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Three Best Things About Teaching

August 18, 7:43 a.m: My shirt sticks to my back and I, like many others, hope for some rain to break the string of 90-degree days with high humidity. As I walk the incredibly clean but stifling hallways of Northview...

Actions speak louder than words

Our lack of concern for children begins far earlier than their exposure to gunfire by individuals who can legally obtain assault weapons in virtually every jurisdiction within the U.S.

Is Ranking 39th Acceptable? Effects from Snyder Tax Cuts

One tough nerd rolled to the governor’s office in January 2011 and later that year the Legislature handed him a huge victory at the expense of those who voted him into office -- a $1.7 billion tax cut for...

The Lost Decade

Now he tells us. In an extraordinarily introspective interview with The Bridge online magazine, state superintendent Mike Flanagan recently acknowledged Michigan was “10 years behind” high performing states such as Massachusetts and Minnesota in education achievement gains. Lost decades have typically...

Couldn’t Be More Wrong

You've gotta hand it to President Trump. He just keeps smashing conventional belief. And, in some instances, universally accepted research. The president's budget blueprint vaporized the one principle that is universally accepted in education: An effective teacher is the best...

Guns in Schools: Just Say No.

Guns in school? No. Really, it should be as simple as that. Schools should be gun-free zones, just like daycare centers, athletic stadiums, bars, casinos, churches and college dormitories. With the exception of armed law enforcement officers, schools should be able...

Superintendent: It’s a Tough Job

There may be no tougher job than that of a school superintendent. I’ve worked with nearly 100 in Kent ISD alone over the past two decades. All were smart, caring and compassionate people. All were subject to withering criticism

Take the Quiz – How Would They Vote?

Here's a quiz: Given their track record, how do you think Michigan legislators would vote on a bill to lower school property taxes on businesses and homeowners without hurting -- and actually benefitting -- schools and their ability to...

Not Your Father’s Poverty

We were poor but we didn’t know it. How often have you heard that comment from someone who has “made it” to describe their childhood?  Among my generation, my parents, and their parents, it was a standard comment when asked...

Representative Democracy?

In the shadow of the state House of Representatives failed vote earlier this year to roll back income taxes came three items of interest recently. They suggest legislators should pump the brakes before they revisit the issue or, perhaps,...

Mass Shootings: One a Day in the USA

“Gun Free Zones are the problem. Let’s repeal them.” That’s the conclusion of Erich Pratt, communications director of the Gun Owners of America, in an op-ed piece published in USA Today in the aftermath of the Umpqua Community College massacre...

Michigan’s NAEP Scores: What do they mean? Probably not what you think

32 Percent of Michigan’s 4th Graders Score at 7th Grade Level on the NAEP. Did you miss that headline last week?  I did too. That’s because it wasn’t reported.  Instead, Michigan’s schools and students were slammed by pundits because just 32...

Thank You for Reading

Politics. Policy. Finance. Standards-based accountability. NCLB. ESSA. Too often, this blog is about stuff -- the external influences on schools, teachers and ultimately, students -- that is a distraction and, at its worst, a detriment to the essence of education. That's...

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Please, don’t take money from our children to pour concrete. Fixing Michigan’s crumbling transportation infrastructure is one of Michigan’s most vexing problems. Governor Snyder’s legislative liaison Dick Posthumus recently told the MIRS News Service increased revenue for road repair “is...

Thank You!

Kent County voters on May 2 turned out to the polls and expressed confidence in their schools by approving a ballot proposal that will provide crucial support to all 20 districts in Kent ISD. The enhancement millage will yield...

Watch this Movie, Please.

One of the enduring principles of comedy is juxtaposition. Take, for example, this joke from actress Sara Silverman: "When I was 14, I started dating my father's best friend. It was weird." "But not as weird as my father having a best...
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