Writer’s Weekend Resources – Why Art Matters More Than Ever

Live to Write - Write to Live

pin-tell-stories-ecoI haven’t got my usual list of favorite blog posts and recently read books for you today. It’s been a long week and, like many people, I’ve been distracted from my usual routines by current events. I’m behind on client deadlines and pretty much irreversibly behind on my NaNoWriMo novel (a reality I’ll address in a future post).

As a writer, it’s never a good feeling when we become – for whatever reason –temporarily disconnected from our work; but I also know that writers are “writing” even when they are unable to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Everything we experience is part of our process. Everything.

So, while I don’t have a long list of links to share today, I did want to share links to a few pieces that helped me center and ground myself in the midst of all the chaos, uncertainty, and fear:


View original post 405 more words

The Land Beneath the Pipeline: Standing Rock & Barack Obama’s Chance to #HonorTheTreaties

The Land Beneath the Pipeline: Standing Rock & Barack Obama’s Chance to #HonorTheTreaties
by John Laurits
In this episode, John discusses who really owns the land beneath the Dakota Access Pipeline…

Read more of this post

John Laurits | November 8, 2016 at 12:59 am | Tags: DAPL, Pipeline, Protest, Standing Rock, Treaties, Who owns | Categories: news | URL: http://wp.me/p5FXIJ-Im

Occupy Inauguration: I’ll #SeeYouInDC, My Friends

Occupy Inauguration: I’ll #SeeYouInDC, My Friends
by John Laurits
Deep down, the children of Sanders’ political revolution must have sensed that the people’s odds of any kind of victory last night were slim, at best. Much of our community is feeling crushed beneath the tragic weight of the outcome and even our relief that this mockery of an election is finally over feels hollow. But now is not the time to rest nor is […]

Read more of this post

John Laurits | November 9, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Tags: #SeeYouInDC, donald trump, Inauguration, Occupy, Protest | Categories: news | URL: http://wp.me/p5FXIJ-K3

Trump won. Now what??

Trump won. Now what??
by Emily Talmage
Several weeks ago, I wondered in a blog post whether or not public education would survive the next administration.

Admittedly, I was all but certain at the time that Hillary Clinton would be our next president, and my predictions were more than dismal: more screen time for even our youngest children, inflated local budgets, invasive school-wide and individual data collection, a proliferation of low-quality online K-12 and higher education programs, etc.

Ever since the big shock of Tuesday night, however, I’ve been scrambling to say something coherent about what we can expect now that Donald Trump really is going to be our next president.

Will public education survive?


Here’s the funny (and by that I mean incredibly scary) thing about federal public education policy: the big agenda – the real agenda – seems to survive no matter who is put in charge.

The real agenda – the ongoing march toward a cradle-to-grave system of human capital development that relies on the most sophisticated data collection and tracking technologies to serve its unthinkably profitable end – is fueled and directed by a multi-billion dollar education-industrial-complex that has been built over the course of decades.

It’s an absolute beast, an army of epic scale, and it’s a system that has the same uncanny ability to blend in with its surroundings as a chameleon.

Take, for example…
(Read the full blog post here: https://emilytalmage.com/2016/11/11/trump-won-now-what/ )

CURMUDGUCATION: OH: One Third Won’t Graduate

CURMUDGUCATIONThe slightly-cranky voice navigating the world of educational “reform” while trying to still pursue the mission of providing quality education.

OH: One Third Won’t Graduate

Posted by Peter Greene: 13 Nov 2016 09:25 AM PST

Back in the summer of 2014, the Ohio legislature approved a New! Improved! plan for measuring student achievement. Two years later, it’s not looking so good.
The plan was to expand over and above the old Ohio Graduation Test, which would be replacedwith seven other tests.

Four of the new exams will be based on the new multi-state Common Core standards that Ohio is starting to use in all schools. All are in the final stages of development – many just finished having trials across the state or nation this spring – and the scores that students need to pass are not set yet.

Here’s how the whole thing shook out per the Department of Education:

And then there was this ominous quote:

While the exact scores that students need on the tests have not been set, [Damon] Asbury, [director of legislative services for the Ohio School Boards Association] said that’s a “technical issue” that can be worked out later, now that the structure of requirements is set. 

Technical issue, indeed. Setting cut scores is always THE issue in figuring test scores. 

Ohio was going to depend on the PARCC to fill in a couple of those testing spots, but then the students of Ohio actually took the PARCC, and nobody was happy about how that worked out– so in 2015 the state of Ohio became yet another state to bail out of PARCC’s sinking malformed ship.Since they had already hired American Institutes of Research, a rival test manufacturer, to provide other tests, AIR seemed like a logical step.

Through this year (2017), Ohio students were just following the old game plan (with some new options). But the Class of 2018, in a modified version of the 2014 plan, must get their credits and then either earn the required number of points on the exit exams OR earn an industry-recognized credential OR earn a remediation-free score on the SAT or ACT. Students can earn up to five points per exit exam.

Now Ohio superintendents are warning of a graduation apocalypse. Students are coming up way short on the scores needed on the new standardized tests.

Olmstead Falls Superintendent Jim Lloyd expects the new requirements to cut his graduation rate from 95% to 65%, and that those scary numbers will be the norm across the state. He is leading “a rally at the statehouse Tuesday morning of an estimated 200 superintendents, plus school board members from across Ohio, to call attention to this danger. They also plan to ask the state school board and legislature to seek more input from educators before creating new education laws and requirements.”

What?! Input from educators before they create more education laws and requirements?! That’s crazy talk.

As with all test-driven reform, what Ohio legislators expect to accomplish is unclear. Do Ohio legislators believe that their schools are universally run by liars, fools, and incompetents, rendering an Ohio diploma meaningless? And if so, is there some sort of data suggesting that one third of Ohio’s residents are illiterate and un-employable, thereby providing evidence that the high school diplomas they receive are really a lie? Is someone figuring that by denying more students diplomas and thereby making them harder to employ, that will somehow provide a benefit to the state?

What is the goal here, Ohio? Punish teachers? Punish students? Provide “proof” that all public schools should be closed and replaced with charters?

If the legislature has half a brain, they will back away from this plan. Of course, even if they do, a whole bunch of Ohio students have already been thrown into panic and uncertainty about their own future. Work hard and stay in school kids, and one day, you might graduate, or you might not. Who knows? but work hard anyway.

Read more here: CURMUDGUCATION: OH: One Third Won’t Graduate