(Click on title to read the entire post.) The single greatest challenge to contemporary society, in my opinion, is the failure of Americans to create an effective public education system that provides every American child with a reasonable foundation of knowledge and skills needed to pursue happiness. Note that I am not suggesting America has an obligation to provide happiness, just the obligation to provide the knowledge and skills needed to pursue it. Universal Public Education is how America has attempted to provide the foundation for over a century, but it is now the canary in the American coal mine of equality, and if Conservatives—the Army of Liberty—have their way, the canary will soon be breathing its last breath.
(Click on the title to read the entire post) I should note that I am as white as white can be. My hair is white, my eyes are blue, my skin is pink except for when I've had a second glass of red wine or when I discover I have written something really stupid in my blog—then my skin flushes red; further, my ethnic background is "suburban," and I have been known to say "holy cow” and the like on occasion. Imagine my surprise when, during a session of “Courageous Conversations about Race,” I found myself totally at a loss to answer this question: What does it mean to be White in America?
As long as the current emphasis on “my side winning” exists, compromise will be impossible. When it comes to education, we should not be concerned about whether one side or the other is winning. We should be concerned about whether or not our American way of life is winning, a way of life that values both equality and liberty and uses the goodwill of fraternity to find a balance within the contradiction with which most Americans can live. (Click on the title to read the entire post.)
(Click on the title to view the entire post) In 1787 France and in 1917 Russia, the poor were very, very poor; the rich were very, very rich. The response to these examples of gross inequality was aptly described by Jean-Jacques Rousseau: When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich, which, metaphorically, is what The People did. While I have a citizen’s concern about the inevitability of the poor taking to the streets in American’s poorest urban neighborhoods with devastating results, my focus of this blog is Education. Just as a canary’s death from carbon monoxide once warned miners of impending doom, American urban public school systems are canaries now dying from the poisonous vapors of economic inequality.
Charles Barkley’s call for action at the Doug Jones’ victory celebration—“a wake-up call for Democrats”—addresses THE ISSUE facing Progressives: What in the hell are we fighting for? The Resistance is all well and good, but underlying that resistance must be a rock solid foundation upon which resistance is built, and right now, that foundation is not being communicated as one voice by the self-anointed leaders of the Resistance Movement or of the Democratic Party. Without a unified message, the Progressive Movement rests upon a foundation of sand. (Click on title to access full post)
In response to one of my recent blogs, a colleague took issue with my concerns about choice in Education: “I just don’t see school choice creating a segregation or social class issue,” she wrote. “In fact, it puts quality schools within reach of everyone—not just the wealthy who can afford private schools, and opens the door for everyone to become part of a school community that blends their local demographics. Hmmm…it actually sounds quite…equitable.” (Click on the title for the full post)
For those of you who are concerned about the impact of charter schools on public education, CLICK THE LINK BELOW to read a well-supported article by Katherine Stewart in The American Prospect. Stewart explains how individuals and entities from the Religious Right are using tax dollars to support charter schools with stated missions to teach children … Continue reading The Most Important Article You Will Read Today About Charter Schools and the Religious Right (author: Katherine Stewart in The American Prospect)