Archives for category: Creativity

Jeff Bryant, a veteran education journalist, writes here about the exciting promise of community schools as a meaningful reform.

Jeff writes about a parent who was reluctant to send her child to a Title 1 school. But she gave it a try and was delighted when she discovered it was a community school.

He writes:

As the 2022-2023 school year approaches, both her daughters are enrolled in Wheaton Woods, and Allen has had a change of heart about the school.

“I’m grateful now that we gave Wheaton Woods a try. I now feel we have our kids in the best school for them, and I always advocate for the school,” she said.

What helped turn around Allen’s attitude toward Wheaton Woods had much to do with a recent state-mandated Blueprint in Montgomery County and across Maryland to implement an education approach called community schools.

null

The Blueprint calls for designating schools that serve highly concentrated populations of impoverished families as “community schools” and providing these schools with extra funding and support.

The extra funding is supposed to be used to hire a health practitioner and a school-based staff person who conducts a needs assessment of the school, and based on that assessment, coordinates and manages a wide range of services—including academic, health, mental, and other services—to help address the negative impact that concentrated poverty often has on children and families.

Nineteen schools in Montgomery County, including Wheaton Woods, have been designated as community schools, according to the district’s website.

Now in its third year of implementing the approach, Wheaton Woods has poured new energy and resources to engage families more deeply in the operations of the school and respond to their needs by providing them with access to new programs and services….

After-school activities are important to Allen’s family because both she and her husband work full time. “Our daily schedules are tight,” she said.

A great deal of the school’s outreach effort is due to the work of Daysi Castro, who serves as the school’s community school coordinator called “liaisons” in Montgomery County.

“We haven’t had the opportunity to offer the services we can now give our families because we are a community school,” Castro told Our Schools.

Many of the services offered by Wheaton Woods are the result of Castro and the school forming partnerships with local nonprofits and county agencies. The Excel Beyond the Bell after-school program Allen mentioned is the result of a partnershipwith a local community organization Action in Montgomery. The school also collaborates with a local charity, the Children’s Opportunity Fund, to bring soccer, art, and Spanish language classes to students, along with the opportunity to participate in school clubs for homework and cooking classes. Other partnerships offer parents driving classes, English language classes, and food safety classes. The Montgomery County Recreation collaborates with Wheaton Woods to offer after-school activities as well

Dr. Michael Hynes is the Superintendent of Schools in Port Washington, Long Island, New York.

He writes:


My daughter Sadie has taught me more in her 9 years of life than I have learned in my past 52 years of existence. My wife Erin and I had no idea that our daughter had Down Syndrome when she was born. Sadie had to stay in the newborn intensive care unit for a few weeks and we met some of the most compassionate and amazing professionals in the world. Unfortunately, we also met others who were much better off keeping their thoughts to themselves.


I remember a doctor at the hospital telling me he was “sorry” after Sadie was born. On another occasion, a family member shared with my wife and I that “Mongoloids can be nice people.” She didn’t mean to upset us; it was her mental model about Down Syndrome. Initially, as parents we were surprised with the multitude of closed-minded comments we came across. As Sadie grew and we brought her to restaurants, stores or in public, people would stare at her longer than one should.

I’m sharing this with you not to complain; but doing so because we began to learn how the world can perceive others without knowing anything about them whatsoever, except through the lenses of their biases and assumptions. Little did they know our little Sadie has the best sense of humor and can read on grade level like here peers. She enjoys music and hanging out with her best friends like all children do. As parents, we began to advocate for more programs in her school and for the school districts we served in.


I probably should have started off this reflection by sharing both Erin and I are school Superintendent’s. She is an Assist Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and I have served as a Superintendent of Schools for the past 11 years. Here are the lessons we learned from our personal lives that now transcend to our professional ones.

  1. You never know what others are going through. I have a much deeper respect for parents who have children with autism, Down Syndrome, ADHD, OHI, etc. They have incredible stories to share, and we need to support them as much as their children.
  2. Never place limits on your child or students. Don’t accept what professionals say at face value all the time. If Erin and I listened to what some professionals believed Sadie would never be able to do, her life would be so much more unfulfilled. She is flourishing.
  3. In the education system I have served in for over 25 years, we need to remove the word “special education”. This word places a label on a child that never leaves them and carries a negative connotation with it. Yes, the children are “special”, but they are certainly not less than “typical children”. By the way I loath that phrase as well.
  4. Inclusion is important. Integration however is critical. It’s great to be included but to be fully integrated is where the secret sauce is. Separating and segregating children is not the answer. Teach them to become independent and watch them soar!

Sadie is now in 4th grade. She continues to surprise people with her intelligence, humor and at times stubbornness. We are so fortunate to have her in our lives. There are other “Sadie’s” in every school in America. Are we as school leaders doing everything in our power to make our school system more inclusive and integrated? That’s for you to answer and my hope is that you strive to make that a reality. Every child will benefit from it.

As anyone who has been reading Peter Greene’s posts over the years knows, Peter and his wife have young twins. They just turned five —and it seems like only yesterday that they were born!

Peter signed them up to receive free books from Dolly Parton’s program. Anyone is eligible, between the ages of born and five. The boys, known as Peter’s “board of directors,” have aged out of the book program.

The National Education Association named Dolly its Friend of Education for 2022, and when you read about her program, you will see why.

Currently over 700,000 children are signed up to receive a free book every month.

The quality of the books is great. Over the years we have received classics, newer books, books featuring every sort of family, every sort of kid. They are filled with wonder, kindness, beauty, excitement. This is one of the best examples of thoughtful, useful, not-trying-to-take-over-a-government function philanthropy you’ll find…

None of the rich amateurs who want to change the face of education are doing anything of this value on this scale–both intensely personal and yet broadly across the globe. I mean, imagine if Bill Gates had said, “I want to give every child a book” instead of “I want to give every child a test.”

And if there is a tiny human in your life, and they aren’t signed up, go to the program website and see if it’s operating in your neighborhood, and if so, then sign up that child.

What a fabulous, generous, powerful program. God bless Dolly Parton. We are going to miss here at this house.

Jitu Brown, civil rights leader and director of Journey for Justice, joins here with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, to support the Biden administration’s modest proposals to reform the federal Charter Schools Program. The charter lobby has vigorously opposed any reform of the program. Their article appeared in Education Week.

Charter schools have been part of the fabric of public education in the United States for decades. Like a patchwork quilt, there is a great deal of variation among them. Some have a history of improvements to student achievement, while others have been ineffective or even harmful. Some charter operators are fiscally responsible, while others have been deemed incompetent or fraudulent.

As with every public school, and every expenditure of taxpayer funds, reasonable oversight enhances the quality and accountability of charter schools. This is the goal of the Biden administration’s proposed modest changes to the federal Charter Schools Program. But some charter school proponents have responded to the proposed changes with a fierce and well-funded opposition campaign.

The charter lobby is pushing back with big TV ad buys and op-ed campaigns, claiming that the proposed regulations would “halt innovation in its tracks,” “gut the federal Charter Schools Program,” and impose a “needlessly restrictive regulatory scheme.”

In fact, President Joe Biden’s fiscal 2023 budget proposes a $440 million investment in the federal grant program for charter schools. The Biden administration is right to seek more oversight of this program. As with all federal funding, there are rules to ensure proper use of the money. One study from the advocacy group Network for Public Education found that between 2006 and 2014, $45.5 million was handed out to charter schools that never even opened.

The charter lobby is chafing at one provision in particular—the requirement for applicants for Charter Schools Program startup funds to provide a community-impact statement. For the first time, the program requires charter operators to state how their new school would impact the surrounding community. The intent is to ensure that the applicant has engaged with residents in planning for the school, that there is a need for a new charter school in the community, and that the school won’t promote racial segregation…

Every school system in America, when it considers where to build a new school, considers the proposed school’s impact on the surrounding community from which it will draw students. Charter schools should not be islands unto themselves, nor should they thrust themselves onto communities that do not want them there.

Charters that function as centers for innovation and best practices for public schools should be welcome in every community. A charter industry that advocates and benefits from the closing of traditional public schools is not welcome.

Take the example of Detroit, where between 1995 and 2016, 152 charter schools opened, contributing to the closure of 195 traditional public schools in a city that already had a declining student population. This left some neighborhoods with no public schools—traditional or charter

Responding to parents’ and communities’ needs is what many charter school operators say they are all about. Yet, this responsiveness happens less than it should. In 2017, students at Hirsch Metropolitan High School on the South Side of Chicago held a walkout protesting a proposed charter school that would be sited at their building. Parents of students at the high school complained about a lack of community engagement from the proposed charter operator. The charter school eventually found a new, nearby location and promptly obtained $840,000 in grant money from the U.S. Department of Education.

We are lifelong advocates of high-quality public schools for all students, whether those schools are charters or traditional. Schools that aspire to serve our children and communities should embrace their accountability to the public. Schools are community institutions and should not seek to destabilize other institutions in our communities. One must wonder why those seeking to open charter schools are afraid of or resistant to this reasonable transparency and engagement proposal. The proposed rules would give more students access to high-quality schools, which is what we all—charter boosters and traditional public school champions—really want for America’s children.

Tom Ultican, retired teacher of advanced mathematics and physics in California, is now a significant chronicler of the Destroy Public Education movement. He attended the recent national conference of the Network for Public Education in Philadelphia and recapitulates the excitement we shared at being in person after a 2-year hiatus.

After every conference, attendees say, “This was the best one yet.” They enjoy meeting people who are doing the same work to fight privatization of their public schools. By the end of the conference, attendees say they feel energized, hopeful, and happy to know that they are not alone.

I urge you to read Tom’s post. You will get a sense of the embarrassment of riches available to attendees.

I should add that the Nebraska Save Our Schools group shared the Phyllis Bush Award for Grassroots Activism. Nebraska is one of the few states that has managed to protect its public schools and keep out both charters and vouchers, despite being a Red State.

The Pastors for Texas Children, a co-winner of the award, has repeatedly blocked vouchers in the Texas Legislature and has consistently fought for funding for public schools. PTC has opened chapters in other Red states, where they mobilize clergy to support public schools.

A high point for me was interviewing “Little Stevie” Van Zandt, a legendary rock star and actor (“The Sopranos”), who is dedicated to getting the arts into schools, not as an extra, but across the curriculum. we had a wonderful conversation. He has funded lesson plans based on rock and roll, available free at his website TeachRock.

All of the general sessions were taped. I will post them when they become available.

I received the following statement by hundreds of Swedish teachers, protesting against the odious effects of privatization in education. They signed this post.

We teachers do not want to have it like this anymore

Published 28 Apr 2022 at 06.00

Filippa Mannerheim, high school teacher, Stockholm.

HP Tran, primary school teacher, Gothenburg.

Sara Persson, primary school teacher, Västervik.Photo: Sara Winsnes

Marcus Erhagen, high school teacher, Örebro.

Per Edberg, preschool teacher, Umeå.

We teachers demand a change. We demand that you politicians make sure to fix the institutionalized, corruption-promoting defects you yourself have built into the school system so that we teachers can focus on teaching Sweden’s children, 285 teachers write in a call against the marketized school.

This is a debate article. It is the writer who stands for the opinions in the text.

DEBATE. We who write this article do so even though we do not really have the time or energy. We write it even though it is not our job. We write it even though it should not have been needed and had not been needed in any other country than Sweden.

But as things stand now, we feel we have no choice.

We in Sweden today have large, commercial school groups that expand at the expense of the municipal school and make a profit through lower teacher density, fewer qualified teachers, fewer costly students and lower teacher salaries than municipal schools. Group schools receive permission from the Swedish Schools Inspectorate to start in municipalities even though the municipalities themselves say no and there is no need.

We do not want it like this.

Today, through the free right of establishment and the unregulated offer, a school can be opened anywhere and look any way. A teaching position can be anything for anyone. Nothing on the school grounds is regulated. Nothing is planned based on society’s needs.

We do not want it this way.

In the past, independent schools had lower school fees because the municipality must ensure that all students can go to a school close to home. The municipality can not choose the organization that is cheapest, it can independent schools. The municipality can not put students in line, it can independent schools. The municipality can not profile its schools so that some students feel that the school is not suitable for them, independent schools can. The municipality’s assignments are larger and more expensive, but the tuition fees are just as large. A majority of the Riksdag’s parties refuse to change this.

We do not want it this way.

The revolving doors between politicians and independent school companies are freshly blown and the close ties that exist between politicians, lobbyists and the business community are becoming increasingly tighter when former politicians take seats in school management or continue their careers as lobbyists.

It’s time to listen to the voters. It’s time to listen to us teachers. It is time to climb out of the school market swamp and act as elected politicians again.

Public opinion in Sweden is clearly against the private gains made in welfare and school. Nevertheless, this is not reflected in the Riksdag decisions that are made.

We do not want it this way.

School companies and large real estate companies today buy school properties so that the companies can make money at school even if politicians decide on a profit ban. They want to be able to move money from profits in school to profits in real estate companies. Instead of hiring teachers, the school fees are used for the real estate companies’ return requirements.

We do not want it this way.

We have politicians who drum up “freedom of choice” as a mantra as soon as criticism is directed at the system, but the free choice they defend is in fact the school groups, which through targeted marketing to parents with high-performing children, have the choice to only give school to the “cheapest The students. Everything is as it should be in the best of worlds, the majority of our parliamentary parties believe.

But we do not want it this way.

The Swedish school once made class trips possible. The school was good at getting the majority of students to succeed – even children without a study background. Today, Sweden has the most unequal school of all the Nordic countries. Swedish school torn apart.

Instead of a cohesive compensatory school, we now have listed company schools, groups with fake coats of arms, schools that call themselves international and that have teaching in a language other than Swedish. We have religious schools with dubious values.

We teachers do not want it like this anymore. We demand a change. We demand that you politicians make sure to remedy the institutionalized, corruption-promoting defects you yourself have built into the school system so that we teachers can focus on teaching Sweden’s children. And avoid writing articles like this in the future.

It’s time to listen to the voters. It’s time to listen to us teachers. It is time to climb out of the school market swamp and act as elected politicians again.

We teachers do not want it like this anymore.

Rolf Wallander, subject teacher years 4-6, Haninge 

Miranda Chang, F-6 teacher, Gislaved 

HP Tran, primary school teacher, Gothenburg 

Helena Tarras-Wahlberg, teacher, Ängelholm

Anna Bränström, high school teacher, Sundbyberg municipality

Maria Karlsson, high school teacher, Knivsta 

Jonas Linderoth, Professor of Pedagogy University of Gothenburg 

Pia Ennemuist, elementary school teacher, leisure educator, Värmdö 

Therese Wikström, high school teacher, Ale 

Erik Winerö, high school teacher / doctoral student educational science, Lerum

Alexander Nilsson, high school teacher, Trelleborg

Marie Pettersson, special educator, Skövde

Therese Andersson, elementary school teacher, Örebro 

teacher , Stockholm

Magnus Svensson, university lecturer, teacher educator, Eskilstuna. 

Ann-Christine Norman, upper secondary school teacher, Boden

Daniel Runhage, primary school teacher, Malmö 

Per Edberg, preschool teacher, Umeå

Filippa Mannerheim, upper secondary school teacher, Stockholm 

Anton Ek, primary school teacher. Falun

Felix Björk, music teacher student, Stockholm

Aron Ihse Trägårdh, elementary teacher student, Malmö 

Anthon Brunzell, subject teacher student, Lund

Björn Dahlman, teacher, Ekerö

Terese Crona Lindström, teacher in after-school center, Ängelholm 

Simon Kvassman, subject teacher and teacher student, Örebro

Birch Petter 

MagnusBäcklund, teacher Hörby

Jenny Winberg, teacher, Västerås

Edvin Jensen, high school teacher, Linköping 

Maria Olsson, retired high school teacher, Ale

Martin Ahlstedt, high school teacher, Gothenburg

Pernilla Wallgren, elementary school teacher, Stockholm 

Lena Karlsson Saranpää, elementary school teacher, Motala

Maja Anselius, Special educator 

, , primary school teacher, Stockholm 

Erika Tidblom, teacher, Norrköping

Magnus Dahlström, high school teacher, Malmö

Tilde Jansson, high school teacher, Stockholm 

Lena Danelius, high school teacher, Lund

Daniel Lund, high school teacher, Norrköping

Rasmus Hardeström, teacher, Linköping

Maria Hals, high school teacher, Danderyd

Joel Larsson, High school, Danderyd

Maria Jarlsdotte r former principal, Ängelholm 

Per Johansson, high school teacher, Ängelholm

Karl Engqvist, primary school teacher, Arvika. 

Olof Persson, High school teacher, Strömsund

Lotta Lindvall, preschool teacher in preschool class, Motala

Birgitta Hultkrantz, Municipal adult teacher Stockholm

Jonas Hemström, deputy principal, Stockholm

Andreas Olofsson, high school teacher, Ljungby 

Petter Cronberg, teacher, Nyhamnsläge

, elementary school teacher, elementary school

NyborgDanderyd

Kristina Lundin, high school teacher, Köping

Ulla Åkerström, leg. teachers who left school, Gothenburg

Johanna Verme, high school teacher student, Lerum

Jesper Berglund, high school teacher, Gothenburg

Lisa Göland, high school teacher, Linköping

Petra Särnhammar, school librarian and high school teacher, Linköping

Linda Odén, high school teacher, Gråbo

Lars Ljunggren, high school teacher, Falun

Åsa Tadell, high school teacher

Maria Gustavson, teacher, Västerås 

Fredrik Sandström, teacher, Arboga

Tom Bergström, vocational teacher, Sala 

Petra Lindström, teacher, Gnesta

Pontus Bierich, Teacher, Kungälv

Linnea Argårds, teacher, Örebro

Martin Viklund, teacher, Hudiksvall

Gunnar Wike, primary school teacher, Västerås

Anders Törnlund , teacher, Huddinge

Jan Kjellin, preschool teacher, Falun

Fredrik Björkman, high school teacher, Malmö

Elisabeth Ahrent, teacher Simrishamn

Johan Carlsson, high school teacher, Upplands Väsby 

Fredrik Törnqvist, high school teacher, Stockholm

Magnus Almström, high school teacher, Borås

Helena Edvardsson, elementary school teacher, Gothenburg

Christoffer Eriksson, high school teacher , Uppsala

Kari Nilsson, teacher, Malmö 

Elin Persson, after-school center teacher, Danderyd

Anna Östman, primary school teacher, Huddinge

Rickard Himre, upper secondary school teacher, Stockholm  

Fredrik Clausson, upper secondary school teacher, Lund

Nils Rickdorff Lahrin, upper secondary school teacher, Uppsala 

Björn Johannesson, primary school teacher, Gothenburg

Maryna Grip, primary school teacher, Söderhamn

Jan Magnusson,

Lotta Gedik-Cederberg, primary school teacher, Malmö

Jenny Vide, primary school teacher, Uppsala

Mathias Israelsson, primary school teacher, Gothenburg

Lilian Birath, high school teacher, Svedala 

Anna Heimer, preschool teacher, Partille

Patrik Unné, special educator 

Margareta Melin, primary school teacher, Kungälv

Jonas Fried, Gothenburg primary school

teacher , elementary school teacher, Ryd

Sara Persson, elementary school teacher, Västervik 

Maria Himre, high school teacher, Stockholm

Marie Karlsson, elementary school teacher, Svedala

Olof Loklint, elementary school teacher, Västerås 

Niclas Djupström, high school teacher, Skövde

Gunnel Alm, high school teacher, Norrköping

Bodil Ejwertz, teacher, Tylyl

, teacher , Sundbyberg

Helen a Svanängen, university lecturer, Jönköping

Isabella Åkerlund, teacher, Karlstad

Maria Hilber, preschool teacher, Huddinge

Isabella Verner, high school teacher, Stockholm

Malin Ahlgren, high school teacher, Stockholm

Elinor Löfstaf, teacher, Västerås 

Peter Sjöde IDH teacher Jönköping

Svensson Gothenburg

MånsPettersson, high school teacher, Stockholm 

Anders Lindborg, high school teacher Varberg

Karin Berg, high school teacher, Gothenburg 

Peter Alm, high school teacher, Uppsala 

Marina Nordin, teacher, Stockholm 

Calle Andén, primary school teacher, Gotland

Niclas Ländin, deputy principal, Sollentuna 

Hedvig Bolmgren, special teacher / special educator,

Östhammar Rosenberg, primary school teacher, Klippan 

Fredrik Hornegård, teacher, Stockholm 

EwaLiz Larsson, primary school teacher, Karlskrona 

Tobias Nilsson, special teacher, Lund 

Anna Nylander, high school teacher, Lysekil. 

Marika Lindholm, teacher, former. principal, Stockholm

Emma Sjödin, high school teacher, Stockholm 

Shpetim Ademi, high school teacher, Kristianstad. 

Johanna Andersson, high school teacher, Malmö

Bernt Andersson, leg. teacher of music and English, SiS in Lidköping

Magnus Karlberg Teacher / leisure educator Stockholm

Ellinor Brantås, elementary school teacher, Järfälla 

Johanna Ramstedt, elementary school teacher, Stockholm

Linda Bäckström, high school teacher, Gothenburg

Niklas Aronsson, high school teacher Gothenburg

Hjalmar Holgersson, high school teacher, Gothenburg

Pelle Flemark, high school 

Eva Söderberg, certified teacher of handicrafts / Swedish, Gothenburg

Kedikova, high school teacher, Norrköping

Anna Lundin, music teacher, Västerås 

Helene Johansson, elementary / high school teacher, Uddevalla 

Jakob Winnberg, high school teacher, Växjö

Solveig Ivarsson, elementary school teacher, Svenljunga

Jan Gustavsson, Norrman Lotman,

Zumi, elementary school teacher, Ulricehamn 

Anna Klingström, high school teacher, Sala

Fredrik Månsson, high school teacher, Norrköping

Christina W. Källström, high school teacher, Katrineholm

Emma Solum Holst, high school teacher, Borlänge 

Alexandra Georgieva, elementary school teacher, Gothenburg

Carina Lindström, music teacher in elementary school, 

Södertarje high school Lina teacher, Stockholm

Helena Wessel, school secretary former high school teacher, Stockholm

Katarina Hjärpe, school librarian, Malmö 

Mattias Forsberg, high school teacher, Arvika

Henrik Estvik, high school teacher, Stockholm

Maria Ruukel, elementary school teacher, Valdemarsvik 

Åsa Andersson, elementary school teacher, Västerås

Jonathan Wikström, elementary school teacher,

L primary school teacher, Stockholm

Staffan Lindström, music teacher in primary school, Södertälje

Carin Hammarström, teacher, Malmö

Hans-Uno Karlsson, retired primary school teacher, Hajom

Jennie Gudmundsson, leg. teacher ma / bi 7–9, Ängelholm

Ragnar Suneson retired language teacher 7–9, Tranås

Cecilia Ekdahl Schewenius, subject teacher / assistant professor, Kungshamn 

Jan Wärmegård, primary school teacher, Stockholm

Cecilia F. Kroon, teacher, Staffanstorp 

Gunilla Martinsson, teacher Falkenberg

Maria Henriksson, language teacher Mora 

Anna Liljekvist, teacher, Nacka

Cecilia Svensson, teacher F-3, Sundsvall 

Inga-Lill Lagerlöf, retired teacher, Tierp

Hanna Wallinder, teacher, Malmö 

Helén Enqvist, language teacher years 6–9, Botkyrka 

Annette Säterberg, high school teacher, Kungsbacka

Ingemar Abrahamsson, handicraft teacher, Gothenburg

Lotta Carlson, subject teacher Ma / No, Kungsbacka 

Carola Svensson, adult teacher, Norrköping

Marie Wislander, teacher, Tjörn

Maria Jansson, special teacher, Stockholm

Jonny Wester, music teacher, Hylte 

Miriam Järlebark, teacher SFI, Örebro

Film Katja 

Roselli Åsell, teacher, Hofors

Jan Gustavsson, Municipal adult teacher, Norrköping

Helen Egardt, high school teacher, Lidingö

Thomas Bergström, high school teacher Ludvika

Mikael Winblad, teacher e, Strängnäs

Ann-Sofie Johansson, high school teacher, Västerås 

Pia Brodersen, special educator, Stockholm

Ulla Sunden, teacher, Gothenburg

Mirjam Cameron Sedwall, teacher, Stockholm

Linda Söderberg, teacher, Timrå 

Robert Warrebäck, teacher, Stockholm

Jenny Vad-Schütt, teacher, Täby 

Johan Thorssell, high school teacher, Gothenburg 

Cecilia Rosenqvist, subject teacher, Simrishamn

Rebecka Beijer, high school teacher, Eskilstuna

Jaana Vilén, special teacher, Karlskoga

Carola Sjöstrand, teacher, Jönköping

Elisabeth Broman, former elementary school teacher, Österåker

Sabina Granstrand, teacher Frida, Samstad

4-6 Gothenburg

Louise Halldin, high school teacher, Gothenburg

Birgitta Jensen, deputy principal, Emmaboda

Pia Thomasson, 7 – 9 teachers, Ängelholm

Sanna Dabolins, high school teacher, Gothenburg 

Linda Gunnarsson, teacher, Härryda 

Bengt Johansson, teacher, Nacka 

Malin Hökby, high school teacher, Nacka 

Anna Näslund War, primary school teacher 4–6, Karlskrona

Ingela Bursjöö, teacher, Gothenburg

Hasse Annerbo, primary school teacher 1–7 Falun 

Åsa Hartzell, upper secondary school teacher, Stockholm

Jessica Andersson Sjöstrand, upper secondary school teacher, Växjö 

Marie Rehnström, middle school teacher, Härryda

Johanna Stigmark, SFI teacher, Södertälje

Maria Knutsson-Torvaldsen, primary school teacher, Ockelbo 

Frida Lotfi, upper secondary school teacher, Danderyd

Kenneth Pilström, retired teacher, Kil

Anders teacher, Norrköping

Cecilia Rehnqvist, teacher, Malmö 

Petter Träff, high school teacher, Malmö

Maria Trulsson, teacher, Gothenburg

Kristina Broberg, elementary school teacher, Uddevalla

Nilla Wikberg, special educator, Uppsala

Elin Jonasson, teacher student, Mönsterås

Robert Alexandersson, middle school teacher, Kristinehamn

high school teacher Micke Hjalmarsson Motala

David Reljanovic, high school teacher, Borås

Edith Marelli, high school teacher, Malmö

Sophia Ivanovic, teacher Nässjö

Robert Svensson, teacher Trollhättan

Sara Berggren, teacher, Sundsvall 

Nicklas Ivarsson, teacher, Trelleborg

Per Olov Nordin, philosophy Master, retired, Söderhamn

Susanne Lindgren, speci Luleå

Anna Svensson, high school e-teacher, Skara

Magdalena Gyllenlood, high school teacher, Nacka

Marie Sandström, high school teacher, Vara

Maria Sköld, teacher, Haninge

Amanda Terlevic, high school teacher, Gothenburg

Kerstin Meurling, teacher, Kulturskolan, Sundsvall

Maria L. Persson, teacher, Varberg

Susanne Lärkeryd, teacher,

Skellefte Utter, upper secondary school teacher, Gothenburg

Elin Bergström, leisure teacher, Sundsvall 

Nicolas Micic, teacher, Huddinge

Jennie Frisk, primary school teacher, Uppsala 

Åsa Fondin, special teacher, Landskrona

Stina Carlsson, primary school teacher ma / NO 1-7, Dalsed

Johanna Leinås, teacher, Täby 

Christer Hällkvist, high school teacher, Linköping 

Susan Persson-Payne, teacher, Eskilstuna

Jenny Svensson, high school teacher, Halmstad

Johan Fransson, high school teacher, Linköping

Staffan Melin, primary school teacher, Gothenburg

Karin Wilsson, principal, Mark municipality

Majlis Seppänen, teacher, Boden

Niclas Skott, teacher, Gothenburg

Anton Svensson , teacher, Växjö

Klas Holmgren, teacher, Borlänge

My Landberg, teacher, Järfälla

Joakim Lindström, teacher, Huddinge

Josefine Forsberg, primary school teacher, Umeå

Kerstin Rödén, special educator, Östersund

Helena Eidenson, primary school teacher, Sigtuna

Rolf Back, mathematics teacher, Falun

Lars Persson, technology teacher, Sölvesborg

Ola Lindholm, teacher, Karlstad

Marcus Erhagen, high school teacher, Örebro

Göteborg Hjertén, teacher 

Finnhigh school teacher, Uppsala

Jenny Dahlin, high school teacher, Mark municipality

Eva Almestad, preschool teacher, Sundsvall

Olof Dahl, fil. dr, high school teacher, Mölndal

Åsa Marmebro, teacher, Kungälv

Ulrihca Malmberg, high school teacher, Stockholm

Sara Fransson, high school teacher, Huddinge 

Debora Påhlsson, teacher, Båstad 

Birgitta Olsson, teacher, Karlskrona

Karin Linderyd, high school teacher, Motala 

On Saturday, I went to a matinee of “The Music Man” on Broadway. Before entering, every person had to prove that they were fully vaccinated. Everyone in the audience wore masks.

We are used to that now.

What we are not used to yet is seeing a full Broadway musical, in all its glory, with a huge and very talented cast, wonderful sets and staging, and a large orchestra.

Sutton Foster as Marian the Librarian was excellent, as was Hugh Jackman as Professor Harold Hill.

The audience was ecstatic, applauding everything and everybody, every dance number and song.

Make plans to visit NYC in the spring or summer and book tickets well in advance. I promise you a delightful event.

Broadway is the beating heart of New York City, and Broadway is back!

Governor Youngkin invited parents to report the names of teachers who are violating the state’s vague and ill-defined law banning the teaching of “divisive concepts,” critical race theory, and anything else any parents object to.

Peter Greene describes the creative responses of respondents. Responses to an email address can come from anywhere, not just Virginia. You too can write to Youngkin’s Stasi.

Anyone can send their reports to the tip line email:

helpeducation@governor.virginia.gov

Greene writes:

But of course you know what else happened next. The tip line has apparently been hit with a variety of reports, like a complaint that Albus Dumbledor “was teaching that full blooded wizards discriminated against mudbloods.” Some of this has been goaded on Twitter by folks like human rights lawyer Qasim Rasgid. And John Legend correctly pointed out that under the guidelines of the decree, Black parents could legitimately complain about Black history being silenced (because, as sometimes escapes the notice of anti-CRT warriors, some parents are Black). Ditto for LGBTQ parents.

Greene also includes a useful list of questions to answer if you write the Governor: like, “who was your favorite teacher and what did they teach?”

The Washington Post published a story about a teacher-librarian who launched a community tradition of feeding children and families during the Christmas holidays.

Elementary schoolteacher Turquoise LeJeune Parker was a few days away from the start of her holiday vacation when she received a text message from the mother of one of her second-grade students.

The parent wondered if Parker knew where she could find food for her children during the school’s two-week winter break because her refrigerator and pantry were almost empty. Her kids relied on free school breakfasts and lunches to get them through the day.

Parker, now a library teacher for 387 students at Lakewood Elementary School in Durham, N.C., said she felt like crying on that phone call six years ago.
“This mom told me she wasn’t worried about herself, but she couldn’t let her kids go without food for those two weeks,” she recalled. “I told my husband about it, and we knew we had to do something.”

Parker and her husband, Donald Parker, a carpenter, immediately went out to shop for groceries for the woman and her family, but then they thought about all the other families.

“If one parent was going into the holiday break with no food in the house, we knew there must be others,” said Turquoise Parker, 34.

Although the Durham Public Schools district regularly worked with a nonprofit to provide food-insecure families with weekend groceries, the program couldn’t serve every child, she said.
On Dec. 14, 2015, Parker decided to text everyone she knew asking for donations to buy enough holiday groceries for all 22 students in her class at the time.

“I’m trying to send each of my 22 students home with a bag of non-perishables to help their families with them being out for Christmas break,” she wrote. “If you know anyone wanting to donate, let me know! I’ll go pick it up!”

Within a couple of days, she had $500.
“It really took off and made such an impact for these families that I knew I had to keep going,” Parker said. “Food is something that no one can do without. It’s not only a basic human need, it’s a human right.”

The second year, she said she raised $1,000 and the program grew from there. Last year, more than $55,000 came in.

This year, from Dec. 8 to 11, Parker and a group of 70 volunteers once again bagged groceries to send home with students at the beginning of their winter break.

This time, $106,000 was raised through fundraisers, a charitable foundation and social media. It was enough to help every child at 12 elementary schools in her school district, said Parker, noting that about half of the district’s students qualify for free or low-cost school lunches.
About 5,200 students took home bags filled with a two-week supply of cereal, bread, peanut butter, pasta, granola bars, oatmeal, beans, mac ‘n’ cheese, canned chicken, fruit and vegetables, she said. The groceries were ordered online this year at Costco and delivered to the gym at Lakewood Elementary.

Parker said she named the project “Mrs. Parker’s Professors’ Foodraiser,” because she considers all of her students to be “little professors.”

“I’m a part of their family now and they’re a part of mine,” she said. “We’re all learning together. They help me as much as I help them…”

Parker is relieved that the program now helps thousands more students, and it runs with the dedication of many volunteers.

During her first year of raising funds to feed about two dozen students, she heard from Durham attorney T. Greg Doucette, who asked how he could help. Doucette now pitches in to help coordinate the project every year, she said.

“This has become a community effort — not mine alone — and that’s how it should be,” Parker said.
Doucette said that when he first signed on to help, he didn’t anticipate that bagging groceries would become a recurring project. But when he learned about food insecurity in his community, he wanted to do something to lessen the need, he said
….

Her mother, Marian Thompson, was a single mom with three children who got a doctoral degree in education and worked for 43 years as a teacher and school counselor, she said.

“Oh, my gosh, did she ever inspire me,” said Parker, noting that she often accompanied her mother to work as a preschooler.

“I saw everything she did for kids at school, and from age 4, I also wanted to become a schoolteacher,” she said. “At home, I’d line up all of my teddy bears and baby dolls and teach them.”
After she graduated from North Carolina Central University in 2010 with a degree in public administration, she took her first teaching job at Estes Hills Elementary School. Since 2019, she’s been the library teacher at Lakewood Elementary, although she prefers to call herself a social justice teacher, she said.

“Food inequality is systemic and that’s not okay,” Parker said. “Giving children food for their Christmas break is not a lavish thing — this is food we’re talking about. The well-being of our community is directly related to the well-being of our children. We have to fight for each other.”
It’s a lesson she has thought about often since giving birth to her first child, Madame, four months ago, she said.

If you don’t know the work of Jitu Brown, this is a good time to inform yourself. Jitu Brown has worked for many years as a grassroots organizer in Chicago. He wants families and communities to be able to advocate for themselves, and he trains them to do it. He ardently opposes school closings and privatization, methods of ”reform” that are imposed on communities of color by the powerful. He led the successful hunger strike that blocked the closing of the Walter S. Dyett High School, forcing Mayor Rahm Emanuel to rescind the closing and to reopen the refurbished high school. Out of his work in Chicago, Brown led the creation of the Journey for Justice Alliance, which has chapters in 36 cities. J4J strongly supports the establishment of community schools that meet the needs of communities and build networks of families and communities.

MEDIA ADVISORY TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7TH 10:00 AM ET


AFT’S RANDI WEINGARTEN, NEA’S BECKY PRINGLE, U.S. SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, CONGRESSMAN BOWMAN (NY-16), JOURNEY FOR JUSTICE’S JITU BROWN TO JOIN EDUCATION EQUITY COALITION AT PRESS CONFERENCE TO ANNOUNCE NEW COALITION


National Leaders Back ‘Equity or Else’ Campaign and
Push for Biden Budget Initiative: $440 Million for Community Schools


(WASHINGTON, D.C) – On Tuesday, December 7, 10 a.m. ET, the American Federation of Teachers president, Randi Weingarten; National Education Association president, Becky Pringle; U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD; Congressman Jamaal Bowman, NY-16; Journey for Justice Alliance national director, Jitu Brown; and Schott Foundation for Public Education president, Dr. John Jackson will join national justice and education union leaders to hold a press conference in support of the “Equity or Else” campaign to announce a brand new commission, and amplify its strong support for President Biden’s education budget which will announce a groundbreaking increase of 41 percent for school funding in his proposed FY2022 budget. This Equity Commission will engage municipalities and the federal government to inform government officials at every level on how to create investments and policies that transform quality of life for all Americans, with a focus on equity.


Journey for Justice sits at the helm of the coalition that has been pivotal in shaping President Biden’s agenda on education, especially around community schools. The Equity or Else campaign is a coalition of leaders and organizers from different quality-of-life areas, including education, housing, health care, environment/climate justice, youth investment and food production and delivery, to promote education on how inequity impacts these areas and the grassroots solutions they have organized.

The coalition includes: The Alliance for Educational Justice, The Center for Popular Democracy, National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression, Dignity in Schools Campaign, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, Appetite for Change, Clean Water Action, White Coats for Black Lives, National Nurses United and Black Lives Matter at School.


WHAT: News Conference with National Education and Justice Leaders on President Biden’s Budget Proposal and Brand New Equity or Else Commission


WHO:
● U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD
● Congressman Jamaal Bowman, NY-16
● Becky Pringle, president, National Education Association
● Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers
● Dr. John Jackson, president, Schott Foundation for Public Education
● Jitu Brown, national director, Journey for Justice Alliance
● Zakiyah Ansari, Alliance for Quality Education, state advocacy director
***

PLEASE EMAIL MAYA.HIXSON@GMAIL.COM TO RSVP*** WHEN: 10:00 AM ET, Tuesday, December 7, 2021

WHERE: The National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC (Vax card or Negative COVID Test Required)


Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/J4JAlliance

FURTHER BACKGROUND: The Schott Foundation’s national Opportunity to Learn Network, in partnership with the Journey for Justice Alliance’s Equity or Else project, is launching a nationwide campaign to reverse the trend of privatizing public schools and in its place implement its proven plan for reimagining an education system that has long neglected Black and brown children and starved their schools of resources.

Bolstered by a newly created Grassroots Equity Commission, Equity or Else has come to Washington to back the Biden administration’s budget, which would double the Title I funding that targets low-income schools and, for the first time, allocate $440 million for sustainable community schools. The commission, formed by Schott with J4J, will engage local and federal government in exploring how institutions engage Black, brown and working-class families.


Intent upon getting true equity in education for children of color and reversing the runaway school-privatization trend abetted by Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education secretary, grassroots members of campaign organizations will also meet with key senators and with current Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.


The time is ripe for reimagining public education. The Biden administration is committed to allocating critically needed new resources for the task. Congress has shown itself willing and able to provide those resources. The conviction of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers has amplified the discussion of what equity actually means. The pandemic has highlighted the stark inequity that afflicts children of color. And those who have been left behind are raising their voices to demand the rooting out of systemic racism in every institution, including: schools, hospitals, healthcare, food production and delivery systems and public safety.


The Schott Foundation’s Loving Cities index assesses how these institutions function in Black, brown and working-class communities. Equity or Else is founded on the proposition that this reimagining of policy must be guided by the voices of those who have been most deeply affected by inequity. We have come together and are finding solutions that meet our needs.

Equity or Else is doing listening projects with people in underserved communities across the country. The Equity Commission will engage officials from municipalities and the federal government to explore how those foundational institutions in those communitIes can be reimagined, with a focus on equity. By using data from all these sources, the commission will be able to inform government officials at every level on how to create equitable investments and policies to transform quality of life for all Americans.


The following national organizations are participating in the overall Equity or Else campaign: The Alliance for Educational Justice, The Center for Popular Democracy, National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression, Dignity in Schools Campaign, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, Appetite for Change, Alliance for Education Justice, Clean Water Action, White Coats for Black Lives, National Nurses United and Black Lives Matter at School. For more information go to http://www.standing4equity.org

Founded in 2012, the Journey for Justice Alliance (J4J) is a national network of intergenerational, grassroots community organizations led primarily by Black and Brown people in 36 U.S. cities. For more information go to www.j4jalliance.com.


FOR MORE INFORMATION: MAYA HIXSON
321.266.2000 MAYA.HIXSON@GMAIL.COM
LAURIE GLENN
773.704.7246 LRGLENN@THINKINCSTRATEGY.COM

#