Category: Teachers

Anti-labor hypocrisy is clear as day in lame duck bill to kneecap (some) unions in Michigan. Again.

Anti-labor hypocrisy is clear as day in lame duck bill to kneecap (some) unions in Michigan. Again.

This week marks the painful beginning of the lame duck (or, as I call it, “enflamed duck”) session in the Michigan State legislature. With a Democratic governor about to take the reins, Republicans are hell-bent to pass as much regressive legislation into law as they can before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer moves into her new office. One of the worst is […]

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Let’s talk about Teach for America…

Let’s talk about Teach for America…

I think we need to start being very intentional with the language we use when referring to organizations like Teach for America (TfA) and the persons who decide to join them–and having made some of the mistakes I’m about to point out myself, I’m taking the liberty of making the following suggestions: • There are no TfA “teachers”–teachers decide to […]

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Hug a music teacher today…

Hug a music teacher today…

Every time I go out to observe one of our music student teachers, I come away thinking three things… 1. These new music teachers are really, really good. Much better than I was just coming out of school. More musically versatile, more aware of the profession, so passionate about teaching kids about music. In spite of the doom & gloom […]

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Pay teachers more? Absolutely, but let’s do it for the right reasons

Pay teachers more? Absolutely, but let’s do it for the right reasons

Now Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants to pay “good” teachers $100+K. With workers’ wages stagnating, and teachers being historically underpaid, how is this not great news? Don’t teachers deserve bigger paychecks? Who would turn down a 6-figure salary?!? Well, as always, the devil is in the details… For instance, who will determine who the “good” teachers are? Their principals? School […]

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Please stop with the “heartwarming” teacher stories: this is no way to treat professionals

Please stop with the “heartwarming” teacher stories: this is no way to treat professionals

You can listen to Mitchell Robinson read and discuss this now-viral essay here: https://www.eclectablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Mitchell-Robinson-Stop-with-the-heartwarming-teacher-stories.mp3 It seems like every day now we see another one of these stories that are supposed to be “heartwarming,” or show how “dedicated” teachers and other school personnel are… this superintendent spent 90 hours per week this summer repainting his school to save $150,000! this teacher […]

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Schools aren’t “fast-food franchises,” charter schools aren’t public schools,and education isn’t a business

Schools aren’t “fast-food franchises,” charter schools aren’t public schools,and education isn’t a business

              Recently, our oldest son got his first job–or, more accurately, he got his first 2 jobs: one at a fast-food franchise popular in the Midwest (let’s call it “McBurgerQueen”, or McBQ—note: it’s not McDonalds, Burger King, or Dairy Queen), the other at a family-owned Korean-Chinese restaurant in our town (we’ll call this place […]

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The Politics of Teacher Walkouts Make Mike & Randi Uneasy Bedmates

The Politics of Teacher Walkouts Make Mike & Randi Uneasy Bedmates

A recent editorial in USA Today (“We can expect more from teachers when we pay them like pros: Bloomberg and Weingarten”) presents an object lesson in how the politics surrounding the recent wave of teacher walkouts is creating some very troubling alliances in the nexus between business and education. Under the guise of presenting a “unified front”, former NYC mayor Mike […]

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An “Achievement School District” Primer, Or Why Charterizing Your School District is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea

An “Achievement School District” Primer, Or Why Charterizing Your School District is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea

“Achievement School Districts” are a recent phenomenon in the corporate education reform movement. These “school districts” are designed to guarantee “rapid improvement in the state’s low performing schools”, although specific methods, techniques and strategies to accomplish this goal are rarely mentioned. ASDs have sprung up all across the nation, under various names and guises, from the “Education Achievement Authority” in […]

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How Trump’s tax scam fuels the red state education revolts

How Trump’s tax scam fuels the red state education revolts

If we can afford to give the Kochs $1 billion a year, maybe your kid’s teacher shouldn’t have to drive an Uber at night Around 125 teachers and their supporters marched from Oklahoma City to Tulsa this week to demand the state restore funds to the state’s starved schools. The Guardian’s Mike Elk reported that the marchers were met with […]

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Betsy DeVos says charter schools are the Uber or Lyft of “school choice”–and that’s not a good thing

Betsy DeVos says charter schools are the Uber or Lyft of “school choice”–and that’s not a good thing

Secretary of Education and Saturday Night Live fixture Betsy DeVos is fond of saying that picking a school should be as easy as choosing an Uber or a Lyft. She bases this belief on the economic theories that buttress much of the neo-liberal and conservative approach to education reform: As economist Milton Friedman had theorized decades earlier, Ohio legislators believed […]

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James O’Keefe’s group busted infiltrating school union in Michigan to set up fake sting, judge issues restraining order

James O’Keefe’s group busted infiltrating school union in Michigan to set up fake sting, judge issues restraining order

James O’Keefe, the “film” producer who spends his life trying to take down any organization valued by progressives with heavily-edited videos of “stings” he orchestrates has been spending time in Michigan this year trying to bring down the American Federation of Teachers. Fortunately, a combination of an O’Keefe operative’s stupidity and the intelligence of the AFT’s staff resulted O’Keefe’s crew […]

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