Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
World Markets Plunge as US Auto Bailout Fails
Pan Pylas, The Associated Press: "World markets fell Friday amid concerns about the future of the U.S. auto industry following the Senate's rejection of a $14 billion rescue deal."
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Powell also says that we should rethink its "don't ask, don't tell" policy on homosexuals in the military. And he tells Republicans that they should stop listening to Rush Limbaugh:
"Can we continue to listen to Rush Limbaugh?" Powell asked. "Is this really the kind of party that we want to be when these kinds of spokespersons seem to appeal to our lesser instincts rather than our better instincts?"
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
For centuries, writers have experimented with forms that evoke the imperfection of thought, the inconstancy of human affairs, and the chastening passage of time. But as blogging evolves as a literary form, it is generating a new and quintessentially postmodern idiom that’s enabling writers to express themselves in ways that have never been seen or understood before. Its truths are provisional, and its ethos collective and messy. Yet the interaction it enables between writer and reader is unprecedented, visceral, and sometimes brutal. And make no mistake: it heralds a golden era for journalism.
Bill Moyers Journal Returning the Rule of Law
Bill Moyers Journal: "This week on the Journal, Bill Moyers sits down with political commentator and Salon.com blogger Glenn Greenwald, who asks: Are we a nation ruled by men or by laws?
Robert Scheer Republicans Bring Socialism to America
Robert Scheer, Truthdig: "Let the record show that it was George W. Bush, the rich Texas Republican, who brought socialism to America, so don’t blame it on that African-American Chicago Democrat community organizer who made it into the White House. The government takeover of the banking and automobile industries not only happened on President Bush’s watch, it was also the deregulatory mania of this president’s family, beginning with his father, which took this country into such starkly unfamiliar territory."
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
From Teaching Tolerance [A product of the Southern Poverty Law Center], Fall 2008, No. 38, p. 5. See http://www.tolerance.org/teach/magazine/editorsnote.jsp?p=0&is=43 . Teaching Tolerance is published twice a year -- the magazine showcases innovative tolerance initiatives in schools across the country. Information is available at http://www.tolerance.org/teach/ -- you and subscribe to the free Newsletter and anti-bias resources delivered to your inbox at the site.
OPENING SIDEBAR: "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." - Anne Frank.
An Open Letter to Teachers EverywhereA look at an educator's struggle to reconcile ideology with reality in our nations' classrooms and schools.
By Rhonda ThomasonI am troubled.As an educator, as a parent and as an activist, I am deeply troubled as I rethink public education and struggle to reconcile ideology with reality in our nations' classrooms and schools.
Collectively, I hear educators - and parents and politicians and others - say children are our future. We say that we want students to think critically, that we want them to be problem-solvers, to ask questions, to challenge us to make the world a better place.
And yet I see educators setting aside these high aspirations, choosing safety and compliance over boldness and creativity. I see educators silenced by the fear of professional disfavor and criticism.I want a revolution of hope. I want educators to seize a golden opportunity to rethink the nature and purpose of public education.
A revolution that eliminates the hands-off practice of urging students to resolve their own problems while leaving students vulnerable to bullying and burdened with issues too huge for them to ever resolve. A revolution that no longer supports sanctions that allow educators to ignore bullying or harassment when it echoes one's own personal biases. A revolution that eliminates sanctioned school prayers which favor a particular religion and affirms the acceptance of students with differing beliefs.
Imagine such a revolution.Imagine an educational system in which educators invoke standards of compassion, empathy, action and reason as they question the deep regularities that suppress achievement.Imagine the power of educators valuing dissent and affirming what students can achieve rather than magnifying what they can't.
Imagine educators giving ourselves permission to be vulnerable learners acknowledging that our judgment might be biased. Imagine us inviting troubling, courageous conversations that have the power to move us beyond our confidence and challenge our own assumptions and biases.Imagine listening deeply to parents and students willing to help us get to know the "inside" of their experiences. Imagine unveiling ingrained stereotypes in order to create communities of belonging, abundance and trust.
Imagine competent educators who deserve and command autonomy and respect - and then use it to create classrooms of equality and sharing where all students find their cultures reflected in the stories teachers tell, the languages they speak, and the facts textbooks reveal.As an educator, I often skated on the edge of revolution and compliance. While compliance may secure careers and livelihoods, it can leave teachers depleted, students tested rather than taught and marginalized rather than empowered. Compliance feeds mediocrity. Boldness is a catalyst for grassroots revolution - a revolution that serves our students as they enter the challenges of a wonderful and sometimes cruel world.
May we become a nation that again values public education as a pathway to equity and achievement. And through the small daily revolutionary actions of critical educators, may we insist that our voices and actions serve to empower this generation to create a better world.
May we become educators who seek out students' experiences, interests and talents as a means of engagement, and may our passion empower those who have little power. Authentic caring is a powerful force, and it always is worth the cost.
RHONDA THOMASON is a National Board Certified educator who taught in public schools for 26 years and currently supports educators across the United States in developing multicultural education projects as grants administrator for Teaching Tolerance.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Kennedy and NY Governor Discuss Clinton's Senate Seat
Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post: "Caroline Kennedy, a scion of the most famous family in American politics, has spoken by phone with New York Gov. David A. Paterson (D) about the Senate seat that would open with the confirmation of Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a cousin of Caroline Kennedy, confirmed to the Associated Press late Friday that she was 'interested' in the seat, but national party operatives cautioned that the process of picking a replacement for Clinton remains in its early stages."