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The Sunday Mail.

February 10, 2013

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Active and retired teachers pack a room to question Illinois Senator Dan Biss and Representative Robyn Gabel on their pension busting bill. We filled another room across the hall.

Why can’t Illinois pay its bills. Illinois Companies and Wealth Individuals Hide Millions in Off-shore Accounts.

Read a banned book lately?

In defense of secrecy and drones, Obama has become what he once opposed.

The secret to creating good schools in Union City, New Jersey. No one size fits all programs. No school closings and turnarounds. No Teach for America. Just good teaching practice.

Penny Pritzker in the Obama cabinet? Just what we needed. A union-busting, school-closing tax-cheat from Chicago.

Resisting the ambush of American education.

Diane Ravitch on what Obama should say in his state of the union message. But don’t bet that he will.

Obama’s Agriculture Department is blocking school integration.

Our nation’s dialogue about education has been commandeered by a bunch of ill-informed, intellectually lazy, bought-and-paid-for edu-celebrities. Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein, Wendy Kopp, Ben Chavis, Steve Perry, Jeb Bush, Arne Duncan, and a few others are pushing an agenda that has little evidence to support it; worse, they are rarely questioned by well-informed journalists as to the specifics of their plans.

When I see this, I fear for America’s future. We cannot continue to be a country that makes policy through bouts of trite media exposure. Our fatuous ways got us into Iraq, crashed the economy, and are burning up the planet. Now that same brainlessness threatens to destroy our public school system.

We don’t need more Oprah-style interviews with edu-celebrities where we let them babble on about how much they love teachers; we need, instead, a frank and informed discussion about the implications of the “reform” policy agenda. Until we get that, it is the duty of everyone who cares about public schools to point out – over and over, if necessary – how truly stupid our national conversation about education has become. Jersey Jazzman

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