Sunday reads.

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Nine things you should never say to a teacher.

North Carolina teachers are going to walk out over pay freezes.

Seymour Hersh says U.S. investigative journalism is pathetic. Never more true than in Chicago.

U.K. teachers and postal workers will strike this week.

Principal Marian Strok said she took one look at her school’s enrollment numbers and erupted.

Chicago uses TIF money to give a neighborhood just what it doesn’t need.

What the Montclair teachers did when their union president was cut-off.

Now you may ask yourself, why write this piece, Adell? You’ve basically told us what others “tweeted” days ago. Here’s my answer to you. This is not the last you will hear from me. This is my first (wellreally second) venture into the public forum of those fighting against education reformers. Not that I think our current system is spectacular. I just know it needs help in ways other than firing educators, funneling large sums of money to charter schools and testing students every 23 minutes in the name of accountability (well maybe not every 23 minutes but it sure does seem like it).

You see, I have “a dog in this fight” (no offense to animal lovers). As a mother of a fourth grader with an IEP, it troubles me that my child is penalized because he is a slow processor. In order to give him more time, we needed to draw up a legal document that, thirty pages later, basically boils down to the fact that my son Alex needs a little extra time to process his thoughts. But we MUST have this documented, as it’s the only way he can get more time when testing time comes—again. Whatever happened to the process of natural learning?

As an education consultant, I struggle with being a cheerleader for the Common Core and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers or PARCC. (Oh yes, the dreaded PARCC is coming soon to a school district near you). I work with educators in high-needs schools with students who have issues I couldn’t fathom grappling with as an adult: eviction, a 14-year-old-sister pregnant by an uncle, a cousin gunned down on the student’s doorstep. Yet I’m supposed to bounce in and sell the Common Core as a great instructional tool, even though it was never piloted. Who does that? Whatever happened to addressing a child’s social and emotional needs to ensure that they are ready to learn?

As an African American woman my heart bleeds for the thousands of students of color we lose every year (especially in urban school districts) because we’ve allowed them to check out intellectually, emotionally, mentally and/or physically. I am a product of Baltimore City Public school. And when I say product, I mean from Head Start to doctoral study. Yup—I experienced the FULL trajectory within the limits of Baltimore City. I am living proof of what a solid urban education can do for under-resourced students of color. Whatever happened to not letting your zip code dictate your destiny?

I don’t know what the future holds in regards to education. I just know I’m in this fight until the war is won! Adell Cothorne in EduShyster.

 

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