ArtPrize, art and the aesthetic experience: An interview with Richard Kooyman

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

We recently conducted an interview with artist Richard Kooyman, someone who has been critical of ArtPrize from the very beginning. Richard and his partner began a campaign to boycott ArtPrize, a campaign which you can find at this link

What made you decide to want to organize such a campaign?

ArtPrize/DeVos Resistance was organized by myself and Melanie Parke after the election of Donald Trump. We began the group when Betsy DeVos, one of ArtPrize’s founders choose to work for Trump, but our objection to the ArtPrize model began the very first year after it was announced.
As artists we felt boycotting an art event involving Betsy DeVos is an important political statement and it’s something artist’s could easily do. We started a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Both of these were blocked right away by ArtPrize.

We are calling for a boycott of ArtPrize by artist and viewers…

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In Michigan, Few Want to Become Teachers: Thanks, Betsy DeVos, Rick Snyder, and Arne Duncan!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Alternet published an article about the dire condition of teachers and teaching in Michigan. Nancy Derringer describes the growing crisis over the future of the profession in a state that treats teachers like Kleenex.

The legislature has hacked away at teacher benefits, and would-be teachers have gotten the message.

The latest data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title II program, which supports teacher training and professional development, show enrollment in teacher prep at the college level is falling, sharply in some states. In Michigan, 11,099 students were enrolled in the state’s 39 teacher-prep programs in 2014-15, the most recent data available. That is a 3,273-student decline from just two years previous, in 2012-13. Since 2008, the total number of Michigan college students studying to become a teacher is down more than 50 percent.

Michigan State University saw its teacher-prep enrollment fall 45 percent between 2010 and 2014, from 1,659…

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Is Wall Street About to Take Over Public Education Once and for All?

Seattle Education

Reposted with permission from Save Maine Schools – Helping You Navigate Next-Gen Ed Reform.

Wall Street

And so, unbeknownst to most of the public, our schools – and the teaching profession – are being remade in order to facilitate this market.

Organizations like the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN),  formed to advance impact investing, are developing banks of metrics on social services like education to help inform investors as they build their portfolios, while nonprofits like Strivetogether are building public-private data sharing networks across cities.

Across the country, teachers are being asked to collect, record, and slog through mountains of data that “experts” insist is meant to improve their practice.

There are pre-assessments and post-assessments, habits of work rubrics, writing prompts, social and emotional screeners, standards-based grading systems, RTI data, student learning objectives, professional growth goals, student surveys, self evaluations, administrator evaluations, office discipline referrals, results from progress monitoring programs  …the…

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NRA Turns Gun Training Into A Video Game.

Our friends at The Trace have just published some interesting coverage about an argument within the NRA over the content and direction of its training programs, in particular a new program called ‘Carry Guard,’ which combines a scam insurance deal with an even scammier training product, both of which are designed to appeal to the millions of Americans who are now walking around armed.

training             Actually, the number of Americans who are actively playing the ‘armed citizen’ game may be two million or so, maybe even less. Despite what John Lott claims, there is no way he can actually verify that more than 14 million concealed-carry licenses have been issued, and multiple surveys report that the percentage of gun owners walking around with a gun on a regular basis may be no more than 10 percent.

What the gun industry would love to see happen is that carrying a concealed…

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How Will the DeVos Department of Education Implement the Every Student Succeeds Act?


Between 2002 and the end of 2015, many who care about U.S. public education lived and breathed strategies for ending No Child Left Behind’s rigid and punitive accountability mechanisms. The law was supposed to make all public schools accountable for improving schooling, especially for children in poverty and children in racial and ethnic groups who have historically been marginalized. NCLB was supposed to ensure that every child in America would be proficient by 2014. Its strategy was using fear as the motivator—driving everybody to work harder to avoid terrible sanctions like teachers being fired, schools being closed, and schools being turned over to private operators.

But, although teachers were fired, and schools were closed, and schools were turned over to private contractors, test scores did not rise appreciably and achievement gaps did not close.  And, because test scores in the aggregate reflect family and community economic levels, the schools that…

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