Education

Thumbnail image for Poem of the Day:  “Wake in Rage” by Viet Mai

Poem of the Day: “Wake in Rage” by Viet Mai

by Source 04.06.2014 Activism

By Staff

It’s National Poetry Month. SDFP is recognizing San Diego poets this month. Viet Mai has been performing spoken word around San Diego since 2001. As a member of the 2013 ELEVATED! Slam Team, Viet represented San Diego to rank 4th place at the National Poetry Slam in Boston/Cambridge/Sommerville, MA.

Drawing upon his formal studies at UCSD in Ethnic Studies and Music as well as his interest in Hip-Hop lyrics, Viet’s mission is to collaborate with community members to educate, motivate, and inspire the youth through spoken word, art, and culture.

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Thumbnail image for Video: Barrio Logan College Institute

Video: Barrio Logan College Institute

by Brent E. Beltrán 04.06.2014 Battle for Barrio Logan

Film by Barrio Logan College Institute
Intro by Brent E. Beltrán

With the ballot battle looming over the future of Barrio Logan, due to Maritime Industry’s refusal to accept the Barrio Logan Community Plan update, I feel it is necessary to give voters of the city of San Diego a little history of Barrio Logan and highlight the issues residents face. In June, eligible San Diego voters will go to the polls to vote on whether to approve the community plan or reject it.

Over the next few weeks I will post a video on Sundays that highlights the community of Barrio Logan and the beauty within San Diego’s most historic barrio.

This week’s video is on the Barrio Logan College Institute, an  important, educational non-profit organization that helps barrio kids, most the first in their family, go to college.

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Thumbnail image for Ernie McCray: Speaking Straight from the Heart

Ernie McCray: Speaking Straight from the Heart

by Staff 04.05.2014 Activism

Recipient of the Phi Delta Kappa Unsung Hero Award

By Staff

On April 3, Ernie McCray was honored by the San Diego Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, an international association for professional educators. The Kappan awards bestowed earlier in the evening were for individuals and organizations that have made a substantive difference for those wishing to become educators and for children within the school system.

Ernie’s award came later in the evening, after the recognition of Partner in Education, Educator of the Year, and Leadership. Those of us who know Ernie would be hard pressed to sum up his presence and contributions in just one category– he is known by thousands of students, parents and colleagues as an extraordinary educator; he has been a tireless advocate for peace and justice in the streets and in our schools; you can find him from time to time on a stage, acting and reading his poetry; and he has a following on the San Diego Free Press and OBRag where he contributes essays and poetry. Unsung Hero is a pretty good fit and that was his award designation.

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Thumbnail image for UCSD Graduate Students Protest Controversial Employment Policy

UCSD Graduate Students Protest Controversial Employment Policy

by Source 04.02.2014 Activism

Doctoral students rally against the 18 Quarter Limit

By Daniel Gutiérrez

La Jolla, California — Students at the University of California, San Diego stormed the Office of Graduate Studies Tuesday, April 1, to protest a controversial employment policy implemented across the University of California. The “18 Quarter Limit” restricts doctoral students by only allotting them 18 quarters to be teaching assistants, readers, or graduate student researchers. Such positions, if secured, reduce a graduate student’s tuition from roughly $5,200 a quarter to a mere $196. The action came on the eve of the two-day strike that will be held April 2nd and 3rd at UCSD.

The 18 Quarter Limit greatly affects graduate students who begin their studies in MA programs and then transfer to doctoral programs. This is because their access to funding begins to expire after their first quarter in the university as Master’s students.

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Thumbnail image for Big Data Renders College Diplomas Worthless; Billionaires Nonplussed

Big Data Renders College Diplomas Worthless; Billionaires Nonplussed

by John Lawrence 04.01.2014 Business

By John Lawrence

It used to be accepted without question that a college degree was necessary to get a good job, and over the course of a lifetime, you would make more money with a college degree than without one. But not so fast. Despite the propaganda put out by colleges who hope to profit off your matriculation, it turns out that the latest thing in hiring practices is to disregard the college degree altogether.

Companies like Xerox are hiring not based on your resume, which includes your degrees and work experience, but on a test they’ve devised which they claim is a better predictor of job performance. Xerox runs 175 call centers around the world. In all, the centers employ more than 50,000 customer service agents who deal with questions about everything from cellphone bills to health insurance.

Xerox was having a problem hiring the right people for the jobs and reducing turnover. So they hired a company to help them do a better job of finding the right people. This company studied the characteristics of those people already at Xerox who were successful at their jobs and came up with a test whose aim was to find new applicants with exactly those same characteristics.

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Thumbnail image for Understanding the Propaganda Campaign Against Public Education

Understanding the Propaganda Campaign Against Public Education

by Source 03.28.2014 Education

By Diane Ravitch / Diane Ravitch’s Blog

A few years ago, when I was blogging at Education Week with Deborah Meier, a reader introduced the term FUD. I had never heard of it. It is a marketing technique used in business and politics to harm your competition. The term and its history can be found on Wikipedia.

FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The reader said that those who were trying to create a market-based system to replace public education were using FUD to undermine public confidence in public education. They were selling the false narrative that our public schools are obsolete and failing.

This insight inspired me to write “Reign of Error,” to show that the “reform” narrative is a fraud. Test scores on NAEP are at their highest point in history for white students, black students, Hispanic students, and Asian students. Graduation rates are the highest in history for these groups. The dropout rate is at an historic low point.

Why the FUD campaign against one of our nation’s most treasured democratic institutions? It helps the competition.

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Thumbnail image for Mesa College Chicana/o Studies to Dedicate Gracia Molina de Pick Glass Gallery

Mesa College Chicana/o Studies to Dedicate Gracia Molina de Pick Glass Gallery

by Brent E. Beltrán 03.16.2014 Desde la Logan

Third Annual Feminist Lecture Series to Follow

By Brent E. Beltrán

On Thursday, March 20 the Mesa College Chicana/o Studies Department will unveil and dedicate the Gracia Molina de Pick Glass Gallery and present their third annual Gracia Molina de Pick Feminist Lecture Series. The glass gallery and lecture series are named after the co-founder of Mesa’s Chicana/o Studies Department.

In 2013 Mrs. Molina de Pick donated $80,000 to Mesa to create the Gracia Molina de Pick Endowment Fund in support of advancing the campus’ Chicana/o Studies Department. Since then the department has created the lecture series in her honor and will now dedicate the glass gallery in the G-Building Rotunda in her name.

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Thumbnail image for UCSD Graduate Student Workers Call Strike

UCSD Graduate Student Workers Call Strike

by Source 03.15.2014 Activism

By Daniel Gutiérrez

Graduate students affiliated with United Auto Workers Local 2865 at UC San Diego have announced a two-day strike for Wednesday, April 3, and Thursday, April 4. The dates selected for the strike fall on the first week of the school’s Spring Quarter.

The UAW Local 2865, which represents over 12,000 graduate student workers across the campuses of the University of California, voted and passed the strike. UAW Local 2865 has been in contract negotiations with the University of California for nearly a year. Union representatives have been meeting with labor-relations delegates for months trying to secure better wages for graduate student workers and improve work-place conditions.

The University has been hostile towards any advancement in workers’ rights, despite ever-growing expenditures on management. Despite the fact that many of the school’s graduate student-workers receive poverty wages, the UC administration continues to treat its own like royalty.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Charter Teachers: Bullying Contributed to Death of Colleague

San Diego Charter Teachers: Bullying Contributed to Death of Colleague

by Doug Porter 03.14.2014 Columns

School Board meeting not ‘the time or place’ to discuss confidential personnel matter of a Teach for America instructor, says Harriet Tubman Principal

By Doug Porter

I didn’t write the headline for today’s column. It’s a headline at Education Week, a nationally recognized print and digital (edweek.org) publication. With a staff of over 70 and budget of over $13 million annually, it’s hardly the product of some basement blogger. Amazingly, it’s about a story nobody else in the San Diego media seems to have covered.

The EdWeek story is about a meeting of the San Diego Unified School Board on Tuesday, March 11th. The charter for the Harriet Tubman Village Charter School was up for renewal. A group of  parents, teachers and students wearing blue bravely stood up before the Trustees and proceeded to raise serious questions about the way the school is operated.

Accusations were made suggesting violations of both the Education Code and State Law by the school’s administration. And the suggestion was made that the bullying tactics and leadership style at Harriet Tubman contributed to the death of Sarah Jenkins, “a young, bright, dedicated, caring first year teacher at Tubman.”

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Thumbnail image for An Update on the Billionaire Lawsuit to Destroy Teachers Unions

An Update on the Billionaire Lawsuit to Destroy Teachers Unions

by Source 03.13.2014 Activism

by David Atkins/Hullabaloo

Regular readers here will remember that I wrote a while back about the Vergara v. California trial, which is essentially an attempt by the billionaire education “reform” crowd to achieve through a ridiculous lawsuit what they have not been able to accomplish by convincing voters. The gist of the suit is that union provisions to protect teachers hurt students, thereby harming their civil rights.

It sounds ridiculous, and it is. The plaintiffs picked a few underperforming students as their “victims” in the case, and have argued that because these particular students were allegedly somehow harmed by protections for teachers, therefore all students in California are hamed and that almost the entirety of public employee union contract law in the teaching profession should be dissolved. Even more ridiculous, right?

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Thumbnail image for A Great Divide: The Election Fight for California’s Schools

A Great Divide: The Election Fight for California’s Schools

by Source 03.12.2014 Education

By Gary Cohn /California Expose

An election campaign now being fought almost completely out of public view could radically alter the way California’s school children are taught. If Marshall Tuck unseats incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the state’s public education system could become a laboratory for a movement that prizes privatization and places a high value on student test scores over traditional instruction. The contrasts between the two top contenders in the nonpartisan race could not be more dramatic – nor could the stakes for the country’s largest education system.

The 40-year-old Tuck is a Harvard Business School graduate who has worked  as an investment banker for Salomon Brothers and as an executive at Model N, a revenue-management software company. He is a former president of Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school operation in Los Angeles, and later served as the first head of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools — former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s controversial education nonprofit that tried to improve 17 low-performing public schools, with mixed results

Tuck’s candidacy is supported by the same mix of wealthy education privatizers, Silicon Valley and entertainment money, hedge fund and real estate interests that backed privatization candidates in the 2013 Los Angeles Unified School District school board election — when billionaire businessmen such as Eli Broad and Michael Bloomberg gave large campaign contributions to an unsuccessful effort to defeat board member Steve Zimmer. (The Broad Residency, an education management program operated by the Broad Foundation, lists Tuck as an alumnus.)

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Thumbnail image for Honoring Academic Legacies of Diversity Panel at Mesa College

Honoring Academic Legacies of Diversity Panel at Mesa College

by Source 03.09.2014 Education

Discussion on understanding and value of Chicana, Chicano and Black Studies

By Dr. César López, Ph.D.

The San Diego Mesa College Chicana/o Studies Department and the Black Studies Department are hosting a panel discussion on student equity and diversity on campus this Friday, March 14, from 9AM-12PM in room H-117/118.  The event is entitled “Honoring Academic Legacies of Diversity at San Diego Mesa College and Beyond: Equity and Valuing Critical Contributions of Chicana/o Studies and Black Studies Departments.”  The campus community and the general public is invited to attend this important discussion.

The goal of the panel is to recognize the over 40 year histories of each of these departments on the San Diego Mesa College campus; educate the campus and community about issues related to understanding and valuing the critical contributions of Chicana/o Studies and Black Studies Departments in Higher Education; and highlight local, state and national legislative educational policies that have and will impact the future success of all students, with a focus on students of color and first generation students.

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Thumbnail image for Chilean Activists Meet with UCSD Students

Chilean Activists Meet with UCSD Students

by Source 03.09.2014 Education

Provide a history of radical Chilean student movement

By Daniel Gutiérrez

Chilean delegates from Librería Proyección, Periódico Solidaridad and La Alzada Acción Feminista Libertaria (La Alzada Anarcha-Feminist Action) met with students and community members at UCSD, Monday, March 3rd. The delegates met as part of a tour sponsored by the Black Rose Anarchist Federation and the IWW at UCSD to spread word of the student movement in Chile.

The delegates rooted the current education crisis in Chile in the massive reforms made under the US-backed Pinochet dictatorship. Through state repression and intervention, the dictatorship was able to demobilize and dismember the popular movement in Chile. It was during the 1980s that a series of reforms took place that changed the education system to this day. Under these programs, education became two-tiered, in a system where the poor went to private universities and the rich went to public ones.

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Thumbnail image for Recognize: 58% Of Women Use Birth Control For Reasons Other Than Pregnancy Prevention

Recognize: 58% Of Women Use Birth Control For Reasons Other Than Pregnancy Prevention

by Source 03.08.2014 Activism

By Rajiv Narayan / Upworthy

I’m looking at these graphics, and I’m thinking to myself, “How did we ever put up with health care before the Affordable Care Act?” Were we really cool with paying $600 a year for birth control pills or being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions? Get the word out: The benefits of this law aren’t good, they’re common sense.

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Thumbnail image for Remembering the UC San Diego Cookout, the Noose, and their Aftermath

Remembering the UC San Diego Cookout, the Noose, and their Aftermath

by Source 03.04.2014 Activism

An Open Letter, Four Years After the “Winter of our Discontent”

Jorge Mariscal / UCSD Professor of Literature
Fnann Keflezighi / UCSD ‘11
Patrick Velásquez /San Diego Chicano/Latino Concilio

Four years ago, the fragile tranquility of the La Jolla campus was shattered by a series of events now known as the “Compton Cookout.” Cutting-edge scholarship on campus climate emphasizes the need for universities to continually revisit their ‘historical legacy’ as a benchmark for progress. Therefore, as much as administrators would like to erase the “Cookout” and its aftermath, it is crucial that we remember the events of February 2010.

We view calls to “move beyond” the past and erase any memory of the events that transpired as nothing more than an attempt to release newly installed administrators from their responsibilities. It is time to hold accountable everyone involved in the “strategic planning” that will determine the future of UCSD and impact the lived experiences of future generations of students.

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Thumbnail image for To Reach My Goals – Education in Barrio Logan

To Reach My Goals – Education in Barrio Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 03.02.2014 Desde la Logan

Video by Media Arts Center San Diego’s Teen Producer’s Project
Intro by Brent E. Beltrán

With the battle looming over the future of Barrio Logan, due to Maritime Industry’s refusal to accept the Barrio Logan Community Plan update, I feel it is necessary to give voters of the city of San Diego a little history of Barrio Logan and highlight the issues residents face. In June, eligible San Diego voters will go to the polls to vote on wether to approve the community plan or reject it.

This week’s video, To Reach My Goals – Education in Barrio Logan, documents the challenges barrio youth have in school and highlights the Barrio Logan College Institute and their work to get neighborhood kids into college.

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Thumbnail image for Vergara v. California’s Corporate Heart

Vergara v. California’s Corporate Heart

by Source 02.26.2014 Education

By Julie Gutman Dickinson/Capital and Main

Are job protections for teachers to blame for educational underachievement among low-income students of color in California? That’s the provocative question ostensibly at the heart of Vergara vs. California, which seeks to invalidate the tenure, due process and seniority rights of hundreds of thousands of educators.

Astute observers of the nation’s escalating education wars, however, may be asking another question: When did it become permissible to use the welfare of children as a fig leaf for an all-out legal attack on teachers?

Or, as historian and teacher John Thompson wrote recently in Scholastic, “Are corporate reformers unabashedly using the courts as a battleground for battering employees’ rights, as opposed to helping children?”

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Thumbnail image for Higher Education: When is Enough Going to Be Enough?

Higher Education: When is Enough Going to Be Enough?

by Staff 02.10.2014 Arts

When is enough going to be enough? When are we as a nation going to get our priorities straight about higher education? When did it become the rule that the cost of higher education was lifelong indebtedness?

Via Occupy*Posters, a group that says it speaks with and not for Occupy Wall Street we present a handy-dandy cartoon (inside) that pretty much says it all about how our system of higher education is failing.

Here’s the About section of their website. There’s lots more great stuff where this came from:

Born of solidarity with the Occupy Movement’s grievances during its earliest September 2011 days, the straightforward, high-contrast designs and impact-filled visual messages of Occupy* Posters have helped change national conversations. Occupy* Posters has contributed hundreds of well-received visual messages to activists, numerous of which have become iconic images speaking to recent times. 

Dozens of Occupy* Posters have gone insanely viral on the Internet, some with millions of shares. Some have also been featured on the BBC, Current TV, the Huffington Post, Upworthy, MoveOn.org, DailyKos, and more. Some even appear in brick-and-mortar museums, and one is in a major college textbook. 

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Thumbnail image for Community Radio Coming Soon to the Greater Logan Heights Area

Community Radio Coming Soon to the Greater Logan Heights Area

by Brent E. Beltrán 02.09.2014 Arts

Radio Pulso del Barrio will focus on arts and education

By Brent E. Beltrán

For the past few months there have been meetings at various locations throughout the Greater Logan Heights area to implement a public art project called Open Spaces. Open Spaces is a two-year public art initiative that is funded by the James Irvine Foundation through the San Diego Museum of Art to create a community based art project.

This is the second Open Spaces project in San Diego. The first is ongoing in Lincoln Park.

“Open Spaces goes out into communities and allows community members and residents to be the decision makers on what public art should look like in their area. And that would be content, medium and location,” says project coordinator Irma Patricia Aguayo Esquivias.  “Coming into these communities we never know what it is going to be. We have no idea until we are actually participating in the community meetings then people start to voice what they’d like to see.”

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Thumbnail image for Photo Gallery: A Love for San Diego’s Wetlands

Photo Gallery: A Love for San Diego’s Wetlands

by Staff 02.07.2014 Activism

On the northern edge of Mission Bay sits the Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve, a 16-acre wetlands habitat overseen by the University of California at San Diego, that is home to a wide range of wildlife. A recent repopulation program has been initiated in an effort to increase the number of endangered Light-footed Clapper Rails living in the marsh, and those who frequent the area say 28 of the rare birds have been sighted over the past few months.

Saturday, Feb. 15, marks the beginning of the Clapper Rail nesting season, which will be kicked off by the ever popular Love Your Wetlands Day event.

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Thumbnail image for Point Loma High School Students Honor “Blackfish” Director and Her SeaWorld Expose

Point Loma High School Students Honor “Blackfish” Director and Her SeaWorld Expose

by Frank Gormlie 02.05.2014 Activism

By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag

Hundreds of Point Loma High School students honored the director of the controversial film “Blackfish” – the expose on SeaWorld’s treatment of their Orcas – on Monday, Feb. 3rd.

Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite came to the campus after some film students had produced their own film criticizing SeaWorld and addressed an assembled group of them.  She told them she wanted her documentary about the water-park’s captive killer whales to persuade SeaWorld to discontinue “using animals as entertainment.”  Cowperthwaite also told the students that they need to form their own opinions on the issue.

Her film began, she said, as a research project on the death in 2010 of Orca trainer Dawn Brancheau and Tilikum, the killer whale.

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Thumbnail image for My Hopes for the Next 35 Years

My Hopes for the Next 35 Years

by Ernie McCray 01.13.2014 Columns

I recently was reminded that the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft (COMD) has been around for 35 years; 35 wonderful years I might add. I mean they’ve worked tirelessly in society’s behalf to challenge the military establishment’s overbearing intrusions in our lives.

They, with a host of other peace groups, have kept military issues in our collective consciousness via community forums, in the streets, and through youth outreach, keeping us aware of how much the military strains our economy, how much it magnifies a negative image of our country around the world, how much racism and sexism and homophobia it nurtures throughout its hierarchy.

COMD is a big part of why I continue working with the Education Not Arms Coalition (ENAC) to counter the recruitment of our children.

Without us there would still be rifle training on our campuses sponsored by the JROTC. To us, teenagers firing rifles on their school grounds made a mockery of San Diego City Schools’ Zero-Tolerance of Weapons Policy.

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Thumbnail image for College Graduates Beg for a Shrinking Pool of Jobs

College Graduates Beg for a Shrinking Pool of Jobs

by John Lawrence 01.11.2014 Economy

PhDs Go Begging, Microsoft Lays Off High Tech Workers, Graduates Not Able to Cope with Student Loan Debt Getting Jobs as Baristas…

By John Lawrence

…That’s the new reality for today’s college graduates.

Have America’s young people been sold a bill of goods? They thought that a college degree guaranteed them an entry to a good middle class life. Many are now finding out that that’s not the case as they struggle to pay student loans and try to cope with an anemic jobs market. For-profit colleges are advertising on TV in order to perpetuate the myth that a college education is a panacea. Even President Obama spouts that everyone should go to college, saying that’s what will cure the nation’s ills and prevent us from falling into the abyss of national mediocrity.

But don’t count on it.

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Thumbnail image for Low Income Housing Fee Opponents Up to the Same Old Tricks in Signature Drive

Low Income Housing Fee Opponents Up to the Same Old Tricks in Signature Drive

by Doug Porter 01.10.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Oops. They’ve doing it again. San Diego’s voters are once again being hoodwinked into signing petitions. Given that our City Attorney apparently thinks this behavior is part of the “democratic process,” the likelihood is they’ll get away with it. 

Currently supporters of an initiative to overturn yet another City Council action have deployed an army of paid signature gatherers at shopping centers in San Diego.  At issue is an ordinance restoring linkage fees on large scale developments to pre-recession levels as a mechanism for funding low income housing. 

As has happened with other recent signature drives sponsored by corporate interests, those individuals are “stretching the truth” in their quest to earn their pay-per-signature wages.  Whether or not these representations cross the line into outright lies is something I hope the courts will someday decide. These latest tactics shouldn’t surprise anybody in the wake the hysterical “the Navy is leaving” campaign staged by opponents of the Barrio Logan Community Plan.

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Thumbnail image for Steve Fisher, SDSU’s Master Educator (And Basketball Coach)

Steve Fisher, SDSU’s Master Educator (And Basketball Coach)

by Ernie McCray 01.10.2014 Columns

By Ernie McCray

When San Diego State’s men’s gifted basketball players showed up at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas and rose from the 21st rated team to number 13 after destroying the Jayhawks’ dream of stretching a 68 game winning streak against non-Big Ten teams to 69 – I couldn’t help but think, at the time, of how lucky those young athletes are in having Steve Fisher as their guide on this wonderful ride.

The man is clearly a wonderful coach, a master teacher if there ever was one. He knows how to connect with folks who are counting on him for guidance.

I know. I’m an educator by nature, in a way. I decided on teaching after my very first day in kindergarten (as much as a five year old can consider such a thing), thinking that there must be a better way to teach somebody than taking a yardstick and whacking their knuckles to Maricopa County.

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