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Blog Introduction


I’ve really resisted starting a blog. There are so many out there already. Who has time to read them all? I’m not an avid blog reader myself. We all spend so much time at the computer already, and I find myself eager to get done with my screen business so I can get back to reading my book. Truth to tell, I read only one blog regularly. Every morning when I fire up my computer, there is Diane...

Mississippi redux


It’s not even Black History Month anymore, but in the course of a recent week we were invited to do three different school presentations on The Civil Rights Movement and our experiences in Mississippi. What better way to spend the week before Passover, the commemoration of the Jews’ liberation from slavery? Talking with students promised to be a lot more uplifting than the ritual cleaning and the...

Union Blues, part 2


In 1968, the year before my father’s retirement, my wife, infant daughter and I returned to New York from three years in Mississippi, where I had been pursuing the justice dictated by my Jewish upbringing and perhaps in some small measure by my early immersion in the world of union socialism. Within a few months I was drawn into the maelstrom of the legendary Ocean Hill/Brownsville teachers’...

Union Blues


 This is the first in a two-part retrospective look at my roller coaster relationship with unions, beginning with today’s piece about the central role my father’s union, the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union (the ILGWU) and moving next week to my experiences with teachers’ unions, beginning in New York in the late ‘60s and continuing to evolve during this controversial pandemic...

Love and Marriage


Love and marriage, love and marriage They go together like a horse and carriage This I tell you brother You can’t have one without the other These song lyrics from my youth, written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen and made popular by the duo of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, have been rattling around in my brain recently. It’s no coincidence since tomorrow, March 16th, Rosellen and I...

Charter schools redux


A few presidential cycles ago I was invited by the League of Women Voters to participate in a panel discussion of charter schools which they were hosting to inform their position on the issue for the upcoming election. In addition to me, the panelists included a union activist, a representative of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools and an academic researcher specializing in the comparative...

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