The Newest Middle School Fad: Socialism

Middle school fads ain’t what they used to be.  Forget Silly Bandz, jean skirts, and Abercrombie. Those were all run-of-the-mill fads. Rages that raged …  and then vanished very quickly. . That was innocent stuff … but innocence ain’t so plentiful anymore. Schools have hardened kids with grit and rigor. Ordealed them with testing mania. … Continue reading The Newest Middle School Fad: Socialism

The Kids in the Cheap Seats

A Tale of Two Schools  "I'll be returning to the highest poverty school in Spokane in less than a week. Highest Homeless. Highest Refugee. Highest ESL. Please. Please. Grit is not the answer. Please, let these children experience art, music, movement, projects, building, exploration, curiosity, fun ... DAILY ... Not push push push ... Not … Continue reading The Kids in the Cheap Seats

The Lost Schools

Check your child for neck bolts … the educational Frankensteins are at it again.  Forget geography, language arts, and math … schools are now all about feelings. And emotions. And attitudes. It’s the hot-rage in education … the creepy premise that schools can instill acceptable human emotions and reactions in your child because … I … Continue reading The Lost Schools

Who Killed Mister Rogers?

Childhood is taking a beating … pounded by ill-intentioned adults who seem in a special hurry to disease it with a certain regimentation. Quick to poison any spontaneity or innocence … and slam kids into adulthood before their own childhood is barely underway. What the heck are we doing? The last decade has seen furious … Continue reading Who Killed Mister Rogers?

Something’s Not Right Here

National Blue Ribbon Schools … supposedly the best schools in the nation. And they have signs to prove it.   Some even have Hollywood lighting … and others are really, really big. A few are set in their own botanical gardens … and a handful are bolted to walls. The signs look pretty impressive … … Continue reading Something’s Not Right Here

Robo-Education

"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." -B. F. Skinner It was just a matter of time. And time’s up. And to think how many Sunday afternoons I sacrificed reading and rating essays. All those margin scribbles ... and all those chin-up, keep-the-faith notes of encouragement. Had I taught in this moment … Continue reading Robo-Education

ZERO

"We conclude that testing instruments that put children in a virtual stupor cannot be defended as sound testing practice … nor as a way to raise standards or serve as a foundation for high-stakes decisions ..." Well done, Bill Gates! Bravo, David Coleman! Take a bow … Arne Duncan and John King. And special thanks … Continue reading ZERO

There Will Be No Second Coming

Bad news. There will be no Second Coming. I know … once was not enough … but it’ll have to do.  Barack Obama is not coming back. Deal with your despair. No Obama 2.0 … no tingles, no perfection, no inspiration, no poetry. No walkin’ on water. No nuthin’. BO is a NO-GO. The Greatest Black … Continue reading There Will Be No Second Coming

Yes! It’s THAT Bad!

Anne LaValle, New York's most relentless Anti-Common Core mother,  reminds us of an unpleasant anniversary. Five years ago, every 8th grader in New York State was required to write an essay validating this statement: "A structured work day of 8 hours of work, 8 hours of rest and 8 hours of recreation is best not only … Continue reading Yes! It’s THAT Bad!