The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

Today’s Message

on April 1, 2020

Dear frends,


On top of yesterday’s problems, someone here has become sick, so we are all confined to our apartments. I have food, water, television, my cat and this computer, but no one to talk to. or any knew information.  I  am well, but lonely.  So I would appreciate messages from anyone and any advice for me to stay awake and hopeful.


Joanne Yatvin

P.S. If you have any suggestion of something I could write about please let me  know.


5 responses to “Today’s Message

  1. bellairsd says:

     Joanne I will always remember how kind you and your husband were to me. Attached below is the synopsis of the play I’m writing. I’m having trouble finishing the play if any ideas pop up in your potent imagination.  PeaceDon ps Tell me if it doesn’t open.


  2. Rachel says:

    Joanne, I would send you snail mail if I knew your address.


  3. writerjoney says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t see anything else to open. Please send your synopsis again.


  4. Gail Halmstad says:

    Dr. Yatvin,

    I’m so glad you invited us to contact you. It was the push I needed.

    A little background: In 2006 I was the Chair of the Wisconsin State Reading Association annual convention (WSRA) held in Milwaukee, WI. Every year WSRA holds a conference attracting over 2-3000 professionals from Wisconsin and Minnesota. At that time our membership was pushing back on NCLB. Knowing that you had been a member of the National Reading Panel and then had gone on to write the minority report, I felt you would be the perfect speaker; and I was right! I vividly remember you sharing the limitations of the types of studies used and the weaknesses in the data analysis.

    Our organization had already been questioning the precepts or tenets of NCLB, but it was your words, your research which led to our intensifying our efforts. We began to raise our voices, speaking out through publications and meetings with our legislators. We held regular institutes on best practice in the teaching of reading & writing, invited researchers such as Richard Allington, Marty Neill and Gerald Bracey – along with others too numerous to mention.

    However, it became an uphill battle. The Republican leadership was hell-bent on privatizing education by defunding public schools, demonizing teachers and supporting unaccountable private schools. The good news is that I believe the public is beginning to realize the damage done. In recent surveys and in the last election the public sent a strong message about their concerns for public schools. In 2018 we elected Dr. Tony Evers governor, the former WI Superintendent of Schools.

    Lastly, more positive news: A grassroots organization called Wisconsin Public Education Network has become a powerful advocate for common schools. With the leadership of Heather DuBois Bourenane & University of WI Madison professors Drs. Julie Underwood and Julie Mead through their actions they have gotten the attention of legislators and the public. If you haven’t heard of them I would recommend you visit their website. I have a feeling you might even recognize some of the board members.

    Gail Halmstad 2006 WSRA Convention Chair



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