Coffee Break 2-5-18: Public Education

Lest We Forget

DeedSpeakOut has recently joined a Facebook group called “Abandoned Images of Illinois.” Yesterday members posted photos of two abandoned early 20th-century schoolhouses, the Time School in Pike County and another near Clinton (Galilee Road off Rte. 51) in Dewitt County. Continue reading “Coffee Break 2-5-18: Public Education”


Coffee Break 1-29-8: On Public Education

Why I Believe in Public Education


No quotes today; rather, we dedicate this post to two education writers who have in the past few days written or delivered testaments to public education without glossing over the problems public schools are facing:

Jan Ressenger, “Why We Chose Public Schools”

Peter Greene, “For Some Reason” Continue reading “Coffee Break 1-29-8: On Public Education”

HEJE Overview 1-27-18: Environment


Children playing feet away from open pools of raw sewage; drinking water pumped beside cracked pipes of untreated waste; human faeces flushed back into kitchen sinks and bathtubs whenever the rains come; people testing positive for hookworm, an intestinal parasite that thrives on extreme poverty.”

Thinking Haiti, or El Salvador, or some random African country?

Well, you’d be wrong. Today’s quote characterizes a county in Alabama, U.S.A.

Today’s HEJE Overview returns to environmental issues. Of note: Puerto Rico, four months after Hurricane Maria, is privatizing its power system; the richest men in the U.S. want to “save” the Rust Belt, their way; Pueblo, Colorado is contemplating going 100% green, but can a poor city afford environmental awareness?; dicamba update in advance of the 2018 planting season; the U.S.S. Lead Superfund site in East Chicago, IN: environmental justice advocate Catherine Flowers fights for water and sewage justice in rural Alabama, and finally (whew), some good environmental news for Alaska’s Bristol Bay.

There’s a wealth of environmental injustice recounted below the fold. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 1-27-18: Environment”

Coffee Break 1-23-18

A Question for our Readers


“Let’s think about Section 8 housing. If word got out that the government was planning to build a housing project for the poor in your neighborhood, how would you feel about it? Be honest with yourself. Nobody would consider this good news. You wouldn’t consider it good news because you don’t want the destructive culture of the poor imported into your neighborhood. Drive over to the poor part of town, and see what a shithole it is. Do you want the people who turned their neighborhood a shithole to bring the shithole to your street? 

No, you don’t. Be honest, you don’t.”

–Rod Dreher, “Of Sh*tholes and Second Thoughts,” The American Conservative (blog), 1-19-18 Continue reading “Coffee Break 1-23-18”

Author’s Note 1-20-18

Oh, and by the way …

DeedSpeakOut isn’t always able to publish lengthy HEJE Overviews or original pieces on a daily basis, although we hope that we’ll get back to near-daily posting in the not-too-distant future.

But in case you’re interested to learn what we’re reading–because even if we don’t post, we’re still reading every day, all day–we have a Facebook page, where we typically post the most interesting, or relevant, or alarming pieces we’ve encountered.

Comments tend to be fairly brief, but a little more pointed (shrill, perhaps) than they are on the blog itself.

You can find us at

All day, (nearly) every day, posting links of interest to health care, the environment, and education, with a hefty helping of injustice thrown in.

P.S. Comments on FB posts are very welcome–we read them, and we respond!




Illinois Update 1-20-18

Illinois Update, updated: Peoria’s new program for homeless men

Earlier this week, in our post of 1-16-18 (“Cairo, Illinois: Our Nation Writ in Miniature”), we concluded with a discussion of the purchase by OSF (Peoria’s largest healthcare provider and the fourth-largest provider in Illinois) of an historic nine-story commercial property in the urban core of the city for its new mission headquarters. The property had belonged to a series of department stores and banks over the course of its century and more of life (built 1905), and had been purchased by Caterpillar for conversion to the corporation’s new headquarters. Continue reading “Illinois Update 1-20-18”

HEJE Overview 1-20-18: Education


Ed reforms = failed reforms

What is the ultimate goal of public education? Do we genuinely want our citizens to be able to embrace an active role in American civic life, from neighborhood watch volunteers to Congressional representatives? Is every child in America equally deserving of a good education?

If the answer to these questions is “Yes,” then we’re doing something terribly wrong.


We’re back to our regular HEJE coverage, and today review recent education developments, including: ESSA/NCLB (hint: they’re not all that different); Michigan charters and their funding; rural/urban low minority college attendance; Freezing Baltimore public schools suggest neglect, structural racism and classism; California private schools are subject to zero oversight. Bonus: another piece of poorly-thought-out education legislation from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s BTIATM. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 1-20-18: Education”