Let’s get together, yeah yeah yeah Think of all that we could sha-are Let’s get together everyday Every way and everywhere And though we haven’t got a lot We could be sharin’ all we’ve got Together ~Haley Mills, From Walt Disney’s The Parent Trap The public school classroom is a sacred community. How students socialize in […]
Code of Conduct Books and Pasco County’s Kindergarten “Anarchy”
It’s important to pay attention to how discipline will be used in a child’s school. On the first day, a parent might be shocked upon entering their child’s kindergarten classroom to be handed a student conduct code or rule book by a smiling teacher. This book will have all the dos and don’ts involving behavior. […]
Preschool Social Emotional Learning (SEL): Discipline in Disguise?
Social Emotional Learning is popular! But why do school reformers discuss SEL like it has been hiding under a rock someone just kicked over? Haven’t preschool teachers always worked with children on how to get along? While reading and thinking about preschool, I thought it would be interesting to explore SEL as it relates to […]
Hillary Clinton, Zip Codes, and School Equality
The point often made during debates by Sec. Hillary Clinton is that children should not get a poor education based on their zip code. Most of us would agree about poverty and its harmful effects on children in school. But the zip code message was co-opted a long time ago by those who want to […]
What’s Innovative about Charter Schools?
What is innovative about charter schools? What do they do that is so unique it has provided traditional public schools with new methods of working with students? I often hear politicians and charter advocates praising charter schools for what they can give public schools in the way of new ideas. I am wondering what innovations […]
“High Expectations” and the Criminalization of America’s Students
By now most of us have seen the video of the resource officer using brute force to yank a female student out of her desk. Appalling, most agree. But this country has been criminalizing students, if not violently, inhumanely and subtly, in their schools for a long time. Why do Americans put up with it? […]
The Role of Public Schools in the NFL Scandal
The NFL is in a tight spot right now. They don’t want to lose their talent and the dollars that might come with a championship. But they are in danger of losing their image. Domestic and child abuse are ugly topics, when they surface. They provoke intense emotions. It’s been difficult to watch the different […]
How to Teach Good Students to Be Criminals
Seventeen year old Chaz Seale could have been any of us. In a hurry to get out the door he accidentally grabbed a beer instead of a can of soda out of the fridge and put it in his lunchbox. Upon arriving at school, he realized his mistake and told his teacher what happened. Now […]
Misguided Education Reform
A nice thing that happened to me this past year was the publishing, back in July, of my book, Misguided Education Reform: Debating the Impact on Students, by R & L Books (Rowman & Littlefield). It covers many of the same topics you will find on my blog. I discuss special education which might be […]
Don’t Sit Alone and Cry in Your Soup! Let’s All Advocate for Students!
One of the pleasures of starting a blog is to hear from parents and teachers. Some post. Some don’t want to put information online, but they want to be heard. Others comment on Facebook. The stories are often heart wrenching. Teachers recognize they can’t teach the way they know they should because they are pushed […]