Blog Post List
February 13, 2016
This blog post originally appeared in Lily's Blackboard . I sat with our brave colleagues and cried with them. Karen Christian is a math teacher, but after school she’s president of United Teachers of Flint. That’s how it is with most of our union activists; they volunteer to be the union voice of their colleagues after their students head home. Karen’s tears were for those students as much as for her own 10-year-old son. Karen’s tears were for the children who had been drinking contaminated water for over a year; poisoned water. She worries that they have been harmed in ways that might not...
April 4, 2013
For English, click here . Primero, sólo déjenme indicar que no estoy abogando por mentirles a los niños. No estoy proponiendo que las mamás y los papás inventen mentiras tontas y digan cuentos sólo para hacer que los niños coman más saludablemente. De ninguna manera estoy diciendo eso. Mentirle a sus hijos es incorrecto. Y ellos nos descubren. A mí me descubrieron. Porque mi entonces hijo de cuatro años, Jeremy, tenía una inclinación por los dulces, y me cansé de pelear con él sobre por qué no era bueno que él comiera tanta azúcar, y que tengo antecedentes familiares con diabetes, y que sus...
December 10, 2012
Gaby Pacheco’s story will be featured in a collection of stories for young people by Lily Eskelsen and Alberto Garcia called “Rabble Rousers” about people who organize communities to fight for social justice. Gaby was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She doesn’t remember much of her city, but her family was close. She remembers her grandmother saying, “If everything else is taken from you, you will always have family.” When Gaby was eight years old, her parents came to the United States where they believed their children would be safer and be able to get a good education. They didn’t have the...
October 16, 2012
Education is power, especially for girls. Malala knows this and has used her voice to advocate for others.
August 31, 2012
First, let me just say, that I’m not advocating lying to children. I’m not proposing that moms and dads make up silly lies and tell tall tales just to get kids to eat healthier. I am absolutely not saying that . Lying to your children is wrong. And you get caught.
May 2, 2012
I was lucky that I went to college in 1976. I was working as a secretary but I wanted so much to be a teacher. My husband and I were living paycheck to paycheck and could meet our bills just fine, but we had no extra money to send me to college. My parents were doing just fine, but they were still raising my little brothers and sisters, and they had no extra money to send me to college. I am a teacher today because the government of the United States of America invested in me. My country gave me money to go to college. In 1976, I applied for a National Direct Student Loan to pay for my...
April 16, 2012
Bully is game changing in the way we think about and act on childhood bullying. What changes is the belief that bullying is simply a case of Kids Will Be Kids. Children are dying, and this movie tells the truth we don’t want to hear, but must hear.
February 7, 2012
There are two stories to tell in Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvania. One is a heroic story worthy of a book or movie deal. Chester Upland, a poor and predominantly minority district, is a long way from Hollywood, but it does have a star in Sara Ferguson.
December 7, 2011
Any second-grader could do the math. I say the Job Creators are the 99% who clip discount coupons from the Sunday newspaper so they can get 4 cans for $1.
October 28, 2011
I travel a lot these days meeting with teachers and support staff and principals and parents and the press and anyone anywhere who wants to join hands and make good things happen for kids. I was on my way to Wichita to speak at a conference and the nice man in the middle seat started a nice conversation.
October 11, 2011
Pink can be an ugly color. If it’s a pink slip. I had to explain to a friend of mine from another country what the term “pink slip” meant. It meant that a perfectly hard-working, dedicated, competent person was losing his or her job because the employer didn’t have enough money to pay them.
June 8, 2011
I’ve just finished one more article on what essentially becomes “The Three Main Things” that we need to do to improve our schools. They aren’t bad things. Well, sometimes they are. But, basically they sound essentially reasonable. And I hate, hate, hate to argue with something that sounds reasonable because it puts you in the position of sounding unreasonable when you question what often seems like pure common sense, so I hate, hate, hate to say this, but… Three Main Things will always fail. Three Main Things are doomed. They are doomed when you are trying to fix a system. It doesn’t matter...
May 26, 2011
There are children today who have to remind themselves every day, “I’m a human being. That’s what I am.” They have to remind themselves because they are not treated like human beings with hearts and souls. They are tormented and frightened and threatened. And if we are human beings, we will make it stop.
May 11, 2011
For political reasons, it seems to me, some high profile politicians have decided to make public school teachers the scapegoat for a bad economy (caused by Wall Street tycoons that got to keep their bonus billions for causing a global financial meltdown, by the way).
April 6, 2011
I was in the ladies’ room in the airport. Honestly, I was minding my own business. Honestly, I wasn’t eavesdropping on the next stall. On purpose. Honestly, this is what I heard from the young mother to her child. “Stephanie, can you explain to Mommy your sudden objection to going potty?”
February 18, 2011
And all of us, whether in a union or not, should care about what’s happening in Wisconsin. In fact, maybe it’s more important for those who don’t have a union. The ability of modestly paid people to collectively bargain something better has helped build the great middle class of our great country, even among non-union members.
February 17, 2011
There is a convergence of politicians, activists, venture capitalists and even movie-makers, looking for a slick, simple storyline as to why, in neighborhoods with growing crime, unemployment, drug use and incarceration rates, students are failing and dropping out. Their answer: Those kids must have bad teachers.
January 14, 2011
There is a connection between Dr. King and Christina. But hate is not it. Their death by hate and violence is not their common denominator. They are connected by the love that surrounded their lives. Love is their power.