Teacher resignation letters paint bleak picture of US education | MSU Today    @Michigan State University

As teacher resignation letters increasingly go public – and viral – new MSU research indicates teachers are not leaving solely due to low pay and retirement, but also because of what they see as a broken education system.

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE: Teacher resignation letters paint bleak picture of US education | MSUToday | Michigan State University

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Pleasure, panacea, poison? The little-known health effects of marijuana — Journalist’s Resource Tip Sheet

Despite regulatory hurdles, a growing body of scholarship is answering important questions about the health impacts of medical and recreational pot.

READ MORE HERE: Pleasure, panacea, poison? The little-known health effects of marijuana – Journalist’s Resource

CURMUDGUCATION: Schools Are Symptoms

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

Schools Are Symptoms

Schools have always been a visible symptom of whatever has ailed United States society as a whole.

When we explicitly valued mostly only white men, we only educated white boys. When we were resistant to waves of immigrants, we ran parallel school systems for them. And as long as we have been mired in racism that is steeped all the way down into our systems, our schools have displayed the symptoms of the racial divide.

We have occasionally tried to treat the symptoms that manifested in public schools. We made the effort (which in retrospect seems almost charmingly naive) to combat racism by desegregating schools. But in many places that led to segregation just being institutionalized in other ways, like segregation academies and mass firings of black educators. When you only treat symptoms, the disease just keeps finding new ways to manifest itself.

Treating symptoms can be necessary– if someone has sliced open your major arteries, stemming that blood flow is a big priority. But it’s not the solution. Your medical goal is not simply to find something that will staunch the flow, but to stitch up the wounds themselves. Your bigger goal is to get the person with the knife to stop stabbing you.

If you are coughing a lot because of your growing lung cancer, the best medical treatment is not a powerful cough suppressant. If you have an abdominal tumor, the best treatment choice is not a compression belt to hide the swelling.

Nowadays, we face a massive yawning Jupiter-sized gulf between haves and have-nots in this country (check these charts). And so, our school system is a visible symptom of that problem. Rich folks get rich, well-financed schools. Poor folks get run-down, poorly-supported schools. And policy decisions are driven by a bunch of rich folks saying, “Well, I don’t want the government taking money out of my wallet to spend educating Those People!” Throughout the country, we have a handful of very rich people who have collected power and money in enormous amounts, while nearby (but not TOO nearby) we have people who are struggling to make ends meet, always just one health crisis or personal crisis away from disaster.

And yet, somehow, we’re being sold the notion that it’s schools that have the problem.

John Kuhn’s quote captures the issue. Schools always reflect the symptoms of society. Those symptoms need to be treated, because our most vulnerable citizens are directly in their path. We have an equity problem in this country, and we have a dismantling-democracy-and-selling-the-pieces-to-private-interests problem as well. These problems infect our health care, our legal system, and, increasingly, our government itself (what else has Trump done except privatize the presidency). Of course they infect our education system as well.

We should always strive to make pubic schools the best expression of our national ideals that we can. But when we have trouble living out those ideals as a country, we cannot be surprised that schools reflect the same problems.

Source: CURMUDGUCATION: Schools Are Symptoms

Let the Poems Fall Where they May | Eclectablog

Eclectablog

It’s been a bit difficult for me to blog these past few weeks with everything going on in the world. Fortunately, the poet in me has regained her inspiration to create.

April is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s a month that encourages me to celebrate poetry every day. It’s a month where poetry isn’t just an add-on, or an afterthought.

April is a month where bravery meets creativity, joy meets comedy, and love meets pain. Whether you’re a veteran poet, or someone who has always wanted to write, join thousands of poets worldwide and write what’s on your mind.

I’ll share a few poems and a Haiku of my own to give you a little creative push. John Deere is to lawns what Dear John is to break-ups both seek greener grass

Even on my longest days, I find myself inspired to write at least one poem per day during National Poetry Writing Month.

There is something about joining poets all across the globe who take to social media to share their daily poems under the hashtag #NaPoWriMo.

READ THE FULL BLOG POST HERE: Let the Poems Fall Where they May | Eclectablog

NPE Toolkit: School Privatization Explained by the Network For Public Education

The appointment of Betsy DeVos as US Secretary of Education has put our public school system in the crosshairs. We know her real agenda– the destruction of our public school system, which she referred to as “a dead end.” DeVos and her allies have worked for decades pushing charters, vouchers and neovouchers such as education tax credits and ESAs. DeVos even supports virtual charter schools that have a horrific track record when it comes to student success.

Unfortunately the general public is often confused by the misleading terms that privatizers use to mask their agenda. Terms like “choice”, “portability” and Empowerment Scholarship Accounts are an attempt to make religious school vouchers and other unpopular policies acceptable.

In response, The Network for Public Education has prepared a toolkit called School Privatization Explained. Each one page fact sheet is designed to correct  the misinformation that De Vos and others have used to push school privatization. From charter myths to ESAs, we pull off the masks.

You will find our 13 facts sheets here and an interactive map here that will let you see where your state lies on the road to school privatization.

Read, share, quote and even copy. They are designed for your use. Most of all, share the truth about school privatization far and wide. We cannot let the pillar of our democracy, our public schools, be destroyed.

Thank you for all you do,

Carol Burris, Executive Director

Network for Public Education


The Network for Public Education is a 501 (c)(3) organization. You can make a tax deductible donation here.

You can follow us on twitter and like us on Facebook.

Source: NPE Toolkit: School Privatization Explained – Network For Public Education

Crony Capitalism – Have You Heard

 Deregulation in education has led to cronyism, corruption and conflicts of interest. Dr. Preston Green sees a familiar pattern and a cautionary tale…

Jennifer Berkshire: Our Secretary of Education is visiting a Florida charter school that is best known for being started by rap-u-preneur, Pitbull. But a lesser known true fact is that the school’s powerful and politically connected management company, Academica, ran afoul of the feds for a little something something called *related-party transactions.* What is a related-party transaction? And why do I have the feeling that Betsy DeVos didn’t drop by to, um, continue the investigation.

READ THE FULL BLOG POST: Crony Capitalism – Have You Heard

Recommendations from Mayor’s Affordable Housing Committee: Maintaining the status quo while appearing to promote housing justice

Recommendations from Mayor’s Affordable Housing Committee: Maintaining the status quo while appearing to promote housing justice
by Jeff Smith (GRIID)
Last summer, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss announced that she was forming an affordable housing committee, with the intent of addressing the crisis Grand Rapids has been experiencing around cost and availability around affordable housing.

Since last fall, a committee has been in place and has been meeting to discuss the issues of affordable housing, along with putting together a list of recommendations for how to address this crisis. However, before we get to the recommendations, it seems important to provide some context to what has been happening in recent years around housing and gentrification in Grand Rapids. https://griid.org/2017/04/06/recommendations-from-mayors-affordable-housing-committee-maintaining-the-status-quo-while-appearing-to-promote-housing-justice/

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Last summer, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss announced that she was forming an affordable housing committee, with the intent of addressing the crisis Grand Rapids has been experiencing around cost and availability around affordable housing.

Since last fall, a committee has been in place and has been meeting to discuss the issues of affordable housing, along with putting together a list of recommendations for how to address this crisis. However, before we get to the recommendations, it seems important to provide some context to what has been happening in recent years around housing and gentrification in Grand Rapids.

The Grand Rapids Housing Crisis

For years now Grand Rapids has been involved in a development boom, with new projects being introduced on a monthly basis. Besides the downtown development boom, there are other areas that have also experienced major development changes, such as along the Wealthy Street corridor, the Michigan…

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