John Oliver Gets American Public Education

Education, FYI, Politics

For those who missed it, John Oliver did a blistering +12 min piece on public education, standardized tests, and the Pearson Mafia. What makes the comedic send up both funny and alarming is his ability to simplify the complex psuedo-monopoly, that is the Common Core, even though state and federal officials continue to blindly adhere to it. If you haven’t watch it do yourself and all the local kids a favor and educate yourself on what public education is turning into. Then, share the link and call local, state, and federal officials to let them know how ridiculous the current system has become.


Most Writing is On-Demand (but who should it be written for?)

Education, Personal

Originally written in 2006 but recently revised for this publication.

As a writer, I epitomize exactly what I don’t want to see in my students. Sometimes, I hate to write. For me, writing is this intricate love/hate relationship. I can write about history or philosophy. I can write about the political platforms of some obscure 19th century American political parties. I could even write about the benefits of luggage. What I can not do is just write. When people ask for a writing sample I have a small panic attack and then freeze. I have to have something contextual to write about. So for me, jealousy is quietly attached to the concept of “good writers.”  For instance, in the movie Finding Forester the main character, based loosely on JD Salinger and John Kennedy Toole, says “You just write and the thinking comes later.”  I still wonder about how that happens for gifted writers.