Sunday, September 11, 2016

Introducing...Educate Ann Arbor

Those of you who have been reading this blog for years know that this year, my youngest child is entering his senior year of high school! Where did the time go?

[Digression: He writes, too--follow the Community High School Communicator, people--it's got good stuff!]

So anyway, you know that I'm planning on phasing out my writing here as he phases out his career. (Or--I'm willing to "sell" this blog--for $0.00!--if anyone else wants to take on writing about our county schools. Seriously, maybe that's you.) MORE SERIOUSLY, I cannot do "this" alone.

So anyway, what I've been thinking about is the subject of "this": what comes next? I don't mean for me personally--I mean for the movement to educate people about our schools, promote transparent decision-making, support children and teachers, advocate for better school finance arrangements, oppose testing and the educational reform agenda...just for starters. These are not short-term issues; they require long-term attention.

Across the nation, people are organizing. Diane Ravitch helped establish the Network for Public Education.

Many thanks to Pete Sickman-Garner for the fantastic logo and to Meredith Buhalis for web site design.

Here in Ann Arbor, we are organizing too, and I'm proud to say that I'm part of the group that has established a new "organization," (it is so informal at this point that it is kind of a "baby organization") and a new web site,

I am excited about our mission and our platform. It's a bit long, but hey--education is kind of complicated. I didn't know it at the time, but the platform very much echoes the platform of the Network for Public Education.

I'm posting the "overview" part of the mission below.

I very much hope that you will visit the web site and ENDORSE our platform. Eventually we will have a list of people who have endorsed the platform on the web site (which is why you have the option of "endorsing" anonymously--in case you cannot or don't want to be public). And eventually, this will not just be a small group of people with a vision, but a large group of people with many action plans.

Educate Ann Arbor is a group of parents, teachers, school staff, students and citizens who care about our public school systems and work toward educating our community about public education. We believe parents should have an active voice in their children’s education. We believe teachers are professionals and should be treated as professionals. We believe in teacher-driven assessment. We support the rights of teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school staff to unionize. We endorse community-driven decision-making. We insist the State of Michigan make school funding a priority.
Read the rest of our platform/philosophy here, and join us!

Consider subscribing to Ann Arbor Schools Musings by Email!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Good, And Plenty

Exactly three years ago I wrote a post about how I hate the "Exceptional" tag that the Ann Arbor Public Schools uses to promote their schools. You can read that post here.

I've thought some more about it. I still hate it. Because exceptional doesn't mean good, or excellent; exceptional means that we are better than everybody else.

That's not my goal. We don't need to think of ourselves as better than everybody else. I was thinking about it earlier this summer, and I believe there is a candy that represents my goal.

Here's what I want, for all schools.

Schools that are good, and that have plenty of opportunities for all kids.

That's my new slogan: Good, and Plenty

Consider subscribing to Ann Arbor Schools Musings by Email!