My Criteria for a Model School by Mark Naison

1. Children are loved and walk around the school with smiles on their faces.
2. Teachers are respected and stay in their jobs for a long time.
3. Parents are welcome in the school and are made to feel an integral part of the culture of the school.
4. The culture and history of the community the school is located is honored in displays and in what is taught in classes.
5. Arts, physical education, recess and sports are NEVER sacrificed for higher test scores.
6. ELL and Special Needs students are treated with respect and are given the counseling and special attention they need to thrive.
7. Students have such a positive experience at the school that they return on a regular basis after they have graduated.

If you think that these features are only found in private schools or schools in affluent middle schools, you need to visit the CASA Middle School in the Bronx where Jamaal Bowman is the principal.

This is not only something that CAN be done in all communities, it is something that MUST be done so that ALL our children can grow up with confidence in their abilities.

And Poetic Justice would add to the list the following:
8. All children will be encouraged to find and use their voices in academic subjects and particularly in creative writing and POETRY classes.

reach.final_

Advertisements

“Be Careful Brethren” – A Message About Education from Martin Luther King Jr.

The Purpose of Education,” written by Martin Luther King, Jr., was first published in the February 1947 edition of the Morehouse College Student Newspaper. King was 18 Years Old.

The Purpose of Education

Morehouse College, 1948


As I engage in the so-called “bull sessions” around and about the school, I too often find that most college men have a misconception of the purpose of education. Most of the “brethren” think that education should equip them with the proper instruments of exploitation so that they can forever trample over the masses. Still others think that education should furnish them with noble ends rather than means to an end.

It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the ligitimate goals of his life.

Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.

The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.

The late Eugene Talmadge, in my opinion, possessed one of the better minds of Georgia, or even America. Moreover, he wore the Phi Beta Kappa key. By all measuring rods, Mr. Talmadge could think critically and intensively; yet he contends that I am an inferior being. Are those the types of men we call educated?

We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.

If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, “brethren!” Be careful, teachers!

Be Careful Brethren – these words are truer today than they were in 1948.

educatoin

The Truth About Flint, Water, and Oppression – from LaMar Lemmons

Poetic Justice stands with the people of Flint, Michigan as they fight for the most basic of human rights – the right to water.

Poetic Justice also stands with the teachers, parents, and students of Detroit, Michigan as they fight for the right to an equitable and humane education.

Please read this letter from LeMar Lemmons.

“End State Oppression:

Rachel Maddow showed the world the sad truth many of us have known for a long time: Snyder is oblivious to the life of ordinary Michigan citizens. He is a cardboard cut out politician. For him, doing a good job is reading what his speech writer wrote correctly.

This tragedy is real. And it is happening to people I care about. Snyder’s agenda is clearly prepared by the donors to the NERD fund. Each day he asks himself, ” I am meeting my donor’s objectives?” The idea that human beings needed water, never occurred to him. The idea of safety never occured to Earley when he told Sue McCormick, “thanks but no thanks”. They had a plan and they were sticking to it.

As far as Governor Snyder is concerned, if the water is poisoned, just get water from somewhere else. Where is up to you. In his free market mindset, the choice of where you shop for water, is yours. It’s all supply side economics. So, shop wherever you like.
If you like Perrier, buy Perrier. He has read his speech to us, now it is time for he and his appointees to get back to the agenda of creating a better climate for his donors. He just wants this stuff off his desk! He just wants us off his desk. They don’t care about Flint. They don’t care about kids. Do you think he has met with me – a Detroiter, former State Representative and now a DPS Board member with 197 family members in the Detroit schools, even once? FYI: No, he has not!

A Little Background on Flint: Flint resident, Lee Ann Walters’ children tested high for lead poisoning. She called the EPA and Miguel Del Toral – one of the top water scientists in the world, tested her home and was shocked! Concerned for her well being, as a courtesy, he gave her a copy of his draft report showing that there was lead in her water, although her pipes were primarily plastic.

He knew that the source of the lead was not from her home. He recommended Flint water be treated.

Del Toral argued with MDEQ calling and writing back and forth. Patrick Cook, and Stephen Busch, MDEQ employees decided since Flint was hooking up to KWA in a year, there was no need to treat the corrosive water Flint residents were drinking. Lee Ann Walters gave the report to Curt Guyette, who made a phone call to Natasha Henderson, an appointee of Darnell Earley.

Rather than handling the safety of citizens herself, Henderson, who earns $140,000 plus $8,000 a month for expenses, passed the ball to Mayor Dayne Walling. Walling had asked for help from Washington DC, but he had neither the gumption nor courage to articulate concerns to the residents drinking the water. He kept looking to MDEQ for help. Why? Because they were calling the shots.

The Flint water emails, obtained by FOIA, show Brad Wurfel, the MDEQ Spokesman,was the one gathering facts from MDEQ so that he could refute the claims of Guyette. Wurfel called EPA employee Del Toral, a “rogue” EPA employee! Stephen Busch assured Wurfel in writing, that new MDEQ numbers would not justify Guyettte’s alarm. How did Busch know the outcome of the testing?

WMDEQ ALTERED the documents. Blamed the switch on Detroit and people with old houses. Rather than having 99 samples, they threw out the 30 samples showing high lead content to show just 69 samples of the best results. And they did this right around the time of a meeting with the Governor.

That is not the first time the administration made up their own science. Andy Dillon ordered a test to determine whether Flint should switch from Detroit. The engineering firm advised that it was a bad idea. It wasn’t what Dillon wanted to hear, presto chango, they throw out the report. Now refresh your memory of Earley’s lies, now caught on camera. Blaming Detroit, blaming Walling, blame the victim.

I can tell you working with Earley now, as a DPS Board Member it is HIS WAY OR THE HIGHWAY style management. He won’t even allow us to change the paper in the copy machine at the Fisher Building, let alone change a source of drinking water.

This is called oppression. Oppression is the exercise of power in a burdensome, unjust manner. In order to destabilize the DWSD, they needed to disconnect Detroit from it’s biggest customer permanently. Earley even sold a pipe that connected the two. It should be noted, Flint’s current city manager, Natasha Henderson, was hired by Earley AFTER she destabilized Muskegon Heights Water, and as a result Muskegon Heights lost their biggest customer, Norton Shores. Norton Shores purchased 70% of Muskegon Heights water. So what is this about?

Is this about Earley and Snyder are nice guys who just want to help? No. Later for that BS! Snyder’s administration makes up their own science on an as needed basis, alters documents, discredits anyone who stands in the way, removes from power and replaces anyone who is not with the agenda. Destabilizes public institutions so that they have to be privatized to survive. And they lie. Does any of this sound familiar?

I hope it does. Because sitting here as a Detroit School Board member with no power, watching Darnell Earley run our district into the ground, I weep.

Pastor Bobby Jackson in Flint has been distributing water to all who can’t afford $300 per month to buy drinking water from the grocer. These are the families Snyder is blind to. Bobby Jones ran out.

The next day, a Detroit teacher and I drove in the rain to Flint and we formed an assembly line to help distribute water. A grandmother tells me that she doesn’t drink the poisoned water, she just washes her greens in it. She says thank you and squeezes my hand. I am humbled.

She could be anyone’s grandmother. So many people said, “Thank you,” as I handed over my jug. I realized then how desperately they needed the water. Now we learn 10 people have died from Legionnaires disease!

An astounding 87 people have gotten sick. I have 197 children in my family attending Detroit Public Schools who are cold in their classrooms and I have friends and family in Flint. Snyder can’t relate, but for me, this is personal.

Snyder has now asked that Flint be declared a National Emergency.

Help us God.

LaMar Lemmons
Detroit Board of Education”

Please support the oppressed in Michigan. Read about what is going on. Help in any way you can. Justice must prevail and good must conquer this evil.

As LeMar Lemmons pleads in his letter – “Help us God.”

12573895_1142395002439059_5761568371782273846_n