Thursday, November 16, 2017

New Teachers & the NEA

For years teachers have paid their dues to local, state and federal professional associations. Among those agencies is the NEA (the National Education Assn.). Their commitment to education is critical and their voice is needed relative to promoting 'best' practices and keeping teachers abreast of various programs and ideas that impact the classroom.

I can think of no better way for the NEA to impact the classroom than to invest funds directly into high school programs that initiate classes to train the next generation of teachers. There are a scant number of these in the country and they are not only beneficial in terms of getting kids interested in a career of teaching but many of them have been successful in terms of seeing those students go on to classroom teaching after college.

The NEA owes it to the profession of teaching to do all it can to engage today's high school students to be the next generation of teachers.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Like any occupation (notice I didn't say job) talented people are to be prized and sought out. When it comes to the teaching profession, as many more retire, the call to join the ranks couldn't be more urgent.

Of course, just how does our nation/society make sure we have the right people and the quantity needed to make a difference in the nation's classrooms?

Those who toil day in and day out, who model what it means to be an effective and caring teacher, are surely one of the answers to the dilemma of this current and growing teacher shortage. Beyond this critical factor it is obvious that more needs to be done. High schools should and must offer a course(s) in teacher preparation. Where these programs currently exist there are a great number of students who go on to major in education in college and join the teacher ranks.

To all the high school staff and administrators out there...add an Introduction to Teaching course to the curriculum. Time is of the essence.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Keep it Simple...

You've heard the expression, 'Keep it Simple Stupid.' Well, that applies to a good deal that ought to apply to education!!! Essentially putting, for the lack of a better term, analytics into education makes no sense at all. Many schools are now using so called formula's or analytics for evaluating everyone from teachers to administrators.

Look, teachers are hired to teach and assess students. They don't need some concocted means of assessment by an outside agency.    There are plenty of good professionals within the school building to meet the requirements of student assessment.   The same goes for bringing in a group or business with a model for assessing teachers and administrators.    Again, the building has enough top professionals who can best determine how to evaluate staff.

Like I said, keep it simple...


Monday, November 13, 2017

Schools Count Appreciation Dinner

You need not be a volunteer or donor to be a part of our 'Appreciation Dinner' which is coming up in just one week! To learn more about the work of our charity with respect to helping schools please feel free to join us. This is a wonderful meal (free of course), time to meet generous donors/volunteers and an opportunity to meet many of the people we work with in the Chicago area.

Just shoot me an email ( with the name(s) of those attending and I'll be sure to make a reservation for you.

The 'Appreciation Dinner' will be held at the Hinsdale Community House (corner of Madison and 8th Streets in Hinsdale) on Monday, November 20th commencing at 6:30 pm. You are bound to enjoy the food, people and the music played by member of the Medgar Evers Band, a band which we largely supported this past year.

Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you!


Thursday, October 26, 2017

More DeVos

As if it wasn't bad enough that Education Secretary DeVos chose to do away with 72 protections for children with disabilities one shouldn't disregard her other efforts to harm or perhaps even dismantle public education. Secretary DeVos has made it clear that nothing is off the table.

Earlier this year, under her leadership and approval, the department did away with many protections of civil rights violations in public schools and universities. In short, the potential victims of alleged crimes were denied various protections. That should make students and parents nervous as hell.

Prior to leading the Dept. of Education Ms. DeVos was busy in Michigan doing her best to reduce the role of unions in schools. It shouldn't be lost on anyone that the legislature of the state has essentially ended the pensions of its teachers.

Make no mistake about it, Ms. DeVos record with respect to enhancing and improving public education leaves a great deal to be desired.

And what will come of it? My guess is that our nations public school teachers don't have the time to deal with this lady as they are too busy doing their best in the classroom.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wrecking Ball

The United States Department of Education, under Betsy DeVos, recently rescinded 72 policy documents that outlined the rights of students with disabilities. The Office of Special Educcation and Rehabilitation Services, within the Dept. of Ed., said that the documents were dropped because they were either "oudated, unnecessary or ineffective. To this I say... then update them or make them more effective!

Elizabeth Hill, a spokesperson for Secretary DeVos remarked "Students with disabilities and their advocates will see NO impact on services provided."

From my vantage point it seems both alarming and confusing that ALL 72 policy documents are suddenly not needed. All 72? You mean that not even one of these Bush and Obama era provisions isn't needed? That's difficult to fathom! It was hard enough to get the legislation passed and adhered to in the first place and now this almost overnight dismantling?!

It is difficult to keep up with the cutting in the Dept. of Education that has helped children and it's even more difficult to imagine the impact that is about to take place.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Teacher Effectiveness

The true value of a teacher, at any level in any type of education setting, can never be measured. For all of the so called state and local ways of evaluating teachers, one thing remains unchanged and that is that effective teaching has at its core teacher persoanl qualities.

Teachers who genuinely display compassion, the ability to relate to students, kindness, thoughtfulness, caring, empathy, a sense of humor and being approachable are those who can inspire students to learn. The very best teachers demonstrate their concern for the growth of their students.

The above isn't a complete list, by any means, of those attributes of successful teachers but they are part of the core of what makes one a memorable and effective instructor.

I long for the day that people in all walks of life stop thinking that meauring the quality of a teacher is merely a matter of some type of prescriptive formula.


Girls Singing at IMN

Classes Singing at IMN

IMN School Opens

Driving into Port Au Prince

IMN School Welcome

Tour of IMN School

IMN School