NCLB renewal faces tough sledding

December 28, 2006

The No Child Left Behind Act is scheduled for renewal by 2008, but observers are saying it will not come so soon because of the national elections. The Act will face significant phalanx of people and organizations demanding changes, too.

Media General’s Gil Klein produced a general piece of reporting on the politics and issues for NCLB renewal, which started appearing in U.S. newspapers on December 22.

It has shaken every teacher in every classroom, and when the No Child Left Behind law comes up for renewal next year, it faces a political battle that could last until after the 2008 election.

“We did a survey of Washington insiders and it is almost unanimous that it won’t happen until 2009, regardless of what all the politicians are saying,” said Michael Petrilli, an education analyst with the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, who worked in the Education Department when the law passed.

[There is a lot of good reporting out of Washington by regional news agencies and smaller services, like Media General, Knight-Ridder (used to be a bigger player than today), and other groups. Bloggers would do well to bring some of these reports to the attention of the world, instead of relying on the New YorkTimes, Washington Post, and major broadcast outlets. This is a case of a smaller agency simply providing a solid story ahead of the curve.] Read the rest of this entry »

Cartooning on Gerald Ford’s head

December 28, 2006

Pat Oliphant, one of my favorite cartoonists since his days at the Denver Post, has a wonderful, funny tribute to Gerald Ford — go see, here.

Seymour Papert: Hope – eyes open

December 28, 2006

Brief note from MIT’s Media Lab:

Wednesday, December 27

While still in Intensive Care, Seymour is making progress every day. He has opened his eyes and sees the people around him, but has not yet spoken. He is also able to move his arms, legs, and head. His doctors hope that he will be able to be moved out of Intensive Care soon, but for now, is still not receiving visitors.

Earlier coverage, noting his December 7 collision with a motorbike in Hanoi, here.

One may still leave an electronic flower for a get-well bouquet to be delivered to Papert.

Seymour Papert, MIT photo

After the end, Hoover showed the way for Bush

December 28, 2006

Herbert Hoover, White House Portrait

Herbert Hoover, White House Portrait

Herbert Hoover is one of the great foils for U.S. history courses. The Great Depression is on national standards and state standards. Images from the dramatic poverty that resulted win the rapt attention of even the most calloused, talkative high school juniors. Most video treatments leave students wondering why President Hoover wasn’t tried for crimes against humanity instead of just turned out of office.

In most courses, Hoover is left there, and the study of Franklin Roosevelt‘s event-filled twelve years in office (with four elected terms) takes over the classroom. If Hoover is mentioned again at all in the course, it would likely be for his leading humanitarian work after World War II.

But there is, hiding out in California, the Hoover Institution. Hoover’s impact today? Well, consider some recent fellows of the Hoover Institution: Condaleeza Rice, Milton Friedman, George Shultz, E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Gary Becker, Diane Ravitch, Chester Finn. The Hoover Institution, “at Stanford University,” is the conservatives’ anchor in the intellectual and academic world.

Hoover’s legacy is being remade, constantly, through his post-Presidential establishment of an institution to promote principles of conservatism (and liberalism in its old, almost archaic education sense). The Hoover Institution has carried Hoover’s ideas and principles back into power.

Dallas has been wracked recently with the shenanigans and maneuvers around the work of Southern Methodist University to be named as the host for the George W. Bush Presidential Library. In a humorous headline last week the Dallas Morning News (DMN) said such a library could lead Dallas’s intellectual life in the future (the headline is different in the on-line version — whew!).

Humor aside, there is grist for good thought there. Read the rest of this entry »

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