Stephen D. Lalonde

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Education Blog

 Why should my opinion matter?

I will be expressing my own opinion about issues related to public education in this blog (among other things). So why should my opinion matter? I will set aside modesty and explain why I think I am qualified to address public education issues and events.

Both of my parents were teachers. They frequently had fellow teachers and administrators over for dinner at our house. The conversation always included discussions around educational issues and practices. So I began being aware of these things over 50 years ago, and have continued to be involved in the debate around these issues to the present day.

I received my BA in education with a major in English and a minor in drama in 1972 and began teaching in Glenwood, Washington. I taught there for three years, then I left teaching for nine years to work in the private sector. I returned to public school teaching in 1984 at University high school in Central Valley School District in Spokane Valley, Washington. I earned my Masters degree in education in 1988 and spent a total of 29 years in the classroom. I also served as president of the Central Valley education Association for four additional years. In addition, I spent four years on the Washington Education Association’s Board of Directors and one of those years on the Executive Committee. I was also a National Education Association Representative Assembly delegate for 15 years.

During my time as a classroom teacher I received a number of awards including; the Pathways Pacesetter Award, Apple Distinguished Educator, Technology and Learning Magazine's Washington State Technology Teacher of the Year 1998, US WEST/WEA Teacher Network Cadre Member 1996, and the Washington State Christa Mc Auliffe Award for Excellence in Education. I have published magazine articles on education and wrote the anchor chapter for a book entitled TEACHING WITH TECHNOLOGY, which is part of the NEA professional library.

As a result of the experience listed above, I feel qualified to at least have a valid opinion on educational issues. I have some experience with educational issues on the national level, however, my opinions are focusing on public education in the state of Washington. These opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the position of any of the organizations mentioned above.


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Betsy Devos for Secretary of Education???? Really????

Posted on December 30, 2016 at 5:35 PM

There is absolutely no question about Donald Trump's agenda on public education. It is to destroy it and shift to privatized education that will further support the decimation of the middle class.

This country was built on the strength of  the free public education system. Betsy Devos has a history of trying to circumvent and destroy public education. She purchased the access to ramp up her ability to do that with huge donations to the Trump campaign. She has NO qualifications for ...

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Three factors that most impact the lack of student achievement

Posted on January 7, 2015 at 2:55 PM

Speaking from experience (and again a reminder that I'm focusing on schools of Washington state, however colleagues in other states have agreed that these are the primary problems in their state as well), the three primary factors that negatively impact student performance are poverty, transience, and dissolution of the family unit. Until these elements are appropriately addressed we will not see the kind of student performance that the reform movement is expecting. Obviously these three elem...

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Posted on January 3, 2015 at 3:00 PM

   One primary element that is missing in the rush to the pseudo-reform in public education is common sense. This is clear in some of the unnecessary "research" and ludicrous assumptions. There is much in genuine educational reform that is properly based in good research and logical approaches to new methodologies.

   It is a waste of money to do research to determine if water is wet. Common sense should tell you there is no need to do research to determine if smal...

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The Achilles' Heel of Public Education- Special Education

Posted on January 2, 2015 at 7:00 PM

   There was a time in the not-too-distant past when special needs students and their parents were disenfranchised and underserved. Over the years that situation has been addressed and in many ways is now out of balance in the other direction. In addition, individuals with lower and lower cognitive abilities have been brought into the public school system.

   Too often the effort to be politically correct obscures or completely ignores the truth. In dealing with spe...

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Bad teachers...

Posted on January 2, 2015 at 4:30 PM

Bad teachers…

There are some. Within an enterprise as large as public education, it should be no surprise to anyone that there are some bad teachers. There are also bad doctors, bad dentists, bad lawyers (possibly redundant), bad priests, and even bad politicians (yeah…I know.)

However, those who believe that public education is failing, including those who are doing everything in their power to make that happen, obviously believe that there are masses of ba...

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Reform and Pseudo-Reform

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Public Education and Educational Reform and Pseudo-reform

Public education has become the scapegoat for many of our society's problems. To be sure there are problems in public education that need to be addressed. That should be no surprise to anyone considering how large the educational system is and must be. Some of the current educational reform is legitimate, justified, research-based, and when properly implemented results in positive improvements ...

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