Author, Dreamer, Educator: A life in service - NYPD, EMS, disabilities/UDL specialist, tech and innovation leader for education. Co-author of Timeless Learning

Neither the federal government, nor any of our states, can point to any academic measurement used that says anything of value about our children.

SpeEdChange.at.Medium

“The way we need to measure ourselves as educators,” I have told many, many people, “is by how many choices our children have when they turn 30.”

North Carolina

When I repeated that to people at MichiganFuture recently, I found myself comparing this measurement — one which at first glance seems both so difficult and out of reach — to those our governments, our graduate schools, and too many of our NGOs use.

But it is fairly straightforward to look at 30-year-olds in America, whether individually, via demographic or geographic groupings, or as a whole and ask, “Can she/he/they choose where…


SpeEdChange.at.Medium

“Cancel Culture” is one of the right wing’s big frauds right now. They claim that doubting the worship of slaveowners, racists, imperialists, and others who chose to diminish other human beings is a bad thing for white people. That is an absolute untruth. Democracies need truths, and democracies need reconciliation, and truth and reconciliation require re-appraisal and the acknowledgment of responsibility for one’s actions — now or then.

But if we want to discuss “cancel culture” with our children we have a real opportunity to explore what real cancellation looks like.

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July 9, 1776, left wing mob in New…


SpeEdChange.at.Medium

police officers outside the Capitol on January 6, one holds his head in his hands
police officers outside the Capitol on January 6, one holds his head in his hands
police officers outside the Capitol on January 6

“Officer Brian D. Sicknick died Thursday due to injuries sustained while on-duty, physically engaging with protesters at the US Capitol, a statement said.

“Sicknick, a 12-year veteran of the force, was “responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the US Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters”, Capitol Police said in a statement.” — France24

I am not a big fan of punishment. Punishments rarely prevent ‘recidivism,’ and the threat of punishment rarely discourages the illegal, the immoral, or the inappropriate. …


SpeEdChange.at.Medium

The school at the center of the NY Times podcast, Nice White Parents
The school at the center of the NY Times podcast, Nice White Parents
IS 293, “Nathan Hale Middle School,” in Brooklyn, NY. The subject of Nice White Parents, the New York Times/Serial Podcast Series.

Exclusionary “Learning Pods” are not just racist, and of course classist, let’s state the obvious, but they are also violence against children, and we must say this.

Broadband access in this nation is racist and classist and an assault on rural children and children everywhere whose parents lack resources. We must say this.

The way schools are funded, including via PTA/PTO fundraising is racist and classist and represents violence against children everywhere whose parents lack resources. We must say this.

The timeline of the series stops at the pandemic. But Ms. Joffe-Walt said the nation’s education system is at…


SpeEdChange.at.Medium

2018 Wisconsin State House of Representatives election results. Republicans get 45% of votes and 63% of seats.
2018 Wisconsin State House of Representatives election results. Republicans get 45% of votes and 63% of seats.
Wisconsin 2018, elections for State House of Representatives. Republicans received under 45% of votes, but won over 63% of seats.

“When the Framers [of the Constitution] used the word [democracy] themselves it was often a pejorative term. On the convention’s first day, delegate Edmund Randolph of Virginia warned that “none of the [state] constitutions have provided sufficient checks against democracy.” A week later, Massachusetts delegate Elbridge Gerry said “the evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy.” Father of the Constitution James Madison referred to “the inconvenience of democracy,” and Alexander Hamilton to the “imprudence” of it.” — Eric Black

America likes to perceive itself as a leader in global democracy, or at least it did before January…


SpeEdChange.at.Medium

1965 Selma March for Voting Rights

Maybe it is five years ago now, but at one of the high schools where I worked then, our most “at-risk” high school, a Language Arts teacher and a Librarian collaborated on a project about building monuments. This was even before the 2017 Charlottesville right-wing riot with its in retrospect focus on monuments and meanings. Even before our more famous version of this project.

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One of the Monument Projects from Albemarle High School

I watched one young man building the model of his monument and asked him to tell me about it. “It’s a monument to front porches,” he said — and…


SpeEdChange TLDR Long Read

Over the last dozen or so years my body has betrayed me. The physical skills that were a big part of the identity I had constructed for myself — sports, being able to build things, fix things, repair a car, wire a house…have mostly left me. Now, as I struggle to alleviate physical pain, I need to re-imagine who I am, what I am capable of, and how I will live my life. …


SpeEdChange TLDR Long Read

Let’s be clear, our educational structures and norms are every bit as at fault as the structures and norms of policing.

Things. Must. Change.

The failures of our society, of our culture, of our institutions, all on display in magnified form over the past four years, have blown up in our face.

And that can become a very good thing.

Content warning: I believe that every white American needs to watch this, preferably with VR googles on to make sure attention doesn’t stray

The dysfunction has been obvious in the way many vote, in what many…


SpeEdChange.at.Medium

The events of the past two weeks have left many, even most of us incredibly angry, incredibly determined, and, yes, incredibly confused. But if we are educators, or if we are police officers, we do not have the luxury of either time or inaction. Sometimes the call to duty is both absolutely clear and absolutely urgent, and this is one of those times.

What is truth?

Over the past two weeks we have seen a stunning increase in the obvious lies told by people in power — and since the daily count was already very high, that’s pretty horrific…


SpeEdChange.at.Medium

The obvious: it is not nearly enough to not be a racist, to be a responsible member of a democratic society one must be actively anti-racist.

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Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Is there even such a thing as being ‘not a racist’? Not a racist sounds a lot like a German in the 1930s being “not a Nazi,” or, in the United States in the 1860s being “not a slaveowner,” or being the person who watches someone on the street having a heart attack, being assaulted, being struck by a car, who doesn’t bother to call 911.

Former Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, J…

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