Colm Toibin visits Clarke Central HS: A somewhat extraordinary hour of high school on an otherwise ordinary day

In this post, an Athens resident describes a recent event that occurred at Clarke Central High School. Famed Irish writer Colm Toibin visited and engaged with students, not the usual activity on a regular school day but one that captures some of the extraordinary things that happen in this school district.

 

Our town was just treated to a three-day visit by the Irish writer Colm Toibin. He stayed busy presenting readings, public conversations and classes at the University of Georgia as the Delta Visiting Chair for the Willson Center for the Humanities and Arts, our remarkable and vital public humanities center. Thanks to the efforts of the organizers of his trip, he spent an hour with some of the students at Clarke Central High School.

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100+ Days of Action: Getting Involved in Public Education

When I am asked how to best “get involved” on public education issues I guess I think of a few salient things:

1)  Volunteer at whatever level is best for you: your local school, broader local issues, statewide or national policy issues. Our schools need the help everywhere and each of those levels have their own importance.

2)  In my advocacy I always try to focus on the connection (or disconnection)  between policy and practice. How do the laws that are passed in Atlanta and Washington affect the teaching and learning that goes on in classrooms every day?

3)  Happy and fulfilled teachers are an essential feature of any properly functioning school – – as a wise person once said: “a teacher’s working conditions are my child’s learning conditions.”   Teachers, and the other adults in a school community, truly are doing the Lord’s work— they deserve our thanks, our encouragement and our support.

4)  Acknowledge and celebrate what works in our schools, the many miracles and lives affected every day; at the same time,  we all need to work to address the many challenges that our schools face.

 

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Washington Post, Answer Sheet: Parent: Why school ‘choice’ doesn’t mean the same thing to me as to Betsy DeVos

is is School Choice Week, the annual exercise when well-funded, corporate school reform outfits pour money into advertising and marketing o promote charter schools as well as vouchers and other programs in which the public pays for private and religious school tuition.

School Choice Week coincides with the confirmation drama of President Trump’s nomination of Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos as education secretary, who has said the public education system in the United States is a “dead end,” and who is seen by critics as a supporter of privatizing public education. DeVos stumbled at her Senate confirmation hearing last week, displaying a lack of understanding of key education issues, and Democrats have sought — unsuccessfully — a second hearing before the Senate Education Committee votes on whether to approve her nomination.

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