Sunday, June 18, 2017

ICYMI:Father's Day Edition (6/18)

It's a day for Dads, a holiday that somehow doesn't clog restaurants and bolster the greeting card industry. But in the meantime, here are some readings from the week. Remember to share!

The acquittal in Philando Castile’s killing makes clear that black lives still do not matter

Not strictly about education, but important none the less, particularly for its pointed observations about the second amendment. This acquittal was the worst news of the week.

Help Kids Mind Their Own Business

Eleven handy sayings (and one kind of dumb one) to make the anti-tattling case to your students. No policy implications.

No Clean Hands

A guest poster at Have You Heard makes some powerful points in the whole "Whose fault is Betsy DeVos" debate.

Students Sat in Cubicles; It Wasn't Popular 

Carpe Diem is yet another charter that turns up on reformster lists of charter awesomeness. Turns out it hasn't been so awesome.

Suppressing Free Speech in Schools Does Not Make America Greater

An editorial looking at two student free speech cases. Close to home for us in the yearbook and school newspaper biz

The Church of Choice

Daniel Katz takes a look at Betsy DeVos's belief in the magical powers of choice

Pearson Botches Mississippi Testing [Again]; Mississippi Immediately Severs Contract

While we're arguing about bigger policy issues, implementation is still its own problem. Pearson just blew it in Mississippi

Here's an Idea: Let's Guarantee Each Child an Excellent Education

Steven Singer argues for public, not privatized, education.

Betsy DeVos Doesn't Get It

Jan Ressenger looks at how DeVos's Libertarian beliefs do not serve the public good.

The War on Teachers and the End of Public Education

Nancy Flanagan reads the writing on the wall and issues a call to arms.

Building the Life We Want

Annie Tan doesn't post often, but when she does, she makes it count. Read this to draw power for what's ahead.


  1. Sorry, but I have an incredibly negative reaction to the first one about minding your own business. Precisely because "Ah yes! Kids seem to have the uncanny ability to know exactly what their classmates are or are not doing regardless of what’s going on in their little corner of the classroom", we shouldn't try to change that. We should try to channel it. Kids *should* be aware of what other kids are up to. They *should* care. Kids are the ones who know when another kid is in trouble, dealing with difficult issues, feeling suicidal, whatever. We should encourage them to care about each other.

    Yes, yes, I get the issue. "Teacher, Joey's picking his nose!" and similar issues are not exactly things that kids need to be worrying about each other. But the same kid that notices Joey picking his nose is going to notice if Joey is cutting himself or other harmful behavior.

    Kids notice what other kids are doing because they are intensely connected to each other. They *should* be intensely connected to each other - this is a good thing. They are human beings and they're learning to relate to each other. The challenge isn't to get them to mind their own business - if that's all we want, we can put them in individual cubicles where they have no contact with each other. The challenge is to channel that curiosity and nosiness into care and concern and empathy for each other, which is what it really is anyway.

    And I say this because in fourth and fifth I was friends with the "bad kid" who was always getting in trouble. I'd try to talk to grown ups about him, but I'd get told to "mind your own business". Turns out his father was beating the snot out of him on a regular basis. I'm glad I didn't mind my own business.

  2. I agree with Dienne about the "tattling", but I especially enjoyed Jan and Annie's pieces.

  3. My annotation on the Mind Your Own Business article:

    "I disagree with this strongly. On one hand, it seems important to help students navigate relationships, which includes the risks and benefits of "tattling," and my concern is that this kind of culture invalidates concerns one student has about another. Does that promote an outdated "rugged individualism" over collaborative/community-driven enterprises? (I think yes.) Plus, there's fear to being the "nark" or the "snitch" or the "tattletale."

    It's really the "instead of" that gets me. *I* am looking for some good character education practices that teach students the importance of managing themselves AND their concerns about peers."