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Diann Woodard
Diann Woodard is president of the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA). President Woodard has served the Detroit Public Schools for 36 years as classroom teacher, guidance counselor, and assistant principal. In 2000, she was elected President of the Organization of School Administrators and Supervisors (OSAS), AFSA Local 28. In the 2008 elections, she was elected to serve an eight-year term as a Trustee to Michigan State University. Diann Woodard is a Trustee of the Michigan State AFL-CIO; Executive Board Member of the Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO; and Vice President of the Michigan State Federation of AFSA (MI-AFSA). Fighting for the rights of union members and working families comes naturally to Diann, who was reared in a United Auto Worker (UAW) family. She believes in protecting the rights of working families, and advancing the role of leadership in education for school administrators. Ms Woodard also serves on various local boards including the United Way; and, the Coalition of Detroit Public School Unions.

Entries by Diann Woodard

Comforting the Afflicted

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 8:40 PM

Media coverage of fatal shootings like those at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Columbine High School generate acute public awareness of childhood loss. Nevertheless, there is unfortunately little public understanding of how to help the children who are grieving in the wake...

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A Wakeup Call for School Leaders

(1) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 2:37 PM

What do you say after an election night like November 4? We lost. As a matter of fact, some have called it "a bloodbath." A bloodbath that has us looking at each other wondering how did this happen?

But was it really a surprise? Since the 2008 Presidential election,...

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A Common Core of Corporate Profit

(5) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 6:54 PM

June is always a jubilant time for school leaders as they preside over promotion ceremonies and high school graduations. We swell with pride over the accomplishments of our students as they leave for summer vacations, first jobs or college.

When the last student crosses the stage, planning begins for the...

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United in Leading the Way to Better Schools

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 3:18 PM

As the school leaders responsible for ensuring the education of all our nation's children, principals and administrators regularly find ourselves contending with ever-changing experiments imposed on us by local, state and federal policymakers, often without regard for the training necessary to implement these programs.

There's one thing, however, that doesn't...

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Turn Around and Find the Keys

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 5:35 PM

As I left my home recently, it was necessary to turn around and go back in because I had left my car keys behind. Like many of us these days, the need to turn around happens quite often --when we're lost, or because we simply forget where we've left something....

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Celebrate the Rodney Dangerfields of Public Education

(2) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 7:15 PM

October is National Principals Month, a 31-day opportunity to celebrate the year-long work of our nation's principals, a welcome respite -- no matter how short-lived -- from the unrelenting criticism of our efforts by the purveyors of school privatization.

By chance, October is also National Bullying Prevention Month, dedicated to...

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Listen to Mama on School Reform

(51) Comments | Posted August 8, 2013 | 7:26 PM

A recent national poll conducted by Hart Research Associates revealed that parents overwhelmingly believe that public schools are the single most important institution for the future of their community and our nation, and that they choose strong neighborhood public schools over expanding choice, charters and vouchers.

News of...

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The Corporate Takeover of Public Education

(33) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 3:34 PM

Independent research in recent months has documented that the nation's wealthiest philanthropic foundations are steering funding away from public school systems, attended by 90 percent of American students, and toward "challengers" to public education, especially charter schools.

Education Week recently reported that at the start of the decade,...

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Education Policies Operating in the Dark

(2) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 6:58 PM

As a principal in an economically troubled city, I learned to expect the unexpected each day when arriving at school: hearing the children buzzing about a horrific incident that occurred over the weekend; checking the faculty list to see the high number of teachers absent and the lack of class...

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Moving Education Forward: It Starts With School Leaders

(3) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 6:04 PM

In his second inaugural speech, President Obama stated, "We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work...

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America's Impoverished Education Policies

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2012 | 6:10 PM

The 2012 State of the Union address and budget submission have come and gone without offering much hope of greater understanding among policymakers of the crushing impact on student performance of poverty. As public school leaders, we now find ourselves in the unenviable position of choosing between two likely presidential...

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The Missing Link in School Reform

(4) Comments | Posted May 12, 2011 | 7:48 PM

If the stakes for creating workable plans to improve the quality education for our school children weren't so high, the experiments being proposed by business-model reformers,who are inexperienced in either education or school management, would be laughable. They routinely exclude -- or ignore -- input from the leaders essential for...

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Test-Driven Education Reform Could Set Up Kids To Fail

(33) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 1:19 PM

Educators from across the country will be meeting this week with Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Denver to discuss Advancing Student Achievement Through Labor-Management Collaboration at a conference cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the mounting nation's top education unions.

Ironically, our meeting to discuss paths to renewed...

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School Reform or Permanent Underclass?

(19) Comments | Posted December 2, 2010 | 5:35 PM

The recent spate of resignations by heads of school districts in Chicago, Washington and New York City who advocate the so-called business model of school reform has predictably been followed by new appointees as ill-prepared for the challenge of improving student performance as their predecessors.

The common theme in the...

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Supermarkets, Not Superman

(1) Comments | Posted October 20, 2010 | 3:22 PM

While the purveyors of data-driven education reform keep Waiting for 'Superman', the real needs of children in our public schools continue to go begging. Superman is not going to save the day for students -- especially inner city kids. They need basic resources that support their families and reduce the...

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The Summer Soldiers of School Reform

(4) Comments | Posted October 14, 2010 | 11:26 AM

The hype about Waiting for 'Superman' has given leaders of the business model of school reform an opportunity to promote their cause with renewed vigor, as evidenced by an opinion editorial in the Washington Post on October 10. In it, heads of 16 of the nation's larger urban...

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The Audacity of Hopelessness

(17) Comments | Posted September 22, 2010 | 6:37 PM

The recent report that 23 percent of students taking ACT and SAT tests do not qualify for college-level courses has reignited criticism of the education profession for "failing" to solve the problems plaguing the nation's schools.

While the need for improvement is beyond question, those of us working in the...

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