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Tag: Education

Obama

Obama Gets to Work on Economy

In his weekly address posted on Change.gov Friday, Barack Obama explains why he’s starting his job before assuming office: It’s the economy, stupid.

Posted on Jan 10, 2009 READ MORE


Let’s Pledge to Stop Being Stupid About Teen Sex

“Virginity pledges” are one of the ways that government officials measure whether abstinence-only education is “working.” They count the pledges as proof that teens will abstain. It turns out that this is like counting New Year’s resolutions as proof that you lost 10 pounds.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Economic Death and Millionaire Taxes

For most of us, Benjamin Franklin’s words in 1789 still apply: “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” However, millionaires, by definition, are not most of us.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Caracas Shopping
thewe.cc

Chavez to Mall: Váyase!

Nothing says full of yourself like ordering a Venezuelan mayor to halt construction of a near-complete shopping mall after passing by it in a car. Obviously, President Hugo Chavez has a bit of a ego, though his suggestion to use the facility as a university or hospital, not as a monument to consumption and capitalism, does seem a bit more just.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Choice for Education Secretary Marks a New Path

  Because Arne Duncan gets along with teachers unions but is also seen as a reformer, his selection was interpreted as a politically shrewd, split-the-difference choice by Obama. But that is not the whole story.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Unions Aren’t the Problem

As Congress and the White House lurch toward possible approval of a loan package for the crippled auto industry, we are undoubtedly in store for more union-bashing.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Douglas Healey

The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff

The multiple failures that beset the country can be laid at the feet of our elite universities. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford, along with most other elite schools, do a poor job educating students to think. They focus instead on creating hordes of competent systems managers.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE


The Beauty of Free Money

No, the federal government isn’t going to discover new billions under some rock in a national park. But with the economic downturn, the new president’s imperative will be to spend as fast as he can, to the tune of perhaps $500 billion, to keep the economy from going belly up.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE



highereducation.org

Report Fails 49 States on College Affordability

Because of its inexpensive community colleges, California was the only state to earn a passing grade in the affordability category of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education’s annual report. Just as the demand for quality education is expected to spike, too many students are priced out of college, the center found.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kiichiro Sato, file

Starving for Change

The swelling numbers waiting outside homeless shelters and food pantries around the country have grown by at least 30 percent since the summer. If Barack Obama continues to turn to the elites who created the mess, if he does not radically redirect the nation’s resources to assist the working class and the poor, we will become a third-world country.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Regina Marler on Ted Hughes’ Letters

A new volume of the late poet’s correspondence sheds fresh light on the anguish and art of Sylvia Plath.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008 READ MORE


The New Political Center

Obama can be expected to behave as Bush ought to have acted in a time of national crisis. That means drawing on goodwill wherever he can find it, drawing on talent regardless of party and drawing on the powerful desire of most Americans to live again in one nation.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


Bill Bennett

Racism Is Over (at Least for Some Neocons)

Neoconservative white-guy Bill Bennett uttered a frightening example of what many fear will be a knock-back for minority rights in the U.S. Asked about how an Obama victory would affect perceptions of race, Bennett suggested that because one black man has been elected president, claims about institutionalized racism are no longer viable.

Posted on Nov 5, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / zoonabar

California Bans Gay Marriage

Californians voted 52 percent to 48 percent to approve a despicable ballot measure banning gay marriage. The two sides spent more than $74 million, and in the end proponents of Prop. 8 won out by convincing voters that the measure would somehow protect children.

Posted on Nov 5, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Seth Perlman

No Child Left Behind Fails Us All

Truthdig asked Demitrious C. Sinor, an inspirational educator, to sound off on the state of our schools. He warns that unless the No Child Left Behind regime ends soon, America’s classrooms could unravel. It’s a reality that neither presidential candidate seems to fully understand, but one he sees every day, from where he sits.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE


End of a Catholic Commandment?

Catholics, who are quintessential swing voters and gave narrow but crucial support to President Bush in 2004, are drifting toward Barack Obama. And this time, some church leaders are suggesting that single-issue voting—such as on abortion—is by no means a Catholic commandment.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE


'Ayers' commercial
youtube.com

Fact-Checking McCain’s ‘Ayers’ Commercial

In this time of confusion and strife, it’s a good thing there’s FactCheck.org to shine a light through the political fog that surrounds us all. Or something like that. Anyway, the FactCheck folks took a close look at the McCain campaign’s shadowy little commercial number, “Ayers,” and found it to be problematic on several counts.

Posted on Oct 11, 2008 READ MORE


Dept. of Education
flickr.com/mcoughlin

Banking Collapse Lands on America’s Schools

One of the worst casualties of the Iraq war and the Wall Street failures is the U.S. public school system, which is central to the nation’s economic, intellectual and social health. With financial resources being consumed, education cuts are on the way. Thank you, John McCain and President George W. Bush.

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE


Musharraf
AP photo / Ivan Sekretarev

Pakistani President Musharraf Resigns

After months of mounting pressure and speculation, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced Monday that he is stepping down, but not before defending his legacy, challenging his detractors and admitting that he “may have committed follies.”

Posted on Aug 18, 2008 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Ray Bradbury on Literature and Love

The renowned author sits down with Truthdig literary editor Steve Wasserman to tell stories about his books, the many loves of his life—including dinosaurs and Halloween—and his own starring role in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rise to fame.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / soldiersmediacenter

Counter-Recruiters Push for School Access

The No Child Left Behind Act forces high schools to allow military recruiters access to students. Counter-recruitment groups that pitch alternatives to military service are working around the country to try to limit the impact of the Pentagon’s $3.5-billion effort. One organization in the Los Angeles area is pushing, with some success, for equal access.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE


Baldwin Park High School
bpbraves.net

Liberating the Schoolhouse

UCLA professor Wellford Wilms, one of the nation’s leading authorities on the crisis of public education in America, offers a must-read counterpoint to Bush’s blather about “No Child Left Behind.”

Posted on Apr 30, 2008 READ MORE


English classroom
AP photo / H. Rumpf Jr.

When Teachers Are the Dropouts

Much is made of the dropout rate in America’s schools, and usually it’s the students who are the focus of the discussion. But what happens when teachers themselves opt out of their roles in the classroom? [In this short analysis, Truthdig educational expert Paul Cummins looks at teachers’ heartbreak, frustration and depression.]

Posted on Apr 25, 2008 READ MORE


Where Do We Go From Here?

It has been 40 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., while standing on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel.

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 READ MORE


On Geraldo and ‘Black Geniuses’

How weird is this presidential election? So weird that I’m about to give a nod of appreciation (of sorts) to Geraldo Rivera, of all people—and also to, gulp, Fox News.

Posted on Feb 25, 2008 READ MORE


globe
epp-ed.eu

Climate Change on Calif. Curriculum?

A California senator is working to push a bill through the state’s legislative channels that would make global warming a required study topic in California public schools, but detractors maintain that the science behind Sen. Joe Simitian’s proposed academic addition is unclear. 

Posted on Feb 18, 2008 READ MORE


Huckabee Doesn’t Cut It

Is the thought of him as president just vaguely scary? Or have we learned enough about the man that we should be hair-on-fire alarmed at the prospect, still pretty remote, that he could actually win?

Posted on Dec 13, 2007 READ MORE


Earth

It Came From Corporate America!

Freespeech.org has this entertaining take on the privatization of the Internet, a medium that was once public, open and collaborative, but has since been taken over by corporate juggernauts. It’s not something we all think about, but it wasn’t so long ago that the Internet was organized around information and education, as opposed to shopping.

Posted on Dec 4, 2007 READ MORE


Okinawa protest
AP photo / Kyodo News

Outrage in Okinawa Over Edited History Books

Japan’s education ministry has generated protest in Okinawa by erasing one of the country’s worst moments from history textbooks.  Okinawans who lost loved ones when the Japanese army ordered them to commit suicide during World War II are bitterly battling the historical omission.

Posted on Nov 17, 2007 READ MORE


A Faith-Based Boondoggle

Countless studies show that abstinence-only sex education just doesn’t work, so why is it getting more money than ever from the federal government?

Posted on Nov 15, 2007 READ MORE


birth control
healthofchildren.com

Maine Middle School to Offer Birth Control

While the nation’s tweens and teens are taught the laughable “abstinence only” government-sponsored curriculum about sex, one middle school in Maine is taking a more realistic approach to the matter, offering a range of birth control options in an effort to curb a troubling trend toward teen pregnancy among its students.  Yes, you read that right:  This is a middle school we’re talking about here.

Posted on Oct 18, 2007 READ MORE


Stressed kid
nydailynews.com

Stressed Kids Fret About the World

A study of 7-to-11-year-old Brits found that the climate crisis and terrorism have added to the usual pressures of school and friendships to drive kids batty. Luckily, schools that engaged world-weary children with lessons and activities related to global catastrophe managed to alleviate some of the tension.

Posted on Oct 11, 2007 READ MORE


chastity belt
totallychoice.com

Congress Re-Ups Abstinence-Ed Program

File under “Your Tax Dollars at Work”:  Congress has once again approved a three-month extension of a $50-million nationwide abstinence-education program, a move detractors say ignores indications that the approach (shock!) may not be working for America’s teens.

Posted on Oct 1, 2007 READ MORE


Juvenile inmates
AP photo / Charles Rex Arbogast

Crime, Poverty and Education: It’s Not Rocket Science

Truthdig regulars Sheerly Avni, James Harris and Josh Scheer put their heads together to try to figure out why the big problems that plague our communities never get solved.

Posted on Sep 25, 2007 READ MORE


Juvenile inmates
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Crime, Poverty and Education: It’s Not Rocket Science

Truthdig regulars Sheerly Avni, James Harris and Josh Scheer put their heads together to try to figure out why the big problems that plague our communities never get solved.

Posted on Sep 11, 2007 READ MORE


Democrats
AP Photo / Charlie Niebergall

Bridging the Democratic Divide

If a Democrat wins the next presidential election, she or he will have to tackle battles abroad—and, no less significantly, at home.  Boyarsky predicts that, after ending the Iraq war, a Democratic president would “immediately be confronted with domestic issues that have no Democratic consensus, issues in which debate is charged with deep feelings about national, ethnic and racial identity.”

Posted on Aug 24, 2007 READ MORE


Making the Grade

Students aren’t the only ones who worry about grades—teachers also have to meet performance standards and follow curricula dictated by their districts.  However, as educator Sharon Scranage points out, teachers working with socioeconomically disadvantaged children have to deal with even greater challenges without the aid of a specific “core” curriculum to address their students’ special needs.

Posted on Aug 6, 2007 READ MORE


israel map
sitesatlas.com

Israeli Textbook Gives Arab View of the State’s Birth

A top Israeli education official has authorized a textbook for exclusive use in Arab Israeli schools that tells a different side of the story of Israel’s creation in 1948.  For starters, the text acknowledges that Palestinians dubbed the historical event “al nakba” (the catastrophe).

Posted on Jul 22, 2007 READ MORE


fashion show
wulfweard.blog.co.uk

The Battle Over Sex Education

While many schools continue to move toward abstinence-only (aka “keep your fingers crossed”) sex education, some communities are fighting for more candid and honest curricula. A Maryland school district, for example, just won the right to teach middle and high schoolers about homosexuality and the proper use of condoms.

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


schoolchildren
AP Photo/Francis Specker

The Education Blame Game

It’s not just kids who get left behind in an educational system that fetishizes data and quantitative measures instead of qualitative progress.  Teachers, particularly in lower-income schools, end up punished and humiliated because they are judged to be “underachievers,” according to educator Sharon Scranage.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


War and Censorship at Wilton High

Students at Wilton High School in Connecticut weren’t allowed to discuss the war, unless it was with a military recruiter, so they wrote a play about it. “Voices in Conflict,” which was quickly banned by the school, has made it to New York where it brought the audience to tears.

Posted on Jun 12, 2007 READ MORE


Obama Cools on Affirmative Action

Barack Obama doesn’t think anyone should cut his two daughters any slack when they apply to college—not because of their race, at least. In the unlikely event that the Obama family goes broke, then maybe.

Posted on May 15, 2007 READ MORE


The Field Trip From Hell

A school in Tennessee recently staged a drill with a fake gunman during a week-long field trip that left students terrified and in tears. The sixth-graders were told a teacher dressed in a hooded sweatshirt was a shooter on the loose and that it was not a drill. The school’s principal said the incident “involved poor judgment.”

Posted on May 13, 2007 READ MORE


davis
AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez

Truthdigger of the Week:  Baron Davis

Truthdig tips its hat this week to Baron Davis, not just because he played a crucial role in steering the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA playoff victory in 16 years, but, more important, because he has used his celebrity status to draw attention to key issues such as the underrepresentation of African-Americans at top-notch universities.

Posted on May 5, 2007 READ MORE


Time to Crack Down on the Student Loan Cesspool

The markers of a mushrooming student loan scandal are identical to so many of the rest: The Bush administration, determined to turn the federal government into a favor bank for its corporate cronies, ignored every indicator that the $85-billion-a-year student loan industry was rife with corruption.

Posted on May 3, 2007 READ MORE


windows
microsoft.com

Microsoft Wants a Billion New Customers

Microsoft has given itself less than eight years to find another billion PC users. To help meet that goal, the company has pledged to sell $3 bundles of Windows XP and Office software to governments that provide schools with free computers. That’s about 2 percent of the cost of Office alone.

Posted on Apr 19, 2007 READ MORE


kissing
time.com

Abstinence Classes a Bust

So much for just saying no as a sex education policy:  A large-scale congressional study of the effects of costly abstinence education programs in American schools concluded that one or two years of classroom indoctrination had no significant impact on if and when teens have sex.

Posted on Apr 14, 2007 READ MORE


In Their Place

After 400 years of abuse, African-Americans continue to struggle with an inequitable America. If we’re serious about leaving no child behind, we should start by offering black families a fair shot in life.

Posted on Apr 10, 2007 READ MORE


Judge OK’s Student Gay Rights Club

A federal judge has ruled that Florida’s Okeechobee High School must grant the same privileges to the Gay-Straight Alliance that it grants to other student clubs.

Posted on Apr 7, 2007 READ MORE


We Must Learn Again

The author takes aim at the shortcomings of the contemporary American educational system, laments the current state of arts education, and wonders what exactly schools are preparing younger generations to do—and become.

Posted on Apr 4, 2007 READ MORE


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