Mommy Mayhem · School Talk

Moms Say What? That’s Right.

In news you can’t use (but can probably relate to), the laundry (aka pops of color) continues to pile up this week though I did find 13 socks outside so that made the piles a bit smaller I guess. (On the bright side, while my dogs both love to grab socks and run outside with them, neither has that very common canine inclination to actually ingest the socks. So that’s a win!)

We continue to avoid the flu that seems to be everywhere but my youngest did come down with strep throat this week and in a moment of bad luck, the strep swab got him in just the right way to immediate induce vomiting. Good thing there is a sink in those little exam rooms at the pediatrician’s office. So that was awesome. But I can hear him shooting baskets downstairs as I type this so clearly those antibiotics are working.

Here’s to health and healing for everyone dealing with illness of any kind. And remember moms, self-care matters.

We have some fantastic women—and writers—in the round up this week representing Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and yes, my little Rhode Island. You will know some of them, others may be new to you. All are driven by a belief that we have a shared responsibility to advocate for our own children as well as other people’s children. Justice demands it.  The last piece in the mix is mine and it is here precisely because, in the midst of hard work and setbacks, we all need to laugh.

Here we go…

Marilyn Rhames is a mother and educator from Chicago who recently founded and became the CEO of Teachers Who Pray. Just this week she had the opportunity to give a Tedx Talk entitled, “Why Faith Will Fix Education.” The video is not yet available from yesterday’s Tedx event so I’m including a video of her describing the mission or her organization. I watched the livestream and I can assure that it was awesome: “Broken teachers cannot uplift broken students.” Amen.



Bernita Bradley from Detroit pulls no punches on what it’s like being an an angry Black mom in education and how far too often she feels stuck in a no win situation.

Diary of An Angry Black Mom in Education


Keri Rodrigues in Massachusetts (and my Planet Mom Radio partner) weighs in on Massachusetts’ pick to be the next Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education and worries that, despite claims to the contrary, it may have been a risky move.

All of Our Eggs in One Basket

Inga Cotton of San Antonio raises a question that many of us have wrestled with when it comes to who should be making public education policy. The issue at hand is whether or not it matters that elected leaders—who are public servants—send their own children to private school. This debate seems to be a pretty universal one and Inga has done us all the favor of having that very debate…with herself.

Private School Parents Making Public Education Policy: Controversy with Trey Martinez Fischer and Diana Arévalo

Shawnta Barnes of Indianapolis calls out the disconnect of calling a school public and charging parents textbook fees. Likely unbeknownst to many of you (including me til I read Shawnta’s piece), eight states allow for these fees.

Students are entitled to a free public education, but is that education really free if you have to pay for textbook and materials?  It wasn’t until former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz suggested the state pick up textbook costs that I learned textbook fees are not the norm across the country.  I have only ever lived in Indiana, so I thought everyone had to pay this fee.  I know we pay taxes to help fund schools and I know students need materials to learn, so I didn’t think it was too much to ask for parents to pay for textbooks.  Once I learned the majority of U.S. parents do not pay textbook fees, I felt a bit jaded about it and want this bill eliminated from my family’s budget.


To read her full piece (which includes what she personally had to pay for own twin boys’ textbooks and workbooks) click below.

Indiana is One of Eight States Where Parents Pay Textbooks Fees. When Will This Change?

And I—Erika Sanzi—couldn’t stop myself from writing this humor piece this week because I lose all self control when FUN-bruary comes around. Maybe your version of this parental hell is spirit week or the 100th day of school or Valentine’s Day—though none of those really compare to a WHOLE MONTH! So enjoy a weekend laugh, at my expense, free of charge.

FUN-bruary Just May Be the Death of Me, OMG!

Happy weekend and thanks to all moms everywhere who are asking good questions and finding answers about the place where our kids—and most everyone’s kids—spend their days. School.

What do you think?

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