Sunday, May 05, 2013

Book news: copyright and censorship in Michigan

Heard this on NPR on my way to class yesterday: To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee is forced to sue to re-acquire the copyright to her own work. And, Michigan parent Gail Horalek is censoring trying to control what children other than her own can read.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Hero Teachers of Newtown « Diane Ravitch's blog

The Hero Teachers of Newtown « Diane Ravitch's blog

From esteemed education researcher Diane Ravitch, on the Newtown shooting, regarding the recent anti-union initiative from Connecticut governor Dan Malloy.
"Let us hope Governor Malloy learned something these past few days about the role of public schools in their communities."
For many educators, it's far more than a 9-month, 7-hour day. But the politicians are the experts on what ails schools, and how to solve the dilemmas.

Friday, October 05, 2012

How to Fix the Schools - NYTimes.com

How to Fix the Schools - NYTimes.com 
In light of a recent faculty meeting on new evaluation procedures in my building -- and the not-so-subtly implied threat that they carry -- I was speaking with some colleagues and it's apparent that many of the teachers are feeling similarly, that there's a disconnect in the ways that we conduct our jobs. Teachers recognize the resulting mood swings that can occur when one considers all for which we are responsible in the classroom, but especially now when combined with the almost dehumanizing evaluation criteria (and I don't use that term loosely, it's carefully considered: we're robots now, fulfilling evaluation criteria and explicitly charged with leading these students to achievement on standardized tests). With this short Op/Ed piece by Joe Nocera of the New York Times, we realize that there are education researchers that understand our jobs and our challenges far better than the politicians that ultimately guide our careers. What is striking and bears repeating is what Nocera articulated on the current climate of working in schools, speaking from the perspective of school leadership:
It is not possible to make progress with your students if you are at war with your teachers.

So, the discussion could end with that sentiment, as it illuminates facts that we teachers may already understand ourselves, that we are in uncertain, anxious times. Yet it bears mentioning that despite the tone and our resulting mood and morale, teachers collectively understand that we are now essentially reduced to service employees, and anything that we offer over and above that service is what separates us and makes the experience in schools beneficial to our students.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

MSU Ed.D. Program - Cohort 1

Cohort 1 - MSU Ed. D Program
Saturday was the first day of MSU's newly-created Doctorate in Educational Leadership program, pictured at right are my classmates. There was an introductory portion, then we plunged right into the discussion of the week's reading -- Public Goods, Private Goods: The American Struggle over Educational Goals -- by former MSU and current Stanford professor David Labaree. Public Good, Private Goods provides a good primer on the history of education in the United States, then Labaree spends the majority of the paper on the three goals of American education, in his view: democratic equality, social efficiency, and social mobility.

A luncheon followed the morning session, and it was nice to become reacquainted with the cohort, and welcome the new members.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Alison Bechdel's Sad, Funny, Sprawling Graphic Memoir - Shauna Miller - Entertainment - The Atlantic

If I were still in the library, this may be a book to consider adding to our graphic novel collection, but it certainly also seems to fit my current, sociology curriculum.
"...at the very beginning, everyone was dependent on a woman."

Monday, January 09, 2012

Milwaukee Public Library's Brilliant Ad Campaign To Get People Reading More Books

I don't post to the GLHSLibrary blog much anymore, since I'm not encountering library news as much considering my new (nonlibrary) role. But I came across this inventive advertising campaign for libraries and books.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Returned to Aussie Library 122 Years Late

I have heard of books overdue from the immediate past century, but not from the 19th century. And a first edition Charles Darwin, no less.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Shanker Blog » The High Cost Of Closing Public Libraries

An article from the Shanker Blog, "The voice of the Albert Shanker Institute,"..."a nonprofit organization established in 1998 to honor the life and legacy of the late president of the American Federation of Teachers" comes this statistical celebration of the positives of (public) libraries. Notably, the author concludes with
But what really bothers me about the wave of library closings has very little to do with their economic benefits. Closing libraries – there is no other way to put this – is a symptom of societal decay. Libraries are a symbol of functional democracy and informed citizens – and, indeed, of an enlightened people. Many of our nation’s most celebrated figures, from Benjamin Banneker and Abigail Adams to Abraham Lincoln, Ray Bradbury and Jack London, educated themselves in public libraries. These institutions represent our collective commitment to equal access to knowledge and information, regardless of status or income.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How Viral PDFs Of A Naughty Bedtime Book Exploded The Old Publishing Model | Fast Company

Bootlegging and piracy as (viral) advertising in the book publishing world? The curious case of the new children's book for adults. Or, the new humor book for parents. Or whatever it is. Warning, the enclosed article contains adult language.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More library spending ups test scores - UPI.com

No big surprises in studies that find that better school funding results in better student test scores. The big news is what Debra E. Kachel, a professor at Mansfield University, found for schools and students from difficult socioeconomic conditions:
"In fact, quality school library programs may play an even greater role for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Anyway, The Paradoxical Commandments - Do It Anyway - Kent M. Keith, Silent Revolution

Our union president, John Ellsworth, pointed us in the direction of these Paradoxical Commandments, they're worthy of sharing.

The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Amazon To Bring Ebook Lending to Local Libraries

Finally, Amazon joins the discussion for eBooks and libraries.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Libraries Didn't Burn - Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More

The Libraries Didn't Burn

by Elaine Equi

despite books kindled in electronic flames.

The locket of bookish love
still opens and shuts.

But its words have migrated
to a luminous elsewhere.

Neither completely oral nor written —
a somewhere in between.

Then will oak, willow,
birch, and olive poets return
to their digital tribes —

trees wander back to the forest?