Standardized Testing and the Emperor’s New Clothes

I suppose I was in the second grade when the fable was read to me, but even at that age, the fable made me aware that children can have great power if they are honest, and equally important, I was provided with the insight that adults, especially important and powerful adults, are willing to go along with something preposterous because they are afraid to be the “only one” to stand up for a truth—especially if they had been outspoken in supporting something very questionable.

It’s a Wonder We Can Think at All

(Click on the title to read the complete post) My first weeks as a teacher were desperate times, despite the fact that I had been trained to teach the very students sitting in front of me. This is not atypical due to Education’s failure to follow the models provided by other professions where newbies learn their way around the block as clerks and interns before being set free to practice their professions. Fortunately, I was saved by a demanding principal and a compassionate and knowledgeable Science Department Chair. Survival, as so often happens with emerging teachers, is more often a matter of good fortune than systemic support. I had been lucky, and thanks to these two great educators, I was surviving, but I was not thriving, and in my view, neither were my students!

The Rule of Law and Tinkerbell

(Click on the title to read the post) The power of which I spoke then and write about now is not the power of Law, which is a mythical power that depends upon the Tinkerbell Effect; rather, it is the power that comes from an ability to instill fear in the minds of a majority of citizens—their individual fear of significant material loss, of physical pain, and/or fear of death—in order to force them into compliance.

Not One American Child Has the Constitutional Right to a Free Public Education

(Click on the title to read the full post) As I have Googled my way through the matter of an American child's right to a free public education, almost all of what I've encountered are reports and op eds about challenges and successes related to ensuring equality in American public education, but there is precious little written about the absence of the Fundamental Right to free public education.

What’s in a Name?

(Click on the title to read the full post) We are frequently reminded by talking heads and newsfeeds that words do matter, and when people lack an understanding of meaning, nuance and context, words can be wielded as weapons to manipulate and delude or can unintentionally be misused in ways that can send the international community—or a spouse/partner—into turmoil. I was awakened this morning by my literary conscience asking me: If words do matter, why have I neglected to explain the origin of the title of my blog: Education and Freedom?