Discomfort: Minnesota School District Censors Classic Literature

From a recent article in the Guardian, we learn that  A school district in Minnesota has pulled To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from its curriculum, arguing that the classic novels’ use of racial slurs risked students being “humiliated or marginalised”. The article noted that there had been no specific complaints raised from students (or, evidently, their parents) about the […]

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A Lesson On Know-Nothingness

GOP is the new Know Nothing Party thanks to the Tea party

Paul Krugman recently delivered a lesson on “Know Nothingness”–both as historical reference and descriptive term: If you’re a student of history, you might be comparing that person to a member of the Know Nothing party of the 1850s, a bigoted, xenophobic, anti-immigrant group that at its peak included more than a hundred members of Congress and eight governors. More likely, however, you’re suggesting […]

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Mississippi: Public Classroom Ten Commandments Bill Introduced

Ten Commandments Monument Oklahoma

Legislation introduced in the Mississippi state House this week would require educators across the state to recite the Ten Commandments each day during the first hour of class. Introduced by Mississippi Rep. Credell Calhoun (D), House Bill 1100 would “require the teachers in that school district to have the Ten Commandments recited aloud at the beginning of the first hour of class […]

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ALEC and Indiana’s Voucher Program

voucher programs and privatization harm public schools

A friend recently sent me a rather eye-opening article by three Ball State University researchers. It appeared in an academic journal aimed at school superintendents: The AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice. (No link available.) The title was provocative: Hoosier Lawmaker? Vouchers, ALEC Legislative Puppets, and Indiana’s Abdication of Democracy. Few scholarly articles have titles quite that…combative, but the data was compelling (and the […]

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GOP Eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Public Service Loan Forgiveness program

What is WRONG with these people? I don’t know why I constantly ask that question–I know what’s wrong with them. They are greedy and unethical, none too bright, and they lack both human empathy and any concept of justice. The better question is why are they this way? (There used to be a theory about punitive toilet training…) Are you wondering what […]

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Evidence Can Be Such A Downer: Worker Retraining

job retraining

Last week in Indiana, as our legislature geared up for its short session, Governor Holcomb delivered his State of the State address. One of the major emphases of that speech was about the importance of worker retraining. Gov. Eric Holcomb used his nearly 30-minute speech Tuesday night to set some lofty goals, primarily in the area of educating and training Hoosier workers. […]

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The Shocking Disparity of Resources in Low-Income Areas

Wealth in America tends to move in one direction — toward the top. If you need proof, just take a look at our educational system. Those who can afford to attend private school have access to the latest technologies, enjoy smaller class sizes, and learn from instructors who might not work in public schools where they cannot make the same […]

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Normalizing Segregation: The Ongoing Charter Schools Problem

Good News Club (GNC) infiltrating schools

George Wallace, the former Governor of Alabama,  is most remembered for his defiant opposition to school integration, and his statement “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” Reading about his efforts today, we tend to assign him to the wrong side of history and dismiss him, but I’m beginning to worry  that his statement was more predictive than defiant. A few […]

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Voucher Programs and the Constitutional Ethic

school voucher

[Co-written with Cullen Merritt] ABSTRACT America’s public schools have not been exempt from the enthusiasm for “privatization” and contracting-out that has characterized government innovations over at least the past quarter century. A number of the issues raised by school voucher programs and to a lesser extent charter schools mirror the management and efficacy questions raised by privatization generally; however, because public […]

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School Privatization & Vouchers Aren’t Educational Reform

voucher programs and privatization harm public schools

Not every policy change is a reform, and I’m getting more than a little annoyed by efforts to paint things like tax cuts and voucher programs as “reforms.” I’ve explained in previous posts why the abominable tax bill currently being rushed through Congress isn’t “reform.”  In several states, including Indiana, theocrats intent upon taking tax dollars from public school systems […]

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