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Uh Oh, Ann Romney Wants to Champion Education

According to Romney, all we need to fix education is to have more charters and get rid of teachers unions.


It's become a tradition for the First Lady to become an advocate for an issue most Americans can get behind. With her "Let’s Move!" childhood obesity campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama's brought some fun to healthy eating healthy and getting fit—she got Beyoncé on board and Mrs. O actually did the Dougie with middle schoolers in Washington D.C. last spring. Well, it turns out that if she becomes First Lady, Ann Romney wants to be involved with schools and kids, too. In a Q&A with Good Housekeeping, Romney revealed that she intends to focus on education and at-risk kids if her husband wins the Presidency.

Romney told the magazine that she's "seen what happens to people's lives if they don't get a proper education." Romney's solutions, however, seemed to have missed the memo on focusing on a non-controversial, unifying solution. Instead of focusing on, for example, promoting reading in schools like Laura Bush—no matter how you felt about President George W. Bush, no one could argue that kids shouldn't read more—according to Romney, we just need to get rid of teachers unions and have more charter schools.

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One week ago, the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Board of Education reached an agreement on teacher contracts. But, what most pundits still don't realize is that the strike wasn't really about the contracts or the unions. It was about stopping the assault on public education, teachers, and children.

You know what's hurting kids in Chicago and elsewhere? Contrary to media reports, it's not the teachers union. It’s the corporate reform takeover—mayoral, not local control, closing schools and turning them over to charter corporations, evaluation of students and teachers with test scores, and weakening teachers unions. These policies are backed by billionaires, many of whom have never stepped foot in a public school classroom in their lives and they've blossomed thanks to the passing of President Bush's No Child Left Behind and President Obama's Race to the Top initiative.

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The Kind of Evaluation that Matters Most to Teachers

Unless you spend time in a school, you don't really know how tough a public school teacher's job really is.


Debates over how teachers should be evaluated have been at the forefront of the Chicago teachers strike and a part of the national education reform conversation.

At the end of the day on the second day of school, September 5, one of my students, Veronica, pulled my arm down so she could whisper something in my ear. She told me, "Mr. Sajous-Brady, you're the best third-grade teacher in Illinois." As someone who has spent over 17 years in classrooms—with the last 12-plus being in a neighborhood Chicago Public School—I've been able to recognize and deeply appreciate the honor that comes with this sort of praise from 8-year-olds.

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Meet the Teacher Fired for Teaching Her Students About Trayvon Martin

Brooke Harris was fired after supporting her students' plan to raise money for Martin's family.


Teachers nationwide are looking for ways to educate their students about the murder of 17-year-old Florida teen Trayvon Martin. But according to Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, doing exactly that cost Michigan middle school teacher Brooke Harris her job.

The quality of Harris' instruction isn't a factor in her firing. She's been named her school's teacher of the year two of the last three years. Her skill as an educator is evident from the fact that she followed experts' recommendations and encouraged her students (most of whom are black) to bring their personal experiences with racial profiling and interactions with police into discussions and essay assignments about Martin's killing.

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