Will the Gopher State Go Tenure Free?

Will Minnesota be the snow-covered setting for Vergara 2.0?

By Sarah Lahm, EduShyster Academy 
gopher stateNerves are on edge here in the Gopher State, as a question deep as the looming snow fall hangs in our reform-scented air: Will we, or won’t we? As in, will Minnesota, or won’t Minnesota be chosen as the next battleground in the fight to rout out *grossly ineffective* teachers, a la California’s Vergara decision? Intrigue, already piqued, piqued up further recently when Marcellus McRae, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the Vergara case and a member of the White Collar Defense club at the LA law offices of Gibson Dunn, made a special pilgrimage to the Twin Cities. Continue reading →

Everyone’s a Winner! The Kids vs. Bad Teachers Lawsuit Hits the Road

WinnersWell that certainly didn’t take long. Just two weeks after California’s kids celebrated their victory vs. bad teachers, the kids vs. tenure lawsuit is hittin’ the road. And that’s great news, reader. Because just as the California case produced lots of winners that weren’t exactly, ahem, pint-sized, round two of the civil rights cause of our time seems certain to be a win/win/win for everyone involved. From Campbell Brown who’ll be enjoying more screen time since, well any time in recent memory, to the Obama administration alums who won’t have to lobby for for-profit colleges after all, everyone’s a winner! Well, make that almost everyone… Continue reading →

Rebel with a Cause

Barbara Madeloni, newly elected president of the 110,000 member Massachusetts Teachers Association, says that fighting is winning.

cavanaugh_21umass7_metroEduShyster: I’ve heard you described as *bellicose,*  *unapologetically adversarial,* a *firebrand,* and *alarming.* Which of these would you say best describes you?

Barbara Madeloni: Aren’t you forgetting *shrill*? One of the narratives about my victory is that I accessed anger at the rank-and-file level. That’s true, but I also tried to hold up a more positive vision for re-engaging the world. We’re not helpless. We’re not hopeless. We can work together to change things. We can do something. That said, I think we are at a critical moment in history for public education in this country. If we don’t fight, we’re going to lose everything. We’re done. Continue reading →

Have Elevator, Will Elevate (the Teaching Profession)

How making teaching a career no one wants will finally make our kids college and career ready…

elevatorThe year was 2014 and, alas, all was not right with the world. Income inequality in these United States had both soared and skyrocketed to levels not seen since the 1920’s, and the middle class was living just a little less large. Some pointed to the collapse of labor unions as part of the problem, but that explanation seemed too obvious. Then another, far more intriguing explanation began to gain currency, particularly among those who possessed a great deal of currency. The blame for the country’s slide lay with teachers who, coincidentally, happened to belong to one of the country’s few remaining unions. Could there be a connection? Continue reading →