Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver): R.I.P.

Barbara Billingsley saying "I speak jive..."

L.A. Times
Barbara Billingsley, who played June Cleaver, the quintessential 1950s sitcom mom on "Leave It to Beaver," and later did a memorable send-up of her white-bread image playing the "jive-talking" passenger in the hit comedy "Airplane!," has died. She was 94.

Students Or Learners: Who Are We Teaching?

David Warlick

Saturday Bonus Cartoon Fun: Pots And Kettles Edition

Saturday Cartoon Fun: Pending Edition


Declaration Of Education

From Chris Janotta:
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the bonds that are being forced upon them by another group of individuals, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all students are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are a quality education, proper funding for their schools, and the pursuit of their dreams. Whenever any group becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Public Educators to stand up and voice their opinions, and to stand up and fight for such principles that shall seem most likely to affect their students and their profession in a positive manner.

When a long train of abuses and accusations, reduces professional educators to servants who must perform under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to unite and rise up against such tyranny. Such has been the patient sufferance of professional educators across this nation; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand participation in any type of reform that might occur. Recent history is a history of repeated injuries and accusations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over America’s public education system. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

The recent manifesto titled “How to Fix Our Schools” did not include the input of one single teacher, parent, or anyone other than those who are already holding the power to make decisions regarding the public education system.

The broadcast media has uniformly excluded teachers from any publicly televised discussions regarding how to “fix” the public education system except as in a token format.

The print media has consistently criticized, blamed, and singled out teachers as the number one cause of all that is wrong with the public education system.

The evaluation systems being proposed do not fairly judge a teacher’s performance, yet they are being touted as the savior for our nation’s public education system.

The teachers’ unions have been unfairly and falsely accused of damaging the public education system by making it impossible to terminate poorly performing teachers. This is a blatant lie.

The Race to the Top initiative has forced school districts in one state to compete against school districts in other states instead of all districts in all states being properly funded. Apparently all men are created equal, but all states are not.

The arguments against many of the proposals made by those who have the power to make decisions regarding the public education system have been swept under the rug, trampled upon, and–in most cases–discredited and ignored. Any research presented by public school teachers is viewed as defensive, self-serving, and union propaganda.

The message has been sent loud and clear: teachers’ opinions do not matter when it comes to what is best for America’s public education system.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A system, whose aim is thus marked by every act which may define Tyranny, is unfit to be the system that America’s school children must rely upon to decide their futures.

We, therefore, the public school teachers of America, solemnly publish and declare that NOW is the time to speak out. NOW is the time to act. NOW is the time to educate America as we educate our students, with passion, honesty, and perseverance. NOW is the time that we must share the truth about public education. NOW is the time that we must let America hear OUR ideas concerning how to fix our schools, fix our society, fix the American Dream that has been broken and stolen by those whose motives are not sincere.

All this we must pledge so that America’s children, their Lives, their Fortune, and their and their ancestors’ sacred Honor remains secure for the eternity of these United States of America

Do You Want A Social Hierarchy Based On High School Test Scores?

Sir Ken Robinson, Animated

He discusses the fiction that there is an ADHD epidemic.

h/t Joe Bower


Michelle Rhee Out As Of October

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee will announce Wednesday that she is resigning at the end of this month, bringing an abrupt end to a tenure that drew national acclaim but that also became a central issue in an election that sent her patron, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, to defeat.

Superman Vs. Batman, A Contrast In Styles

From Susan Graham:
...When I was a little kid, I came home from school and watched the old black and white 1950's Superman series reruns. The Superman I came to admire didn't go around kicking butt, taking names, and self promoting. He watched, he waited, and when all other resources had been exhausted Clark Kent dashed into a phone booth and strip down to his tights. Superman believed in the people around him. He seemed to think of them as decent honest citizens who were capable of making their own choices. So when Superman did step in, he didn't impose his own solutions until human options had run out and innocent people were going to be hurt. Then he simply removed the barriers, got things back on track, and made it possible for everyday folk to continue to pursue truth, justice and the American Way. Once ordinary humans could get a grip on the situation, Superman slipped out of the picture, put on his Clark Kent double breasted suit and horn rimmed glasses and went back to his day job at the Daily Planet. He had no agenda of his own to impose. He didn't try to fix Earthlings so that they become wannabe Kryptonians. Superman had the power to reshape our world, but what he seemed to want to do is to blend in and help out.

I was a teenager when Batman stepped out of the comic books and onto the TV screen. Bruce Wayne, "millionaire, playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist" saw his parents murdered and he vowed to revenge their death by imposing law, order and righteousness on the criminal element in Gotham City. Wayne put on his Batman cape, fought the bad guys, and then retreated to the Bat Cave. I never really cared much for Bruce Wayne. I thought he was arrogant and aloof and I never bought into his elitist perspective of the world around him. He had the money, the power, and the resources to work with those around him to make a better world, but he chose to impose his personal agenda of truth and justice. He used his position of entitlement to put on a mask and work outside the system. Batman was willing to rescue the little people from evil, but he never seemed care to mix with them after hours. As both Bruce and Batman, it was always sort of all about him....

DADT Suspended By Judge

From the Advocate:
A federal judge has blocked enforcement of "don't ask, don't tell" and has instructed the Defense Department immediately to "suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding" related to the policy.

U.S. District judge Virginia A. Phillips, who presided over the federal challenge to DADT that went to trial in Riverside, Calif. in July, entered her judgment shortly before noon Pacific time on Tuesday. The injunction becomes effective immediately, although Justice Department attorneys have previously objected in court to the immediate halt of DADT enforcement and may appeal Phillips's ruling to the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit....


CA Voter Registration Deadline Looms

The mail-in voter registration deadline for California is October 18th. Be sure you've registered to vote and mailed in your form by October 18th so you can vote in upcoming elections.

Remember, if you have changed your address or moved since you last registered, you need to re-register by October 18th as well.

If you have already registered to vote, then please forward this notice to all your friends.

-The Rock the Vote Voter Registration Center

Monday Cartoon Fun: Gods And Witches Edition

An Apple A Day

Corporate Reform Action Pack: CRAP

From Sabrina:


I've Been Fighting

I have been busy commenting on HuffPo's new Education page, which was bought and paid for by rich people trying to gain a foothold in the new market that is Education Entrepreneurship--an oxymoron.  I also watched Huffington's education panel where I got very angry at Joel Klein, but he couldn't hear me.

I have been having Twitter convos with Deborah Gist where I get her to admit that poverty is a huge issue she will consciously refuse to address.  I also get her to expose the fact that when Broad grads talk about teachers as the number one variable in a child's education they actually mean "in-school factor" but have been taught to avoid exposing that truth.  And when she said all the RI teachers were hired back, she thinks that means she didn't fire them.  At least she talked to me!

I have been pushing Miseducation Nation as a place for those who want to put up an offensive push against current reform nonsense.  There is a guy over there, Stuart, who we have been trying to figure out.  Still trying.

I am exhausted.  I don't really know what else to do, so I will keep doing what I have been doing--being a loud, in-your-face advocate for real reform that addresses real problems like poverty, health care, jobs and crazy fucking Republicans.

We need to be loud and persistent, and that is what I am trying to do.  At least I keep posting comics.

*I made some edits because I am lazy and write too fast, and my friend emails me with my mistakes and the proper fixes.

Solomon Burke, R.I.P.

Solomon Burke, blues man extraordinaire, has died.

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