School Choice is a Sleazy Carnival Game

By James Comans, editor at MSEDBLOG School Choice is a sleazy carnival game, and Betsy DeVos is the queen sideshow barker. You know how the scheme works- the carnies roll into town from parts unknown, pump in some music and neon lights to dazzle you, and they give you… an opportunity. A game to play. […]

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Koonlaba: My Biggest Takeaway From the First-ever ECET2MS

Y’all. Seriously, the only way that I can think of starting this post is by saying “Y’all.” Southerners almost always start serious conversations with “Y’all.” I can’t think of a thing much more serious than what I am about to tell you. Y’all, Mississippi’s teachers have been beat down the past few years. We’ve heard […]

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Koonlaba: An Eventful, Maddening Year…

I am a DreamTeacher Fellow with an organization called DreamWakers. This organization connects classrooms to professionals around the country. Then, the students in the classroom are able to video chat with that professional. My students have been chatting with professionals who use the skills that accompany art and creativity in their careers. This is a […]

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Amanda Koonlaba: We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!

The following is the text of a speech given by Amanda Koonlaba at the It All Starts with Education Forum , which was held in July in Jackson, MS. The event was organized by MS Representative Jay Hughes. Several teachers were invited to give TedX-style power speeches to the audience of several hundred educators and public education supporters. These […]

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Koonlaba: What do you think about the kindergarten controversy?

In “The Kindergarten Dilemma,” Judy Smizik reflects on her thirty-five years as a Kindergarten teacher. She asserts, “Kindergarten exposed children to the world around them through creative experiences that incorporated the arts, rich literature, and meaningful learning. It addressed the needs of the “whole” child.  Kindergarten programs were developed to allow for the differences that naturally occur in […]

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Koonlaba: What do you think about teachers needing professional organizations?

When I first read the title of this post, I immediately thought of educator organizations such as the National Education Association or the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents. Possibly, I thought of these because of their politics which often get media coverage. However, as I continued to read Join Now: Why Teachers Need Professional Organizations, […]

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Listening to Educators: An Interview With Summit Organizer Jay Hughes

By James Comans, Editor at MSEDBLOG On July 22 and 23, educators and community stakeholders from around the state will converge at the Jackson Convention Center for the  “Summer Education Forum.” It is to be “a completely open and free zone for ideas, inspiration and appreciation” concerning Mississippi’s public schools. With keynote speakers, discussion panels, and […]

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Koonlaba: What do you think about teacher frustration and teacher voice?

3-Step Method to Increase Teacher Voice, posted on Edutopia on June 9 by Anne O’Brien claims that America’s teachers are frustrated. She explains that the frustration stems from systemic challenges that stand in the way of teaching. Now, here’s where the post gets interesting to me. She puts forth a three-step method (originating from some […]

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Koonlaba: What do you think about summer vacation homework?

I just read a post on Scholastic Teachers about rethinking summer homework. The author insists that summer homework be meaningful and interesting. Students should buy-in on having to complete this homework over their summer break. The author of the post describes some activities that qualify. This post made me start thinking about what other educators […]

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Koonlaba: Mississippi, What do you think you are doing?

I’ve just read the most depressing article this morning from back in the spring about Detroit’s schools. It tells about how much some families struggle to get their children to school in a place where school choice policy has run rampant for many years. I can’t imagine having to do any of the things described in […]

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