Teachers can and do make a real difference in children's lives, and a real reform agenda would make investments in improving teacher quality. But we must not pretend that eliminating due process would improve teacher quality, that raising students' test scores is the sole solution or that teacher quality is the only educational obstacle facing students.
Robin Williams's suicide has touched the national soul, a tribute to how intense and intimate each performance of his was, how broad his reach was, and how long his career was. Williams' manic energy and verbal fluency made him a star who shined brilliantly on television, in the movies, and on stage.
Personally, I was deeply effected by Robin Williams passing. I grew up with him. He was a part of my childhood and adult life. I, like may others, will really miss his spirit and his talent. He made me laugh and helped me realize the power of comedy and laughter in my personal and professional life. I truly believe that "Laughter is the best medicine." And our world just lost some really good medicine.
I don't know what age we are when we truly understand that we die. We learn it early enough as fact, sure, as part of what happens on this human journey. And we go on to lose friends, relatives, teachers, icons. And still, it remains 'out there', removed, happening to other people, because we're still here.