A reblog of sorts … Chuck Rybak’s “UW Struggle: The Impractical Dream”

I like that UW-Green Bay’s Chuck Rybak, an associate professor of English, writes in a way that appears to channel anger and outrage into passionate, strong, clear argument.  Maybe he’s not at all an angry guy and I’m just reading my own resentment into some of his work.  He’s clearly, however,  a hell of a writer and among those I respect for telling a story that needs to be told, over and over, until the people of Wisconsin are convinced that we need to do something about our so-called leaders.

I believe the rest of us in the UW system also need to work harder to find ways to make similar messages heard. Although we should be as civil as is useful and warranted, this isn’t necessarily about playing nice.  Unfortunately, so many of the people who should be reading this kind of blog are probably the last people who do, and they probably aren’t going to until most of the rest of the state is practically up in arms.  The best way to make that happen is to remind others of the incredible damage we’re allowing various miscreants to do.

Public education, and public higher education, is not only a great achievement, it is one of the most amazing human achievements in all of our history. If there’s anyone out there in Wisconsin who cares, and happens to read this, know that supporting this system, this public good, is easy. Let’s try to remember the infinite rewards within our reach for what seems like such minimal effort. If that’s not practical, then I don’t know what is. It’s more than practical. It really is miraculous. — Chuck Rybak on Sad Iron

Normally I just share these posts on Facebook, but I’m convinced that part of what we need to do as leaders in education is network with, encourage, and work together with others who are speaking out. Even something as simple as giving a post like this a second home on another blog may bring a few more readers and maybe even help change a mind or two.

Dr. Rybak gave me permission to reblog his latest post, which I then found I couldn’t do because his “reblog” button isn’t active.  But you can read it by clicking on the illustration below.  And it’s not a bad thing to share it further.


Reading foreign newspapers brings new perspective

What is wrong with these people? Why do they value education so much?

What is wrong with these people? Why do they value education so much?

On the first weekend in June, we headed over to the border of the Sensible Republic of Minnesota,  spending the night near what is apparently the Breakaway Principality of Hudson, where we visited Willow River State Park and attended the 2015 Yellowstone Trail Heritage Days.

Because I got up at 6 a.m. and the rest of our group was still sleeping, I picked up a couple of newspapers to read while having coffee. It was enlightening to see what the rebellious people outside of Wisconsin cared about.

I say “outside Wisconsin” because Hudson seemed to be in the midst of some action of breaking away from the rest of the state. This was apparent in the concerns expressed in the Hudson Star-Observer.  There were exactly five stories on the front page — three of them focused on education, one on increased funding for a state park, and one on the Heritage Days:

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Obey to grads: Ask yourself if these are consistent with your values

(Part 2 of a report on former Congressman Dave Obey’s commencement address at UW-Stevens Point)

Former U.S. Congressman Dave Obey fired up most of the morning commencement crowd at UW-Stevens Point’s May 16 ceremonies, although there was a more muted response during the afternoon ceremony and at least a few folks who apparently did not look kindly on Obey’s criticism of our approach to education, social responsibility and politics (see yesterday’s post for more).

Click to visit Dave Obey's Facebook page and let him know you appreciate his support of education.

Click on “Dave Obey” in the first paragraph to visit his Facebook page and let him know you appreciate his support of education.

Word is that a very small number of individuals walked out on the speech by Obey, a Democrat from Wausau who served 42 years in the House of Representatives.  It’s easy for many of us to find this ironic, but few of us are any longer surprised by folks who avoid confronting unpleasant truths about social responsibility even while they’re at a celebration of the good that comes from that very thing.

But Obey was reminding us all of a particularly hurtful truth: how easily we have turned our backs on supporting education.

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