Author: Mitchell Robinson

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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My New Year’s Eve resolutions for public education

My New Year’s Eve resolutions for public education

The education reform community’s obsession with “accountability” is based on the premise that teachers are motivated by rewards and punishments to work harder, and teach better. But this approach to accountability is predicated on the view of teachers as disengaged “workers” who are not intrinsically motivated, and must be coerced by threats and extrinsic measures. The truth is that virtually […]

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Another fake news voucher story from the Great Lakes Education Project and Betsy DeVos

Another fake news voucher story from the Great Lakes Education Project and Betsy DeVos

Another #fakenews story is being promoted by the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP), Betsy DeVos’s personally founded and funded school privatization guerrilla organization in Michigan. The mother quoted here, Maria Salazar, has been writing a version of this article for Betsy-DeVos-funded organizations since at least 2013: this one, from the American Federation for Children–a DeVos voucher front group–introduces us to Maria’s […]

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http://www.nafme.org/music-community-answering-the-call-of-the-beyondthebubbleschallenge/

Why do we need National Standards in music?

[This post is inspired by a recent masterful piece by one of my real role models as a writer on all topics related to education: Peter Greene, the author of Curmudgication. Thank you, Peter, for so beautifully capturing the frustration that so many teachers feel about the standards and testing movement that seems to be dominating our work in the […]

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Why we must NOT give Betsy DeVos and school choice “a chance”

Why we must NOT give Betsy DeVos and school choice “a chance”

A recent “article” featured in a post from the Great Lakes Education Project told the story of Denisha Meriweather, “an intelligent, dynamic and motivating individual whose life was changed by the school choice policies promoted by Betsy DeVos.” The title of the article on The Hill is, “Why we must give Betsy DeVos and school choice a chance.” Let me explain why […]

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Betsy DeVos, Steve Ingersoll, and Michigan as a “cautionary tale” for American education

Betsy DeVos, Steve Ingersoll, and Michigan as a “cautionary tale” for American education

The news yesterday that Bay City, MI charter school operator Dr. Steve Ingersoll had been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison after being convicted on three counts of tax evasion and conspiracy should be sending shivers up Betsy DeVos’ spine today. Because while Dr. Ingersoll and Ms. DeVos may not know one another, the connections between them are numerous, significant, and […]

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Who’s narrating the “Teacher Shortage” narrative?

Who’s narrating the “Teacher Shortage” narrative?

A column written last year by Stephen Mucher, Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching Program at Bard College, has attracted a lot of attention from those concerned about the health and vitality of public education. And for good reason. Mr. Mucher mentions the recent history of campus protests across the country, which he says he has noticed on his […]

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The “false equivalencies” of education policy: Betsy DeVos edition

The “false equivalencies” of education policy: Betsy DeVos edition

I just finished taping a TV panel discussion for a local cable news show (click here or scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the show) on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. The panel featured two pro-Betsy DeVos, pro-charter, pro-choice advocates (the executive directors of the Great Lakes Education Project and the Michigan […]

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