Education

Dear Dr Spence, I am writing to you on behalf of the Socialist Equality Party to demand that you rescind your refusal to allow the SEP to hire a venue at the university for the purposes of holding a public anti-war meeting on Sunday April 26, the weekend of Anzac Day. The meeting is entitled “Anzac Day, the glorification of militarism and the drive to World War III." The university’s decision constitutes a flagrant act of political censorship and makes a mockery of your own statement, made on April 15, stressing “the importance … of our commitment to academic freedom, the freedom of speech, and the right to protest. We must be a place in which debate on key issues of public significance can take place, and in which strongly held views can be freely expressed on all sides.” As you will...
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Dear President Jennings, I should start by saying that I love Lincoln University. I spent the first six years of my career as a faculty member in the teacher education department. Every time “Lincoln University” appeared under my name in a peer-reviewed article or at a speaking engagement, I would feel great pride to represent a small historically Black university an hour outside of Philadelphia. Not University of Pennsylvania. Not Temple. Lincoln. Thee Lincoln. As many professors do at some point, I started looking to make a move to another university the year before you arrived as president. I didn’t leave until 2012, which means that you were my boss for two semesters. This also means that I attended one of your gender separate convocations (the men’s one, naturally), but more on...
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Dear leaders, I address you as "leaders" because, for some reason (perhaps manager comes too close to rhyming with janitor for your liking), you've increasingly taken to styling yourselves in this way. How grand. How imposing. How spurious. Leaders are followed. The capacity and willingness to drive people along with the use of the pitchfork of threatened redundancy or the flaming torch of disciplinary action does not make a leader and the mere fact that you so brazenly call yourselves leaders is evidence of the malaise that prompts me to write. For the record, if you're not Alexander, Napoleon, Monty or the modern equivalent you're not really a leader. Be neither managers nor leaders. Be provosts, masters, principals, vice-chancellors, rectors, deans, registrars, bursars. How...
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Dear Dr. Register, In regard to your proposal to improve East Nashville schools, let me first say I cannot imagine the job placed before you. It is a huge job, made more complex by the diversity of our metro area. There is obviously no right answer. But there is a right course of action. And that is to involve the schools, administration, teachers, families, parents and leaders of the East Nashville community in the development of a plan to improve our schools. Nine years ago, my husband and I moved to East Nashville despite friends’ and families’ objections. They thought it was too rough around the edges. But the thing is we liked that about it. We wanted a neighborhood for our children filled with families who don’t all look, live and pray alike. Back then, we all knew families...
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Dear Teachers, October 15, 2013 When I came to the high school at age 17, I had absolutely no idea how to be a student. Many of you know by now that I had didn’t know what a teacher-student dynamic was. I hope you understand that up to that point I had been around adults who mostly made stuff up as they went along, and expected respect from authority that was derived simply from being bigger and older, not from legitimate accomplishment. To a scared 17 year old, it looked the same at first, because of the authority aspect. In the three years I went to high school, I learned to respect you for the knowledge and expertise you represent. I think I was supposed to respect you simply for being teachers...
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Dear Ms. Sarah Angel, Managing Regional Director, Greater Los Angeles When you sent your email about filling out your questionnaire, I thought you were sincere when you told me there was a distinction between the two groups, California Charter School Association (CCSA) and CCSA Advocates. I thought about it all day Friday, letting my mind think about what I would present to the voters, but then I thought maybe I should make sure what you told me was accurate. What I discovered in my research was that every person on the Advocates group is a paid employee on the California Charter School Association. It is impossible to serve two masters; you can’t be paid by one and be neutral on the other knowing it would support the mission of your employer. The fact is that all...
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Hello, I’m a parent of two children at Chamberlin School who is very concerned about the decision of the board to walk away from the bargaining table and to impose working conditions on our teachers. I understand your position that you need to keep the fiscal realities of our city in mind when negotiating with the teachers, but imposing conditions like this is a dangerous precedent. I fully support our teachers’ right to strike in the face of such a decision. I do understand that our teachers are some of the best paid in the state. Instead of the board and other people in the city suggesting that our teachers have it better than anyone else and should be grateful for what they get, the board could play a leadership role in asking why other districts do not make the choice that...
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Dear Team Chavez-CCS_LeadershipPics_JoanMassey2 As we come to the close of Teacher Appreciation week, I want to thank you for doing the most important work of all – educating the next generation. The world is in desperate need of a generation of true civic leaders. The real hope for our world, for creating peace, for solving our entrenched problems, for developing sustainable, humane world lies with you. And you deserve extra gratitude for doing what you can to make this at the center of what you do everyday with and for out students. So if you haven’t received the thanks you deserve, I want to thank you publicly now. Thank you for putting your heart and soul into this every day to provide our students with what is important and necessary. Thank you for inspiring and empowering our...
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Dear Premier Clark and Minister Fassbender: Last night the Vancouver School Board voted to send you an open letter requesting the following: Government direct BCPSEA and its appointed negotiator to immediately begin genuine, good-faith bargaining with the BCTF. Government assure all school boards that government will take full financial responsibility for any costs arising from grievances, arbitrations and legal actions against boards that are now not in compliance with their collective agreements with teachers due to the recent ruling of the BC Supreme Court. Government provide adequate funding to districts to enable them to be in compliance with the collective agreements that are now back in effect. Government restore education funding to a level that enables school districts...
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Dear Ms. Kathy DeMatteo: I write to you regarding the recent graduation ceremonies at Twin Peaks Charter Academy. It was reported in the Daily Camera and national news sources that a student at Twin Peaks, where you serve as Board Chair, was not allowed to give his valedictorian speech at graduation and denied public recognition of his academic honors solely on the basis of his sexual orientation, which was contextually indicated in his proposed speech. As I'm sure your board is aware, St. Vrain Valley School District has an equal education opportunities policy that reads as follows:"Every student of this school district shall have equal educational opportunities through programs offered in the school district regardless of race, color, ancestry, creed, sex, sexual orientation,...
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