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 […]


William Winter remarks at “It ALL Starts with Education” Summer Forum


“We hear it all the time: we just can’t afford it. Let me tell you something. We can afford whatever we want to afford.” Thank you, Mr. Hughes. Let me just say: Jay Hughes represents the kind of leadership that this state badly needs. I encourage him to continue his efforts. And thank you to […]


Open Mic Q & A with MS Legislators and University Higher Ed 

Photo Credit: Pam Baker Jackson.

This is a very brief summary of what was discussed during this panel session, and it may have errors. I apologize in advance. People talk fast. Video of the full panel discussion will be made available by Representative Hughes after the conference is over.   (From Left to Right) Senator Bill Stone, Marshall and Tate […]


5 Minute Power Speeches – “Ideas for Inspiration & Change”


Because these are prepared remarks by the speakers, I will not try to provide an abbreviation of words and pauses specifically chosen for effect.  I have chosen a couple of “golden lines’ for each- standout quotes. Video of the full panel will be made available by Representative Hughes after the conference is over.  TEACHERS OF […]


Panel Discussion: Understanding the Legislative Process and How to Effectuate Change

The following is a “Live Tweet”-style summary of the panel. Video of the full panel will be made available by Representative Hughes after the conference is over. If I’ve made any errors, please let me know.  Panel: Dr. Andy Mullins, Rep. Tom Miles, Rep. Kabir Karriem, Sen. Bill Stone, Rep. Steve Massengill, Rep. Jay Hughes […]


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, […]


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 […]


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 […]