can bet your bottom privatization dollar that as soon as these edu-tourists hear any reasonable, evidence-based rationale refuting their radical positions on teacher evaluation, tenure or the use of Value-Added Measures, they will inevitably blurt out the one […]

Read more ›
It’s Not All About the Kids

It’s Not All About the Kids

I’ve been seeing lots of posts lately about how the fight against Betsy DeVos and the “school reform” movement in general is “all about the kids.” But it’s not all about the kids. And it shouldn’t be. I’m a career teacher and have been a teacher educator for about 20 years now. I love kids, and have my own children […]

Read more ›
Betsy DeVos’ spokesperson, Ed Patru, works for a Washington “crisis management” firm that specializes in building “astroturf” groups

Betsy DeVos’ spokesperson, Ed Patru, works for a Washington “crisis management” firm that specializes in building “astroturf” groups

The confirmation vote for Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos, is scheduled for this Tuesday, so we can expect to see a final flurry of information–and misinformation, as it may be–over the next 48 hours in an all-out attempt to secure her the position. And it’s a good bet that one of the individuals behind […]

Read more ›
Photo credit: M. Robinson

Betsy DeVos is not just unqualified, she’s dangerous

The news that Betsy DeVos will not divest her financial interest in Neurocore, a Michigan “biofeedback” company, should alarm anyone who cares about the health and safety of our children. Because this is not simply a financial issue; it’s part of a disturbing trend in Ms. DeVos’ involvement and activism in education, and her potential confirmation as Secretary of Education. […]

Read more ›
An out of service toilet in a Detroit school.

Flush this, Mr. President

In his inaugural speech, the newly installed President of the United States made the following comment: “An education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge”. Incensed, I immediately wanted to share my thoughts about these mean-spirited, belittling words–but I couldn’t. Because I was in Grand Rapids at the Michigan Music Conference […]

Read more ›
Stacking the jury in the voucher wars

Stacking the jury in the voucher wars

A recent article in the Detroit Free Press attempts to paint a “fair and balanced” portrait of private school vouchers, the expected lynchpin of Betsy DeVos’ agenda as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education. The author consulted an apparently impressive array of education scholars, authors, professors, and reform leaders in an effort to bolster this argument, and, indeed, most of the […]

Read more ›
No, Betsy DeVos is not qualified to be Secretary of Education

No, Betsy DeVos is not qualified to be Secretary of Education

Former Michigan Governor John Engler is out with a new piece on The Hill touting his friend, West Michigan billionaire heiress Betsy DeVos, as a “champion for all American students.” As a resident of Michigan, this strikes me as Lord Voldemort endorsing Dolores Umbridge as the Headmaster of Hogwarts, or perhaps as Stannis Baratheon offering his strong support for Melisandre […]

Read more ›
How the reformers devalue teaching experience: Forbes edition

How the reformers devalue teaching experience: Forbes edition

A recent article from EdSurge.com unveiled the newly-enshrined members of the Forbes “30 under 30 Education Leaders to Learn From” Class of 2017. While I tend to believe that most of this genre of rankings articles (Best Colleges, Best Places to Live, Best Chicken Wings–spoiler alert: they’re from Buffalo!) aren’t worth the paper they are printed on–or the bytes they occupy in cyber-space, as the […]

Read more ›
Quantcast
Quantcast