Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Riding Lessons

Eh? What's that, sonny...?

Funny thing happened in first day of summer session. My students went around the table and introduced themselves and said the usual about what they do; where they teach; goals and passions. One student says, "I give writing lessons out in Oswego."  My interest is perked. I ask, at what school do you teach writing? Student responds: "No not writing -- RIDING LESSONS."  She's taking a few needed ed courses to become a certified riding instructor.

Lots of friends and colleagues gathered at the Ayers/Dohrn home yesterday to give a nice send off to Kevin Kumashiro who is leaving Chicago to become Dean of the Ed School at the University of San Francisco. Our loss is definitely S.F.'s gain.

Kevin is currently professor of Asian American Studies and Education at  UIC. where he was formerly Chair of Educational Policy Studies, Interim Co-Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, and Coordinator of Asian American Studies. On the national level, he is the president (2012-2014) of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). Here in Chicago, he is a founding member and lead organizer of the Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates for Transformative Education (CReATE), which produces research briefs and organizes public events that aim to re-frame the debates on public-school reforms.

CReATE is doing a lot of the heavy research lifting on the mass school closings, debunking and exposing the disinformation campaign coming from BBB's CPS spin machine.

Speaking of CPS disinformation...

Local School Council members of about a dozen Chicago Public Schools are calling on Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to audit CPS finances.Their letter to Madigan, who has dreams of becoming governor, said: The cuts “revealed to schools last week show that the 50 school closings approved for next  year will not save any money and should be rescinded."
Shredding the budget
Madigan should “get to the root of the educational malpractice the district is currently engaged in,” suggested the letter signed by LSCs from schools across the city, including Burroughs Elementary, Kelly High School, Mollison Elementary and Henson Elementary. 
“We want to know what CPS has done with our money,” said Jeanette Taylor, who sits on LSCs for Jackie Robinson High School and Mollison elementary school, calling the per-pupil budgeting “unfair”.
“CPS is asking LSC members to basically fire veteran teachers and choose who stays and who goes. This is what we say to their budget,” she said, dropping a packet of papers into a shredder. -- Sun-Times

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