Random thoughts on specific things

Parenting begins before even pregnancy!

When I read an article in the Sunday, September 17, 2023 NYTimes, “The Explosive Rise of Single-Parent Families Is Not a Good Thing,” by University of Maryland professor Melissa Kearney, I found myself nodding my head in agreement. Children from two parent households have far better odds of being successful students than kids from single parent homes. Please note that there is no judgment in this observation. Dr. Kearney does a great job of citing […]

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Point Based Grading Systems are Often Unfair!

Years ago while I was still in the classroom, I used a point system for grading that many folks will be familiar with.  100-90=A; 89-80=B; and so on until a 59 where a student scored a failing (F) grade.  Like many of my peers, I also recorded the exact grade a student “earned.”  Meaning if a student scored a 35 on a test or essay, that is what I recorded and then used in calculating

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LGBTQ and Inclusivity

This week NPR aired a story about a student newspaper in Grand Island, Nebraska that was shut down because students published articles under the names they chose for themselves rather than their birth names. According to the article, using a byline of their own choosing was somehow “controversial.” Per the report, neither the superintendent, board president, nor the school’s principal would provide comment on the story. I feel sorry for the folks in Grand Island

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Teacher Shortage Causes

What’s the Deal with the Shortage of Teachers Nationwide? Schools across the U.S. are facing tremendous challenges in filling teacher vacancies.  There is little doubt that there will be children in classrooms across the United States who will begin the school year without a teacher in place in their classroom(s) or with teachers who have been placed in subjects outside their area of certification, or even with folks placed in the classroom because no one

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White guilt

While driving back to the U.P. from a meeting in Lansing last week, I tuned into a radio station on which there was a discussion of replacement theory. During the discussion a commentator defended Tucker Carlson and Fox News from having any responsibility for the recent murder of Black Americans in Buffalo by a racist, white supremacist who was influenced by the awful lies and dangerous conspiracies often spun by Mr. Tucker on his Fox

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My relatives replaced Americans

I am only the second generation American citizen on my grandfather’s side of the family. My grandfather came through Ellis Island, where they changed his first name for him to Louis. My grandfather’s family was poor and my great-grandfather moved his children to America one by one whenever he had saved enough money to do so. My grandfather knew no English on arrival and had little schooling. He became a tool and die maker by

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School Tragedies

Very tragically a middle school student in an Upper Peninsula school brought a gun to school, carried it with him and in the middle of the day used the gun to commit suicide. What happened next was predictable, an outpouring of shared shock and grief as well as condolences for the family, school, and community. Next will come the finger pointing. Some will ask, “How could a someone bring a gun to school, carry it

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Declining Population in the U.P. and Politicians

Communities with declining and aging populations face challenging futures. In order to thrive and grow, communities rely on attracting and retaining families with or planning to have children. Economic opportunities follow growth as well. Families are important drivers of consumption; families provide employers with a working age supply of employees. In this important election year, voters should demand that politicians seeking office tell us their plans for reversing the trend of the Upper Peninsula’s declining

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Parental Education Rights and Wrong Models

Republicans in state chambers have taken to trying to pass parental education rights bills that give parents the right to direct the education of their children. These bills seek to move the determination of what kids should learn and how they should learn it away from schools and society and over to parents through assertions of their rights. In addition to placing education’s and society’s needs and goals for individuals to the side, the often

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The Resurgence of White Hate

It is long past time to accurately label the GOP as the party of white hatred. New laws discriminating against LGBTQ folks are just the latest step demonstrating that the GOP has decided that fear and hatred of anyone who is not straight and white are their brands and their best way to success in elections. This fall Americans will not be faced with a choice between Democrats and Republicans, they will instead be faced

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