Cory Maye, once sentenced to die for an act of self-defense, is going home

The old ways die hard, especially in Mississippi. A mistaken drug raid led to the death of a white police officer and a death sentence for an innocent black man. Now, after ten years in jail, Cory Maye is being allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter and go home.  This is a fascinating and ugly story, and I’m linking to  Huffington Post because the standard newsorgs are a little slow on the uptake with this one.

To read Radley Balko’s coverage, click here.

First they came for the kindergarten teachers …

In Inside Higher Ed, Professor Richard Greenwald argues that academics must come to the aid of their K-12 colleagues, who, you may have noticed, are currently under attack.

. . . Teachers have become, for lack of a better wor[d], the enemy. Teachers are the problem.

Charter schools, high-stakes testing, and alternative teacher training programs are the new normal. Teachers, and especially their unions (both the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association) are now widely seen as obstacles to reform. The teacher unions are holding back change and hurting our kids — and teachers are overpaid for a job with summers off, or so the assault goes.

A cover story last year in the Sunday’s New York Times Magazine depicts a circle of national reformers who have vilified the teachers’ unions and see collective bargaining as the clear enemy — previewing what happened in Wisconsin by a few months. How did we get here? When did teachers become the main problem of the K-12 educational system? There have always been problem teachers (we have either had one ourselves or have children who have). But by most evidence, teachers by and large are good, dedicated and caring professionals who work hard at a very difficult job.

It has to stink to be a teacher these days, especially one in an underperforming urban district. Mandated testing, lack of resources and precarious job security are constant. Teachers in many states are waiting for pink slips, watching state budgets and hoping for the best.

Pundits are demanding that tenure be abolished and the workday lengthened. Some are also arguing that we neehard to master the skills necessary to become great teachers. They want to see improvement and change and they know it will not be easy, as they will sacrifice much in the process. But, for them it will all be worth it if they reach just that one kid. More after the break.