In the current political climate, everyone claims to be on the side education that provides access to the middle class with little talk and even fewer real policy proposals to eliminate poverty or inequitable school funding.
Classrooms and hallways so cold children wear coats all day. Ceilings that leak year round. Buckled floors and broken doorways. A science classroom so poorly ventilated it can't be used for chemistry experiments.
The Detroit teachers are right: if we want to be able to say that we care about our children's health and education, we must address the state of the buildings that they learn and live in for hours every day.
The ongoing teacher protest in Detroit has drawn public attention to the horrific physical conditions in many of the city's public schools. These conditions call out not just for emergency aid, but systemic reform.
As a nation, we're nibbling around the edges with accountability measures and other reforms, but we're ignoring the immutable core issue: much of white and wealthy America is perfectly happy with segregated schools and inequity in funding.
United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered a speech at the National Press Club on September 30th that should serve as a powerful call for the country to make a massive shift in the allocation of funding for prisons and schools.
Although politicians claim to support public education on the campaign trail, their actions over the past few years have done absolutely nothing to improve North Carolina schools or give teachers a meaningful pay increase.
The American public has given its grade to national elected leaders for their attempts to improve the country's public schools. The verdict is an "F" for failure. Public schools need to do better but that will only occur when there is cooperation in government, not antagonism.
A few weeks back, three Democratic senators talked to reporters in Springfield about a concept that would both freeze property taxes in Illinois for a few years and sunset the state's school funding formula in a few years.